By Lateef Adegbite
Between 2018 and now, there have been high been high level of increased insecurity in the south east geopolitical region comprising of Abia, Anambra, Eboyi, Enugu and Imo states, which Dave Umahi, and Engineer, and governor of Eboyi state and one of the Presidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, became more pronounced when he defected to the APC, from the Opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party.
The heading of Okechukwu Okoye a member of the state House of Assembly and his Aide on May 15, 2022 and the killing of 12 other people, including a pregnant woman and her four children in Anambra, home state of the deceased warlord and founder of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Odumegwu Ojukwu, may have given why President Muhammadu Buhari, has decided to take a ‘’tough response on the killer gang, believed to be Bandits from the north wet and their south east collaborators.
Many believe that the Presidential warning to those perpetrating the crisis in the south east region, ’’to expect tough response from the security agencies, particular, the Army, Air Force and the Police’’, should not be glossed over. They feared that the region may be another north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and north east state of Borno, where the Air wing of the Operation Hadin Kai, OPHK, prosecuting the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BkoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, on the orders of the Commander –In-Chief, C-In-C, had deployed the, fighter Jets to destroy the Bandits in the north west forests and the terrorists settlements in the Lake Chad Basin.
The message is very clear that the Air Marshal Olayinka Amao, led Nigeria Air Force, NAF, may be deployed to the south east to bring the situation under control. Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, may have given reason why the Katsina born Nigerian President appear determined to deal decisively with the south killers who have not learnt their lesson from what is happening in Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, Borno and Yobe states ‘’to the wild, barbarous and wanton killings of innocent people in the region’’.
In spite of the fact that it is obvious that the Armed herdsmen and their south east Collaborators , are perpetuating the crisis in Anambra, Imo and other parts of the south east, the Presidency , which have made several attempts to label the Indigenous People of Biafra and its militant wing, Eastern Security Network, ESN, terrorists would not take it.
He had said that expert agencies are now verifying the factuality and veracity of the claims that accompany the horrid pictures being circulated’’. Appealing to Nigerians to avoid jumping into conclusion to avoid escalating the crisis in the region, he has assured that the government would go after the alleged gunmen who had heheaded the Anambra state member of the House of Assembly, Okoye and dumped his severe head in a Chisco par in Umuchi, in the state.
The Nigerian President may have sent jitters to the people of the south east region that the government would no longer treat with a kids globe what is happening in the region with the planned deployment of security agencies personnel region which may turn it into another war zone in the country that may derail the 2023 general elections.
Professor Charles Soludo, a former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and now governor of Anambra state, may have known that there is trouble ahead in the region as the Katsina state born Nigerian President has threatened to take a decisive action against those causing the problem in the south east that he has’’ imposed a curfew’’in eight flashpoints local government Area of the state. The affected Local Government Areas include Aguata, Ihiala, Ekwisigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Orumba North and Orumba South. He was said to have made it clear to the people of the state that’’ motor cycles, Keke and shuttle buses are banned from operating in the eight Local government Areas until further notice.
While President Buhari and his Security Chiefs are battling to address the myriads of security challenges facing the country, the politicians, who are still jostling for elective office are not helping matters. In the last one week, the PDP primaries had exposed the rot in the party system which has given an insight of what is going to happen in the ruling AllProgressive Congress, APC, when it finally commences its Primaries.
Indeed, the Naira which d been out of circulation appears to have been released by the politicians seeking elective position across the country to woo the delegates. Take for instance, one or two presidential aspirants who ought to be sharing their plans with the Authorities on how to better the country, were said to have withdrawn from the Presidential race and even dumped the PDP.
The name readily come to mind was Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, under the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, who had equally contested the 2019, general elections, as Atiku Abubakar,a former Nigerian Vice President during Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration, Presidential Candidate, running mate, but lost to Buhari , of the APC.
He may have expected that the position of the Presidency would be zoned to south east by the PDP to give him opportunity to contest for the exalted office. He got it wrong. Iyorche Ayu, led, National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP, had thrown open the Presidential race for those interested, irrespective of the region. The PDP Chieftains from the region had protested against the party decision but that was how far they could go.
Although, Obi, the former Anambra state governor, was highly favoured to win the PDP, ticket, but he had failed to play along with the delegates who saw the primaries as an opportunity to take their share of the national ecake. There are indications that while the aspirants for the various elective positions: states House Assembly, governorship, House of Representatives, Senate and Presidency, were busy sharing the North American country of the United States, US, dollars, to the delegates, the former Anambra state governor was ‘’sharing his plans for better Nigeria’’. He may have read the handwriting on the wall that the primaries will not favour him that he withdrew from the race and dumped the party.
At the governorhip, there are also cases of withdrawal in Zamfara state, where Mahdi Gusau,a former deputy governor of the state under Bello Matawale, the governor, who had decamped from PDP to APC, due to pressure from several quarters had expected that the party governorship would be given to him on a platter of gold for loyalty . He was disappointed that it was given to him, forcing him to withdraw and urging his supporters
Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President, and Enyina Abaribe, Senate Minority who were nrsing governorship ambition in the south east states of Enugu ad Abia, were said to have also withdrawn from the race in anger. Senator Abaribe had cited failure by the party leadership to provide level-pplaying field for all aspirants vying for elective offices in the state and interferences of godfathers, as major reason, why he had opted out of the exercise.
In the north central state of Benue, where Benson Abounu, the state governor, had expected to take over from Samuel Ortom, the governor, after 2023, he had lost the primaries to Titus Uba, the Speaker of the State Hose of Asembly. As a born politician, he took it with philosophical cam that ‘’God can make it possible for him to be governor of Benue state one day’’.
Political analysts had expected Obi, Ekweremadu, Abaribe, and other Politicians like them not to see the PDP primaries as a do or die affair but to accept the outcome in the spirit of sportsmanship and still join forces with other party members to win the 2023, general election in their respective states.
Fears are being expressed in several quarters what has happened in the PDP, during the primaries, may be a child’s play to what would happen in the APC, where each of the 28 Presidential Candidates who had paid the N100million fee, to purchase the party Presidential nomination forms and the over 240 governorship aspirants who paid the mandatory N50 million to buy the governorship forms and other aspirants who had paid different amounts vying for other elective offices are not taking chances.
Senator Magnus Abe, may have proved bookmakers right we he said that he will not ‘’accept the outcome of the APC’s, governorship primary in Rivers state. He had said that ‘’the process that produced the delegates for the primary in the state was not credible’’. The Rivers state born politician has boasted that that he must be on the ballot for the 2023 general elections but had refused to give further details.
Many believe that if Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the APC, National Chairman and his NWC, members, had heeded the advice, of the Nigeria President ‘’to provide a level-playing field for all the political actors, in the primary by not allowing the money bags to hijack, the exercise, it may not have turned out to be like that of the PDP, where money speaks.
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Top ,.. top top … post! Keep the good work on !