War threats: Pressure on Jonathan to move against Tompolo, others

President Goodluck Jonathan is coming under increasing pressure to distance himself from the militants who have been threatening fire and brimstone should he lose this month’s election.

National Merit Award winner and respected scholar, Professor Niyi Osundare, yesterday asked the president to live up to his constitutional responsibility by personally speaking out immediately on the war threats by Niger Delta militants.

He joined former defence minister Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma  who, on Wednesday, asked that Asari Dokubo, Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) and Victor Ebikabowei (aka Boyloaf) and their likes be arrested for threatening the country’s unity and security.

Osundare, in an open letter published yesterday by Sahara Reporters said that while  no one holds the President  responsible for the opinions and utterances of other people no matter how close they appear to be to him, “it is your bounden duty to disclaim incendiary utterances capable of setting the Nigeria house ablaze.”

“Put succinctly, it is your inescapable duty to respond PERSONALLY and unequivocally to all such utterances with an emphatic: NOT IN MY NAME! ” he said in response to the war drum beats.

The warlords, at a recent meeting at the Yenagoa Government House with Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Amnesty ,Mr. Kingsley Kuku, vowed to break up the country in the event that the President loses the February 14 election.

The condemnation of their action by General Danjuma, only elicited defiance and further threats from them, with a group of ex-militants giving him a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw the statement or face their wrath.

It took the ruling PDP several days to dissociate the Presidency from the threats.

However, Osundare continuing in his open letter told President Jonathan: “I have not heard you say that, Mr. President. The whole country is waiting for you to say so. We have not seen your Inspector General of Police rein in the flame-throwers; nor have we seen your Attorney-General read them the portions of the Nigerian constitution forbidding their inflammatory incitements.

” There surely must be a wide discernible difference between a national leader and a tribal jingoist. Say something, Mr. President. Say something. Your silence in this instance is anything but golden. Your ostrich cannot hide for long, for the Nigerian sand has become so transparent,  thanks to many years of painful wisdom and enlightened skepticism of the people.”

Osundare also expressed disappointment that President Jonathan has failed to  give Nigerians,as he traverses the country to seek re-election  “a  credible anti-insurgency plan that would make Nigeria safer in your second term .”

His words: “Mr. President, you will agree with me that this election is so crucial, so fateful that its outcome will decide the coming to pass or otherwise of the doom so loudly and so frightfully foretold for Nigeria. The troubling signs are all over the place, as visible, even conspicuous as Aso Rock which overlooks your presidential abode.

“Right now, the whole northeastern flank of our country is literally out of and beyond your control. The kidnappings, blood-letting, and other gruesome barbarities in these parts make the Dark Ages look like a humane era. The Chibok Girls have been gone for almost nine months, with no possible solution from your government, and the whole wide world is defining Nigeria’s international standing by the utter helplessness and apparent apathy of its government.

“Like those of other people in the world, my heart bleeds each time I remember these girls (and I do so many, many times a day), the manner of their abduction, and worse still, what fate must have befallen them in the hands of their violent captors. We have seen you traversing the country, making speeches, and waxing bold on the hustings, but we have not heard any credible anti-insurgency plan that would make Nigeria safer in your second term.”

He admonished the President to “please remember there is life after power” and “make sure the coming election does not land Nigeria in the usual post-election crises.”

” Do not handle it with the impunity that has characterized many of your actions and those of your party’s functionaries. You are the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Chief Security Officer of the Nation: use these powers justly and fairly by allowing the security agents to supervise the elections in a non-partial manner.

“I say this because experience has shown that election rigging in Nigeria is invariably carried out with the full and blatant ‘cooperation’ of security agents. Many of them do not even pretend about it as they often ask ‘who you think I go side? No be de person who pay my salary, the person who give me kola chop?’. Our police and other security operatives have always looked the other way when illegal ballot thumb-printing is going on, when ballot-box stuffing is in progress, and when ballot snatchers are at work.

“They have perfected the act of kidnapping and ‘disappearing’ leaders of the opposing party and holding them down till the elections are over. This is why the ruling party has always ‘won’ elections in Nigeria. This is why every major election in Nigeria is trailed by all manner of rancour and mayhem.

“Let us do everything to circumvent the 2015 apocalypse. Make sure History does not write you down as the last President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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