By Uche Mbah
Recent events have given credence to the allegation that the Federal Government has perfected plans to cripple the opposition financially so that they will be cash strapped to fund the 2019 elections, according to opinions sampled by this Magazine within the last week. The Source has, in recent past, reported that the initial hiccups in the electioneering campaign was due to the apprehension that the government may use the instrument of coercion to cripple the Activities of the opposition, particularly the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Recent reports indicate that the Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Peter Obi, allegedly has his accounts frozen as he is said to be under investigation by the anti-graft agency, EFCC. Although the EFCC has made efforts to deny any wrong doings in the issue, the PDP has condemned in strongest terms the siege.
Before the dust has settled, the apartment where the two sons of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP, was raided by the anti-graft agency, in what was described as a search for foreign currency. “Apparently they thought that Atiku kept campaign money with his sons”, said a source close to their Maitama home,” but they found nothing.”
The sons, Aliyu and Mustapher Abubakar, were, however, out of the country when the raid was carried out.
But their neighbor, Chiemeka orji, the son of Theodore orji and his brothers, were quitzed and were allegedly asked to identify the particular flat that belonged to the boys in the Maitama neighborhood. They later whisked them away, detained them and allegedly seized there cars.
The anti-graft agency has been struggling to pin the raid on the Orji young men, allegedly claiming that he has been under investigations.
Only recently, Olisa Metu, who has been having a running battle with the EFCC that has resulted in court cases, cried out that all his accounts have been frozen, and that he can no longer feed his family.
Besides, reports indicate that the principle officers of the opposition party are listed for arrest. According to the PDP, Party chairman, Uche Secondus; Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and the SENATE President, Bukola Saraki, are slated for arrest by the anti graft agency, who have vowed to track election funding. According to the PDP chairman,”The country is on a keg of gunpowder as a result of (Magu’s) hatchet job for the ruling government “, he said , sounding a note of warning to the Acting EFCC boss.But they are also accused of looking the other way when it comes to the funding of the ruling party. In fact, reports indicate that the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was sighted in an APC strategy meeting, giving the impression that their neutrality is questionable. Only recently, Bukola saraki, the Senate president, insisted that they are not contesting the elections against President Buhari, but against the security agencies.
Meanwhile the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) recently released its electoral violence risk assessment in Nigeria.
According to the Institute, “the first ever peaceful transition of power in 2015 raised expectations for the government performance. Many feel their hopes have not been met.
“With this disappointment, we gathered there may be general voter-apathy, particularly from the stronghold of the ruling party and high turn-out in the opposition areas.
“The implications for electoral violence is first, there is possible violence as the ruling party may use intimidating tactics to shore up the votes while similar intimidation could be applied to deter large turn-out of electorate in the opposition strongholds.”