It is no longer news that Alhaji Asari Dokubo and the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Hon. Kingsley Kuku made statements alluding to the fact that if the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan does not win the election in 2015 there may be no peace in Nigeria. However, recent comments by some prominent Nigerians calling for the arrest of both men for stating the obvious, is laughable. We say “laughable”, because we are at a loss for reason for their arrest.
What offence have they committed? What have they said that has not been said before? Is it because they are from a minority tribe and so should only be seen and not heard? How many times have people threatened the peaceful coexistence and unity of Nigeria? Whose sole right is it to make inflammatory statements and be applauded?
We are all witnesses to statements by prominent Northerners who promised to make Nigeria ungovernable should Dr. Jonathan be elected President. Former Head of State, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari and Lawal Kaita of the Northern Elders Political Forum, in 2010, threatened to make the country ungovernable if Dr. Goodluck wins the 2011 election. We are all witnesses to the security challenges facing the Nation since the President was sworn into office.
Despite the obvious, nobody has called for the arrest of these two personalities. Are they untouchable? Even as we approach the 2015 election, the Northern elites who erroneously believe that the Presidency should be handed over to them have been threatening fire and brimstone should Dr. Goodluck Jonathan decide to run for the Presidency in 2015. Notable among those making these inflammatory statements are Dr. Junaid Mohammed, Abu King Shuluwa and Rtd. Gen. Mohammadu Buhari of the CPC. They are promising to unleash violence on Nigeria if power is not returned to the North.
Why is a second term Presidency for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan a taboo? Who is afraid of President Jonathan? Does the President not have the right to contest for a second term as provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Every President that has ruled this country since independence has traditionally contested for a second term without hue and cry. Alhaji Shehu Shagari, despite his lack luster performance in office was re-elected, President Olusegun Obasanjo who came from Prison to become President went for a second term without any threat of disintegration of the country.
Perhaps the opposition to a second term for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is being hinged on the misplaced perception that he has not performed creditably to earn a second term in office. We hereby categorically state that this administration has performed more than any other administration that has ruled Nigeria. It is during the administration that the power transformation project is being implemented with vigor.
Today almost 60 per cent of the country can attest to an improvement in power supply. In a short while Nigeria will have enough rice to feed its population thereby saving the country billions of naira being spent on the importation of the commodity. Despite the zero allocation to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the 2013 budget the Stock Exchange is performing well with foreign investors showing more interest in the Nigerian market. Records show that the economy is on track with careful implementation of fiscal policies.
Our society is presently the freest in the recent past. Free and fair elections are being held in various states. Freedom of speech has continued to flourish despite the very harsh criticism that President Goodluck Jonathan has been subjected to. It is on record that President Jonathan against all opposition signed into law the Freedom of Information Act.
If corruption remains an albatross to the development of Nigeria, it is not the making of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Was James Ibori not a Governor in this country alongside the likes of Chimaroke Nnamani, Peter Odili, and Lucky Igbinedion? . How many of them were removed from office as was done to the former Governor of Bayelsa State who was not even in the radar of the EFCC before his arrest?
Let it be stated here that nobody or any one ethnic group has monopoly of violence. This is why we condemn the insurgency in the North as perpetrated by the terrorist group Boko Haram. The Northern elites have stampeded President Jonathan to consider amnesty for the Boko Haram sect. We are appalled at the suggestion that amnesty be given to terrorists who have killed and maimed hundreds of persons as well as destroy critical infrastructure in the North.
The level of violence in Plateau State before a State of Emergency was declared by former President Olusegun Obasanjo was a far cry from what Boko Haram has unleashed in the North. President Jonathan should without delay declare a State of Emergency in Borno, Bauchi and Yobe States to effectively deal with the threat posed by Boko Haram.
A state of anarchy will not only affect one region but the entire country. The threat of violence by the North if President Jonathan wins the 2015 election will be met by counter threats as long as they continue to make these frivolous comments. The South South cannot and will not be intimidated. President Goodluck Jonathan will contest for the 2015 Presidential election and we shall solidly stand by him. No one except God can stop him.
Elder Asu Beks Tompra Abarowei
President Vice President