US and UK embassies issued a joint statement on the 2019 general election yesterday, the 25th of January 2019. Both countries promised to deny entry visas to anyone caught perpetrating violence or rigging during the 2019 election. The statement equally promised to block such perpetrators and their families from accessing funds in the UK financial institutions!
Lai Mohammed’s Reaction to the Joint Statement
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, tried to claim credit for the joint statement. He claimed his warning that opposition party members were planning to foment unrest during the election led to the joint statement! Before rating his claim, lets examine some troubling events.
Curiously, the President whose government Lai Mohammed represents decided to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria (who happens to be the only Southerner in charge of a co-equal arm of government) on the same day as the joint statement. The suspension, along with the Federal Government’s threat to probe Atiku on his return from the US seems calculated to provoke the opposition and their supporters.
Observe, Mr. President refused to sign the electoral reform bill that will permit transparency during the 2019 election, why? According to him, signing the bill into law at a time when the nation is close to the general elections may give way for confusion and disruption of the polls. But the President is comfortable with removing a Southerner in charge of a co-equal arm of government weeks to the election, knowing such an action may give way for confusion and disruption of the polls. Is he willing to cause such disruption, so he can blame the opposition?
Nonetheless, we urge opposition candidates and their supporters to remain law abiding. It is obvious that Mr. President and his handlers are bent on provoking them into doing something rash, don’t fight him on the streets, rather fight him through the courts and at the polls via your votes.
Meanwhile, Transparency International has declared that TraderMoni is vote buying, which is a nice name for Election Rigging. TraderMoni disburse interest free loans ( ₦10,000) to traders. Ironically, N10,000 cannot purchase a bag of rice or a 25kg key of vegetable oil. The question on every sane individual's mind is why now? Therefore, we plead with the governments of the US, UK and EU to checkmate Buhari’s bid to consolidate power the same way Venezuela's Maduro consolidated power. Suspending/removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria (in direct disobedience to a court order, and without executive authority) ensures a compromised judicial arm of government, court packing (with cronies) and a pro-Buhari Supreme court. There is still time to act, Nigeria must not become another Venezuela, or Syria.
Final Verdict: Lai Mohammed did not earn Lie Lie Mohammed (or Lying Ahmed) moniker in vain. Observe, ex-President Obasanjo sent a letter to President Buhari concerning INEC’s neutrality, (after INEC’s massive failure in Osun state). A careful search of the US website reveals the US, EU and UK are taking the matter seriously and are monitoring events in Osun state. From the foregoing, Obasanjo’s letter (which preceded Lai Mohammed’s statement by two days) likely instigated the joint statement. On the other hand, provocative utterances and actions by the President and APC leadership reveals deliberate willingness to provoke the opposition (especially Atiku) and their supporters, all in their unholy desire to incarcerate opposition leaders and win the 2019 election.
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