By Stephen Ubanna
President Muhammadu BUhari, a retired Army General has given his words on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, to Yakubu Mahmood, a Professor and Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, who had expressed his worry about the February 18, 2023, general election, warning that ‘’those plotting to destroy Nigeria will soon receive the shock of their lives’’.
This is because of the attack on INEC offices in different parts of the country. Mhmood, the INEC, Chairman, who was worried at a meeting with the Katsina state born Nigerian President had expressed his doubt about the election over the election because of the rising insecurity in the country which had resulted in the attack on the Commission 42 offices in 14 states of the Federation, particular, in the south east geopolitical region .
The INEC boss had said that 11 of the offices attacked were either set ablaze or vandalized, noting most of the attacks on the offices had occurred in the last 11 months. According to him the attacks appear ‘’to be targeted at future elections, undermine the country’s democracy and precipitate a national crisis’’.
An aggrieved Nigerian President had declared that the All Progressive Congress, APC, government, under his close watch , had given the trouble shooters enough time and would no longer tolerate them. He had said that those sponsoring the attacks in the different geopolitical regions of the country and which had resulted in the death of Ahmed Gulak, a former Speaker of Adamawa state House of Assembly and Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who was on an official assignment with the Senate Committee on a constitution amendment to Oerrri, Capital of Imo state on Sunday, May 30, 2021. The retired Army General who could not hide his feelings had said that the perpetrators of the attacks ‘’ want his Administration to fail’’.
His major worry is that ‘’ the rising insecurity in Nigeria is now being mentioned all over the world’’. He was particular about those who are misbehaving in the south east were too young ‘’ to know the travails of loss of lives that had attended the Nigeria Civil war’’.
Hear him: those of us in the battle fields for 30 month, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand, use of brute force’’. He may have alluded to the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and their armed wing, Eastern Security Network, ESN.
The Nigerian President’s threat to treat Nigerians misbehaving in the language they would understand may have angered the Twitter Management that he was banned from making use of the Platform for Communication. His name was quickly deleted from the Platform themicro- blogging site on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
He may not the first to suffer such harsh treatment from Tweeter. Donald Trump, a former United States President suffered a similar fate that he threatened to vent his anger on the Media giant but that was how he could go.
T Note that Twitter may have deleted the Nigerian President’s name from its site because of the wide condemnation of his statement both within and outside the country to use force on the trouble shooters in Nigeria which was a violation of its rules.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of Information and culture had said that the US, Media giant has given Kanu, the IPOB Leader and others opposed to the Nigerian President the ammunition to make inciting Tweets. ‘’Nigeria would not be fooled’’, he had said.
In an emotional outburst over the removal of the Nigerian President’s name from the Twitter microblogging site, the Nigerian minister of Information and Culture , who took a swipe at the North American Country of the United States Media Digital Media giant said ‘’its mission in Nigeria is suspicious’’. Not many people are surprised over Buhari’s statement of use force to deal with Nigerians calling for secession.
Recall that in 2017, the retired Army General at the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LBC, had condemned the acts of pro-Biafra Campaigners and vowed totreat their offence’’ as treasonable felony’’.
He had told hose that cares to listen that Nigeria will remain united despite incessant demands from some parts of the country that want independence. ‘’Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable’’, he insists. Perhaps to force the people submission, he had declared that his government will not allow the irresponsible Criminal elements in the south east ‘’ to start trouble ‘’. He fears that when things get bad ‘’ the sponsors of these crisis in the country will run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order to the country, if necessary with their blood’’.
The five south east governors may have read the handwriting on the wall of dangers ahead in the region that they were said to have had a virtual meeting on Monday, May 31, 2021, as part of efforts to tackle its rising insecurity, which security experts believe was aggravated by Hope Uzodimma, a one –time Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, andnoe governor of Imo state , for working closely with Buhari to crush the IPOB members which was said to have resulted a the alleged shoot out at Awomama , Orlu east Local Government Area of the state and the death of the IPOB , second in Command and six other ESN fighters.
The governors were said to have discussed at their virtual meeting ways ‘’to tackle the insecurity threats in the region and secure the lives of the people’’. They were said to have vowed ‘’to leave no stone unturned in tracking and bringing to justice all those involved in what they had described as’’ the armed banditry currently ravaging the region’’.
Already the Nigerian President has directed the service Chiefs and Usman Allkali Baba, acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, to do everything within their power to ensure that there is total security in the country ahead of the February 18, 2023 election. The directive may not have made any appreciable impact as Kenneth Amukamara, the Opposition PDP, Youth Leader in Imo state and house set ablaze at Awomama in on Monday, May 31, 2021.
More worrisome was the gruesome murder Dega Chris, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police , AIG, and the senior Principal Special Assistant on Special Security to Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, fueling speculations making the rounds that the killer gang are being sponsored by well connected individuals to scuttle the 202023, general election.
Many believe that the government has precipitated the crisis in the country to force Buhari to declare a state of emergency and continue in office beyond 2023 to fulfill his third term agenda. But the retired Army General has told those who cares to listen that he has ‘’no third term agenda and will do his best to ensure the 23 general election hold across the country, notwithstanding the increasing security challenge’’.
He may have gladdened the heart of the INEC Chairman when he assured him that the Federal government under his Leadership ‘’ will make available everything the Commission need to operate efficiently to avoid giving room to the Opposition parties, particular, the PDP, and those who want power at all cost that ‘’I don’t want to go and that I want a third term’’. He was said to have told Mahmood he INEC boss, that ‘’there will no excuse for failure as the government will meet all the Commission’s demand’’.
Kingsley Moghalu, a former Deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, who has declared his intention to run for the 2023 on the platform of Yong Progressive People’s Party, YPP, had said that Buhari’s threat to use force on the dissent voices in the country to calm the insecurity situation in the country would rather deepen the crisis. He would want the Nigerian President to invite Sunday Egboho and Nnamdi Kanu, both se secessionist Campaigners in the south west and south respectively for dialogue instead of labeling them as terrorists.
In a related development Bello Matawalle, the Opposition PDP , governor of Zamfara state , who is under intense pressure to decamp to the APC, to force Buhari to use the Federal might to decisively with the Bandits operating in the state, was said to have visited the state Police Command, urging the Operatives to enforce last March shoot at sight order by the retired Army General as a way to tackle the rising security challenge facing the country.
The Nigerian President had directed the security agencies personnel to shot at sight anyone seen with AK47 while ordering a clamp down on the bandits across the country. Whether the security Operatives will carry out the order remain to be seen as they do not do take orders from the governors except oder given by the Commander- In- Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces., C-In-C.