This Ugly Trend Must Stop
We have observed a dangerous trend of politically motivated violence unleashed on innocent Nigerians by supporters of those who have shown desperation to assume political power at all costs.
While we are not surprised by acts of desperation already shown by these people who have no articulate agenda for nation building, we are amazed at how quickly they are willing to manifest their evil intentions on our dear country.
The incidence yesterday in Jos, Plateau State where our campaign vehicles were torched by irate youth supporters of the APC underscores the need for vigilance as we progress towards the General Elections. This criminal behaviour, which is meant to intimidate others and deny them their freedom of choice stands condemned.
The leaders whose utterances and conduct have encouraged this kind of behaviour must bear full responsibility for this. With the way things are going, it seems the ultimate agenda of making Nigeria ungovernable as prophesied by these politicians is underway.
In carrying out this unpatriotic behaviour, they wish to first of all discredit the electoral process and set the stage for an orgy of violence once they fail in the elections.
Nigerians are well aware of these antics and are fully prepared to protect their rights to freedom of choice. After a careful analysis of the current political situation in the country, we wish to state as follows:-
i. We condemn the acts of violence in Jos, Plateau State and also condemn the threats to violence in every other part of the country.
ii. We declare unequivocally that no Nigerian citizen should be prevented from campaigning in any part of the country. We therefore call on the law enforcement Agencies to protect and guarantee the safety of every Nigerian legitimately canvassing for votes all over Nigeria.
iii. We invite law enforcement Agencies to note the pronouncements of desperate politicians who are bent on fanning the embers of hate and threaten the peaceful conduct of the 2015 elections.
iv. We once more wish to reiterate the commitment of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to a peaceful and rancor free electoral process. He has said times without number that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
v. We therefore call on members of the PDP and supporters of the President to exercise restraint and show maturity even in the face of extreme provocations. We must show a difference in our conduct and prove to agent provocateurs that we have the temperament and composure to tolerate dissent without decent to mob action.
vi. Finally, we wish to sound a note of warning to politicians to desist from this vicious circle of lies, rumours, intimidation and violence.
Those who aspire to lead must also be willing and ready to be led.
Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali
Special Adviser to the President, Political Affairs,
State House, Abuja