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Arresting 25 govs will cause chaos – Prof Abubakar Mohammed

Posted by By KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna on 2006/10/09 | Views: 611 |

Arresting 25 govs will cause chaos – Prof Abubakar Mohammed


Former Head of Political Science Department of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Professor Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed has warned Nigerians to brace up for the worst plot by the Presidency to cling to power beyond 2007.

Former Head of Political Science Department of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Professor Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed has warned Nigerians to brace up for the worst plot by the Presidency to cling to power beyond 2007.

Sadiq, who is currently the Director of Programmes of the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training, said signals from the political field were not cheering.

The political scientist listed other moves being made by political allies of the president to retain him in office, saying the idea of the rumoured Interim Government, the government’s three year budget and utterances by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Nuhu Ribadu, will all conspire with other surreptitious moves by the Presidency to halt elections in 2007.
"When Abdullahi Wade of Senegal made a statement which we read in newspapers, asking Nigerians to allow President Obasanjo to continue so that he could continue with the good works he has been doing in Nigeria, I took him seriously.

"This is precisely because he had done the same thing in Senegal. They should have held elections long ago. They capitalized on series of natural disasters to say the time was not ripe for elections in Senegal.
"He sent a bill. In his own case, it was easy because of the constitution to actually push the election far away. They have still not held elections in Senegal. So, we have to be very careful in this country. It is not a joke," Prof Mohammed submitted.

He spoke further.
Threat to arrest 25 Governors, a recipe for chaos
Professor Sadiq described the threat by Ribadu that 25 governors would be arrested as part of the grand plot to extend the tenure of President Obasanjo. He said the intention would be to cause chaos in order to create an unconducive environment for elections next year.

"I do not see anywhere in the laws of Nigeria which gives them (EFCC) the mandate to do that unless they want chaos. When we hear that they are going to arrest 25 sitting governors, it gives cause for concern. How do you arrest them when they still enjoy immunity? Many of them are crooks. There is no doubt about that. But how do you do it; given the laws in existence, except people want chaos like the dress rehearsal we witnessed in Plateau State. If it is going to be repeated all over."

The clouds are hazy
Again, a new budget. A government, which is going in 2007, should not be seen to be presenting budgets for those who are coming in and this is what is happening. The Economist will tell us that this is essentially a technical thing. In Nigeria, in the last three years, we have been having three year budget. But it has been a technical thing.

Automatically, it has become a political document, which has now got to the National Assembly. We have a government, which doesn’t seem to be winding up but having long term plans which emerged out of the blues. When you go through their manifesto, if there is one, you don’t see any of those programmes. They are just imagining. So, the cloud is very hazy and we have to be very careful of that.

Police intolerance will stir crisis
Again, they have started showing their dislike for people associating. Those who intend to hold free and fair elections will not stop people from associating at the level of political parties. But, increasingly the police are becoming intolerant of this kind of gathering. Any gathering at all, whether it is in public, whether in a place like this. They have arrested people for attempting to do that. And the police are telling us that even a meeting which involves only five people, we need their permission, provided, it is in a public place. And there is this narrow definition of public place in Nigeria.

Public place is no more a place owned by the state. But even private places like this, which is not owned by the state, is public, provided it has this five people. And the Police are saying that they will implement it. And what is happening in other states where the press doesn’t cover, horrible things do happen, the kind of thing you will not see in Kaduna or Abuja because of the preponderance of the press, international and national. But it happens in these states not adequately covered by the press, which shows that we are in trouble.

INEC, not ready for elections
I want to say, so far, we do not know how many people that have registered in Nigeria. We do not even know how many people are Nigerians, talking about population. The results are not out. We do not know the constituencies. We do not know how many of us have registered. We do not know how many that have died. I do not know whether my name has been omitted from the voters register because even those people whose job it is to ask us to come and look whether our names are there have not done their jobs. They claim that they don’t have the money to do so. We do not even know, until recently, how we are going to exercise our franchise. These are the kind of things we should be mindful of.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.