31/Jan/2015 // 660 Viewers
By Law Mefor
The Niger Delta militants are
regrouping and threatening war. And going by the reason they regroup and
issue threats, which is the assault and intimidation that President
Goodluck Jonathan and his campaign train have suffered in some States in
the north, their new posture is, without a shred of doubt, an ill omen.
This potent group, which had once
held the Nigerian nation to ransom and crippled her economy by crashing
daily crude oil production to a paltry 700 barrels from 2 million
barrels through militancy, can be ignored at nation’s peril. They are
simply saying that forcefully removing President Jonathan from power is
only unacceptable and promised to resist it and to retaliate all
ill-treatments to the President and, going by their antecedents; they
apparently have the capacity to make good such threat.
Come to think of it: could the
militants be right that the assaults and intimidations suffered by
President Jonathan and his campaign train in parts of the north are part
of ‘the list of actions that our party intends to take’ announced by
the All Progressives Congress (APC) at their pre-election Walk Rally in
Abuja? It will be recalled that at the said Walk Rally of the APC late
last year, where Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State said his Party
would not go to court if it loses the Presidential Poll, but would
instead instigate anarchy, make the country ungovernable and form an
alternative Government. His words: “…in 2015, we will not go to court.
We will form our own government. We have met on that and we have agreed
on that. We will install our own government and there would be two
At the said Walk Rally also, the APC
National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, was far more elaborate; he
declared among other ominous statements that “If we do not see any
discernible change of attitude on the part of the government, then we
will move to the next stage on the list of actions that our party
intends to take to stop the rot being perpetuated by the PDP-led Federal
Government.” He did not however disclose what these other measures are,
leaving so much to speculation.
In 2012, the APC Presidential
candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, also promised that ‘dogs and baboons will
be soaked in blood’ if the 2015 polls do not meet his expectations. His
exact words: “If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again
happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be
soaked in blood.’’ Nasiru El Rufai, also predicting massive bloodbath
for 2015 elections, had also said the only option left for the
opposition is to take power by force for which the Directorate of State
Service invited him over for questioning. Governor Ibrahim Shema of
Katsina State of the PDP has also made an unsavory comment of referring
to those who oppose him as cockroaches to be crushed, to say nothing of
the orgy of violence in Rivers between APC and PDP supporters.
The militants, perhaps following
deductive reason, are now alluding to the embarrassment, intimidation
and even assault being suffered by President Goodluck Jonathan in the
north as part of the acts of desperation of the APC aimed at ensuring
victory at all cost. Whereas the APC and its Presidential candidate,
General Muhammadu Buhari, have toured the lengths and breadths of the
South South and South East, which are the strongholds of President
Jonathan and his Party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) without any
form of molestation, President Jonathan and his campaign convoys have
been stoned and pelted with pure water in Katsina State the home State
of Buhari and in Bauchi. The Gombe Rally of the PDP has also been
disrupted by thugs.
This development is lending itself
to much speculation and apprehension. Like the act of terrorism going on
in the north east, the aim is to instill fear in the President and his
supporters. Whereas the President is fairly protected and can resist and
silently repudiate such acts of intimidation, many of his vulnerable
supporters are already negatively responding to these acts in northern
Nigeria. Up North, where these acts of intimidation and violence against
the President’s reelection are clearly rife, southerners who form the
bulk of the President’s supporters are leaving for the southern parts in
While many of them left behind may
be either too afraid to even collect their permanent voter’s card (PVC)
let alone voting or are being frustrated from getting them, those who
have been forced out of the northern parts by these deliberate acts of
intimidation and violence, can no longer vote from their new locations
going by the Electoral Act. Since most of these Jonathan’s supporters
being threatened cannot vote, it constitutes colossal losses for Mr.
President in advance.
These are part of what the militants
are considering as ‘forcefully removing President Jonathan from power’-
forcing his supporters not to vote – the same reason they are now
These are certainly no ordinary
times. These drums of war beating up north and down south Nigeria in
counteracting manner are simply a result of cliques of politicians and
interests desperately pushing to circumvent the democratic process and
get to power, ignoring the collateral damages inherent in their methods.
They are now thrashing their way like a rot eel, not minding dragging
the nation down with them.
Democracy should not be the undoing
of Nigeria; it is Government of the people, by the people and for the
people. It is the people who must decide what they want and not any
oligarchy as is the case in the present-day Nigeria.
How the hell did we get here? How
come politics and elections in Nigeria have suddenly become a do or die
game? Some say it is because some people in Nigeria have been carrying
on as if they were born to rule or should decide who rules. Where this
is not the case, mere anarchy will be unleashed upon the country as a
consequence. This is reducing the electoral process ignobly to a
conflict between those who want Jonathan out at all cost and those who
want to resist any undemocratic and violent process of forcing the
President from power.
The militants are determined to
retaliate what they called ‘coordinated attack on President Jonathan’ in
the North presumably in the hands of APC supporters and have gathered
in Yenagoa to harmonize their position and begin to articulate adequate
response. In the face of this, what appear to be in serious short supply
are statesmen who would stand in the gap for country.
Memory lane is replete with how the
absence of statesmen who can speak up at such unnerving moments in the
nation’s evolutionary history, has resulted in confusion and conflict in
Nigeria and ultimately in a civil war, which claimed over a million
lives. Leaders in other regions in Nigeria, not just in the north must
rise now and prevail on those who are provoking violence to toe the path
of peace and honour, and give the masses the chance to choose who
Unless Nigerians have made up their
minds to go the way of Yugoslavia and Sudan, the citizens must also act
more decisively and prevail on those making the country ungovernable.
More importantly, the law enforcement officers should be prevailed on to
treat the criminal content of this political rascality. This way, we
may be able to pull back our nation from the precipice and ensure a
violence-free 2015. Project Nigeria is beautiful, but there must be no
slaves, no masters.