Thursday, 29 January 2015

News Release: Danjuma’s Call For Arrest & Prosecution Of Ex-Niger Delta Militants Callous & Selfishly Motivated


A call by Mr. Theo Danjuma for the arrest and prosecution of the ex-Niger Delta Militants over their threats of resumption of oil war should President Goodluck Jonathan continues to be attacked and stoned in the core North in his campaign rallies as well as if he is rigged out in the February 14 Presidential Poll; is baseless and condemnable. It is also jittery and selfishly motivated.

It is very difficult to link such call to a statesmanlike view. The referenced call is deemed jittery and selfish because it is feared in certain quarters that huge private investments in oil and gas through an age-long OPL license will be endangered if such threats become a reality. In other social climes, statesmen are selfless and sacrificial, ready to die for the common good of their countries. They are also seminal in finding solutions to their countries' social contradictions. But in Nigeria, it is seen as use of public corridors of power for the enhancement of personal aggrandizement and promotion of ethnic and religious primordialism.

As Mr. Danjuma is dissipating energies condemning the ex-Niger Delta militants, Fulani jihadists and gunmen are busy massacring scores of people in Southern Kaduna, yet the Danjumas of this world see nothing wrong in such institutionalized butchery. The candidate of the APC, for instance, has severally advocated for changing government through violence, yet he was not arrested and prosecuted.

The clear import of the reported threat of war credited to the ex-Niger Delta militants is that the era of one section of the country claiming to have monopoly of violence and born-to-rule prowess is over and gone for good. It also shows that those who aid and abet violence to the point of using it as a major political campaign issue to the effect that they should be elected for the sole purpose of ending Boko Haram insurgency; is being told clearly that violence of this ICT age is no longer a one-way traffic just as intra-State warfare has overtaken Inter-State warfare in contemporary world.

If Mr. Buhari's reported several threats of resorting to violence can be merely described as "expression of opinion", then, there is no ground calling for the head of the ex-Niger Delta militants. As Nigerians, we must rise up and stop going back to the cave when our contemporaries are steadily busy finding their roots to the moon.  The very essence of opposition politics in modern world is that when the government in power performs abysmally, it becomes a golden opportunity for the opposition to become best government in waiting provided the referenced opposition knows its onions by being adequately prepared to offer meaningful changes in governance styles through forensic exploitation of loopholes created by the government in power and well-packaged alternatives. Once the opposition does these, it automatically becomes the "best government in waiting". Tragically, the main opposition political party in Nigeria and its followers are worst than the incumbent they are trying to unseat. In many years of their federal opposition politics, they failed woefully to effect radical policy changes that Nigeria radically needs to survive.

In States, where they hold sway such as Lagos, governance is not only limping, but also hugely deficit. In fiscal management, for instance, States controlled by them is leading heavily indebted States in the country. Lagos State's total debts are already in the neighborhood of N500B.  Leading choice properties gulping billions of naira in the same State are crookedly owned by serving and ex-top public office holders. From choice hotels, newspaper houses, television and radio houses to parks and commercial complexes. Political corridors of powers in Nigeria have become "conduit for primitive accumulation of crooked and ill-gotten wealth".


Emeka Umeagbalasi
Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

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