Elections: Why The US. Government,May Consider Restrictions Of Visa To Political Gladiators Undermining Nigerian Democratic Process

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 By Lateef Adegbite

 Babajide Sanwo-Olu,  the All Progressive Congress, APC , governor of Lagos state who had re-contested the  March 18, governorship election  in the state  and won, may have to convince the international community that he did not win through electoral violence allegedly  masterminded by one Musiliu Akinsanya, popular, MC. Oluomo, Chairman , Lagos Park and Management Committee.

 Ouomo, according to informed sources, who had known his antecedents since 199, and who knew him as an ally of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of the state and the All Progressive Congress, APC, Presidential Candidate for the 2he February 25, 2023, election, to carry out his bidding had won the  election, beating  the likes of Atiku Abubakar , of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and Peter Obi of the Labour party, LP, to it.  

Agberos Attack Of Igbo Residents At Abule Ado

The  attack on the Igbo residents   at the Abule –ado and Nwafuribe Chukwudiegwu ,  areas of the nation’s commercial nerve centre state  by the Oluomo   trained Area boys, popular, Agberos, as they are called in the city  was said to have been on  before  the 2023 general election but had intensified  after the  February 25, 2023,Presidential   election  and on Sunday, March 19, 2023, a day after the governorship polls in the state.  

The attack on the Igbo residents was so pronounced that some aggrieved individuals who could not   sit by and watch the Ibos being maltreated by the Agberos in the guise of politics took to the streets carrying placards bearing ‘’leave the, Igbos alone, we are peaceful, we want a country of equity and justice, it is our right to vote, No Igbo contested in the election in the state and the votes are not Igbos’’.   Some of the placards sighted by The Value News further reads ‘’we buy lands from the people, build our houses, we pay rent in our shops to do our business, including our rented houses’’.

Some of thehe intimidated Igbo  residents at the Abule Aado axis of the state believe that  the Agberos, could not  have the audacity to attack them if the security agencies personnel in and powers that  be in the state have not turned’’ eyes right’’  to pretend as if they  don’t know what they  are doing.

 The unrest in the troublesome Abule Ado, Nawfuribe Chukwudiegwu    axis and other parts of the state may have attracted the attention of of Idowu Owoohunwa, the state Commissioner of Police, CP, who was said to have deployed his men to the scene to calm the situation but that was How far he could go.  The police Commissioner had said that that they had anticipated  such attacks , which had informed why the state Police Command had  deployed ‘’multiple teams  to respond  in the fastest manner  political thuggery in the state’’.

 Recall that prior to the governorship and state House of Assembly elections,  Abiodun Alabi, the  immediate  CP, in the state  had waned  that  the Command  would be ‘’tougher  on cultists  and political thugs’’. The then CP,  of the state  was said to have issued  the  warning during  a security meeting  involving  the police and other security agencies Chiefs in the state, including  the electoral umpire officials  as well as  the 18  Political parties  jostling for power in the state. He was said to have called on  the parties governorship Candidates , ‘’to warn  their supporters  against heating up  the polity, urging them to shun political  thuggery , otherwise  ‘’the Law will take care of them’’.

Alabi, the then CP, of Lagos state was said to have made it clear to the political gladiators that’’ there would be no room for thuggery in the state’’, stating that ‘’the Police will not allow anybody to disrupt the elections’’.

Appealing to Lagosians to inform the Police of ‘’the presence of cultists or trouble makers in their areas  in order to take immediate action, noting that  policemen are not magicians to know what is happening in every part of the state.

CP. Owohunwa of Lagos State

 The promotion of the former Lagos CP, to the enviable rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, in charge of Zone 2, with Headquarters in Lagos, and which paved the way for the redeployment of cp.Owohunwa, to the state last February by Usman Alkali Bababa, the Inspector General of Police. This may have informed why the political thuggery, during and after, the Presidential and governorship elections in the state did not get out of hand.

But the North American country of the United  States, US, diplomatic  mission Observers,  in Nigeria, during the governorship election in the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tnubu, popular, Jagaban,  the President –elect,   home state, may have been forced the mission  to speak out against  ‘’the disturbing  acts of violence , voter intimidation and suppression  of the  Igbo residents   in the state , during and after the March 18, governorship election , describing the situation as ‘’particularly concerning’’.

Members of the US Diplomatic mission had said that they could speak out authoritatively about the just concluded L governorship election in the state because they had witnessed ‘’some of these incidents first hand’’.  Angered by what they saw at the Lagos state governorship and state Assembly polls, may  have encouraged the  mission  to call on the Authorities  ‘’to hold  accountable  and bring to justice  the individuals  found to have  ordered  and carried  out the plans  to intimidate  voters  and suppress voting during the election process.

Attack On Area Bots Intimidation Of Voters In Lagos State During Governorship And State Assembly Elections

The US. Diplomatic mission Observers was said to have also ’’renewed its call for any challenges to the election results in the state to go through the  established  legal process in the country, that must not be interfered  with’’ by the Authorities.   

The members of the US. Diplomatic mission, who could not hide its feelings may have  thrown  their weight on all the  Nigerian political actors , religious and  Community Leaders, Youth Organisations  and the citizenry,  who had rejected  and condemned such violence  and   inflammatory language, in the state during and after the elections.This is bad news for the political gladiators , both at the state and Federal levels as they find it hard to get the US , VISA, now , going by the US impression of the Last governorship polls in Lagos and other states of the Federation that  are marred by electoral  violence.

President Joe Biden  may have sent a message to his Nigerian counterpart, President  Muhammadu Buhari, who believes that the election was ‘’free, fair and transparent’’, that the US, government  will consider all the available  actions, including ‘’ additional VISA  restrictions  on the individuals  believed  to be responsible  for or  complicit in, undermining  the democratic process in Nigeria.

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