By Stephen Ubanna
This appears to be a season of alarms by political office holders of plot of assassination them or unseat them from office with the active connivance of other government officials. One of such top government functionaries to have raised alarm in the recent time of plot to kill him by agents of state was Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state.
the alarm may not be unconnected with the frosty relationship between him and Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, a former governor of the state and now minister of Transport and the recent deployment of Akin Fakorede, an Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, to the state by Abubakar Idris , the Inspector General of Police, IGP .
There is no gain saying the fact that Wike had not been comfortable with the activities of the duo in the state, particular Fakorede because of his antecedents in the state. The SARS Commander had been linked by the aggrieved governor in cases of hostage taking , hijack of Electoral materials and physical attacks on Independent National Ectoral Commission, INEC, officials, ostensibly to give total victory to the rival All Progressive Congress, APC, in the last 2015 general election.
The governor fears that Amaechi and Fakorede may repeat what they did in 2015 in the 2019 general elections in the state. He was emphatic about the plot by the agents of state to rig the2019 election in favour of the opposition APC Candidate in the state, describing” Fakorede as an enemy of Democracy”. The governor averred that the police Authority had prepared the ground for the Rivers state, SARS Commander, Fakorede to manipulate the 2019 polls as their point man.
Giving a further insight into the alleged plot to assassinate him, Wike disclosed that the agents of state had planned to plant ”millions of dollars and AK 47 in his Abuja residence to give room to Idris, the IGP, to seek for a Court search warrant of the house, ostensibly to silence him.
The governor may have taken the opportunity of the third year anniversary of his administration and Thanksgiving at Living Faith Church in Port Harcourt to lambast the agents of the government of ”plotting to assassinate him in a public gathering and claim that it was an accidental discharge”. He disclosed that the plot became known to him through a ”credible intelligence, pointing out that he would never be intimidated as he remained committed to the defense of Democracy in Rivers state.But the Presidency had dismissed the Wike’s assassination plot, describing it as a figment of the governor’s imagination.
While Wike, the governor of Rivers state fears over his life because of the alleged plot by agents of state to eliminate him, President Muhammadu Buhari, on his part had revealed plot by some government functionaries, APC Lawmakers and others working with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to dislodge him from office in the 2019 general election. The Presidency had disclosed that the plotters had based their Campaign slogan of dislodging Buhari in the 2019 general election on the slogan ”Change the change.”
The Presidency was said to have named the Hameed Ali led Nigeria Cusms Service, NCS, the Police, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIMS, and Civil Servants as working with the aggrieved Lawmakers to unseat Buhari in the 2019 general election.
Malam Garba Shehu, a Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and Publicity named importers of diesel and generators as working assiduously with the aggrieved Lawmakers to unseat Buhari in office in 2019.
The diesel and generators importer may not be the only group who may be opposed to Buhari and thus Campaigning for a Change in the administration of this country. The importers of the 41 items including rice importers banned from accessing the official foreign exchange market are still not happy with Buhari for coming out with such a harsh economic policy and are ready to spend their last kobo in the 2019 general election to see that he was not re-elected by the electorate , describing him as a bad economic manager .
Giving a further insight to those opposed to Buhari re-election bid in 2019, Garba said the rooters of the Change slogan also include the efficiacies of the malaria eradication Campaign programme which had cost the Buhari administration about N132 billion , thussaving the nation 300,000 lives for the country annually.
Many believe that the Presidency may have been jittery because they have read the hand writing on the wall that Nigerians are no longer in support of the government which they welcomed with open arms in 2015 because of the much suffering in the land: no money, no work and no food to eat.
Political analysts averred that the naming of Customs, Police and Immigration officials as working with Lawmakers to dislodge Buhari in 2019 was an afterthought. They noted that the Presidency has no reason to raise alarm about these government agencies working against the President because he had appointed the Heads of these agencies, thus putting the entire security of the country under his control.
They cited the appointment of Mohammed Monguno, the National Security Adviser, NSA, Ali, a retired Colonel and Comptroller General of Customs, Idris, the IGP, Director Generals, Department of State Security Mamman Lawal Daura and Nigeria Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and other top security agencies officials.
In spite of the fact that the Presidency had accused the Customs of being one of the government agencies, working against the re-election bid of Buhari in the 2019 general election, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, the leadership of the Buhari Support organisation, BSO, for the 2019, Presidential election, led by Ali, the Customs Comptroller General, were at the villa to confer with the President. The BSO officials were said to have held a close -door meeting with the president, fueling speculations that the Presidency may have made the accusations against the agencies to force their helmsmen to prove their loyalty to him. This may have forced the Customs Comptroller General to rally round other leaders of the BSO to pay a courtesy call on the him to declare their loyalty and support for his re-election bid.
notwithstanding , President Buhari efforts to rally the support of Nigerians in his re0-election bid, the Catholic church, may prove a hard nut to crack. This is because of the unwanton killings in the country which the APC led government had failed to stop in the last three years. The Church had called on Buhari to suspend his re-election bid and attend to the country security problems which is getting worse daily because of the criminal activities of the Islamic Fundamentalists, Boko Haram, armed herdsmen and other bandits across the country.
Sampson Ayokunle, a priest and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, had in a recent statement urged the President to suspend his re-election bid until he restores sanity in the country and the release of Leah Sharibu , the remaining Chibok girls and others still in Boko Haram custodyThe Association reminded the him of his two major electioneering Campaign promises in 2015, which includes fighting insecurity and keeping the country united to endeavour to keep to it.
On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, he the leadership of the Catholic Church in Nigeria mobilised its members nation-wide ona protest against the insecurity problems in the country. The protest had earlier been planned when scores of worshippers and two priests were killed in a Community in Benue state by armed herdsmen. It took the intervention of the Presidency and some well meaning Nigerians for the protest to be suspended but the killings in the country appeared not to have stopped.
It is not surprising why thousands of Catholic Church members , across the country took advantage of the call by the Catholic Church leadership to embark on the peaceful protest . Many haddescribed the protest as a loss of confidence on the Buhari Administration by the Catholic Church Community in Nigeria. The strike was said to grounded economic and social activities inmajor cities in the south including Kaduna state.
This is a big challenge to President Buhari to redeem his 2015 electioneering Campaign promises of solving the insecurity problems in the country to ensure a hitch-free 2019 election.