May 18, 2013
Speaking for their boss and theatrically playing his script, two criminals recently threatened Nigeria with war if President Jonathan, by their proclamation, is not returned for another term in the 2015 elections; whether he wins or loses. It was President Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Niger Delta who first issued threats of violence while on a visit to the United States of America should their kinsman, Jonathan, loses re-election in 2015; meaning that President Jonathan’s tenure must extend beyond 2015 by all means and at all cost.
As if Kuku’s threat was not treasonable enough for prosecution, another criminal from the same region and leader of a militant group: The Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) Asari Dokubo shortly followed the presidential aide’s intimidating fulmination with similar or more threatening declaration that the country will be at war if President Jonathan is “denied” a “second” term. The repentant Niger Delta militants, according to Dokubo, will return to the trenches if other than Jonathan becomes Nigeria’s president in 2015.
With Kuku and Dokubo coming from President Jonathan’s ethnic region; with both threatening Nigeria over their brother’s political desire; and with President Jonathan himself pretending to be unaware of the far-reaching consequences of the threats of war from Kuku and Dokubo; it amounts to stating the obvious that in the political though chequered history of the country, Nigeria for the first time has a president that has not only been reduced to a regional leader but has equally or more devastatingly destroyed the worth of the prestigious Office of the President.
Dokubo’s treasonable statement which symbolizes loyalty to his benefactor is to reciprocate the benefits from the multi-billion pipeline protection contract he and other militants were selected to do; a job that is one of the statutory duties of the naval police and other security agents whose surveillance operations extend to Nigeria’s coastal region.
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Ever since the two Niger-Delta criminals declared their evil intentions against a united Nigeria, groups and individuals at various levels have been calling for their prosecution by the police. Inspite of all the calls including a directive to the Inspector General of Police by the House of Representatives, the two thugs are still enjoying presidential patronage; implying that both miscreants as insinuated by the Kano-born politician Alhaji Bashir Tofa, had the nodding of President Jonathan before making such reckless and inciting statements. Of course, this is how criminals rule Nigeria. Criminals are favoured by government with contracts not just to enjoy and sustain their “loyalty” but also to use them to determine the political climate of the country in which President Jonathan remains the ultimate factor. The fact that both Kuku and Dokubo, like Maina, enjoy immunity against the laws of the country strongly suggests that Jonathan is the “writer” of the subversive script, and is therefore, bound to direct and protect the “actors”.
The reaction by President Jonathan’s Political Adviser Alhaji Ahmed Gulak that Dokubo was merely expressing his personal opinion does not hold water. This reveals the selective justice vogue of Jonathan’s administration. If his kinsmen express personal opinions that threaten national security and integration, they remain innocent without prosecution. But if the same opinions are expressed by others, they are guilty without trial. The detention, few months ago, of Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima after a phone-in radio programme in Kaduna for expressing his opinions about the prospects in the proposed merger of opposition parties point to the selective application of law under Jonathan’s administration.
The same way that criminals rule Nigeria through presidential machinations, scoundrels have also taken over in various states of the federation. Governors’ mundane powers are so enormous that they do not only determine the speed of the wind of poverty that blows across the economic topography of their respective states but also ensure that they wickedly and transgressively remain the decisive factor in matters that require their disinterestedness. For instance, governors determine who becomes a local government chairman; usurping the presumed “independence” of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs). By the existing though unfortunate tradition, the governor’s party wins in all local governments of the state during elections.
Because of the control they have over public resources (mostly through the local government Joint account), governors command so much loyalty from their party members that political parties at state levels have become their personal property. Because of this artificial influence, governors intimidate Mr. President especially when the latter needs their endorsement on a particular agenda he desires to pursue. In such instances, they intimidate the president to share funds in the excess crude account to them.
At the local government, thugs and criminals are at the helm of affairs. They are thugs because the only tune they dance to is the melody played by their governor. Criminals because they live in state capitals and only go to the office in their local council secretariats when it is end of the month; to share whatever get to them from the federation account. It is sad that criminals in Nigeria are deciding at all levels of governance the fate of very law abiding and responsible citizens.
Nigeria as a country is bigger than any individual or group. Government must view Dokubo’s threat with all the seriousness it deserves. Born in 1964, Dokubo must have been a breast feeding baby in the years of the Nigerian civil war and therefore does not know the meaning of the word “war”. Government must be seen to allow the law to tame the excesses of those who have no sense of history particularly of the country’s political journey before independence through to the present. May Allah (SWT) answer the prayers of those who have good intentions for Nigeria, amin.