No, Lai, no!


Information Minister Lai Mohammed says Nigeria is about to go up in flames with ten states already captured for devious purposes by opposition parties. According to the Minister, an interim government is being secretly planned to subvert the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Lai Mohammed.

What an interesting turn of events. In 2015, the APC accused the then ruling party, PDP of planning to sabotage that year’s elections using the war with Boko Haram as an excuse. The fear then was understandable because Boko Haram was on rampage and the PDP was queazy about the likely outcome of 2015 presidential election. Polls after polls showed that the PDP would lose the presidential election.
However, with pressure from forces within and outside the country, President Jonathan conceded defeat and allowed peace to prevail.

The atmosphere is very different today. Despite, the alleged failure of the APC administration, it is not clear yet how things will turn out with the 2019 presidential election.

Nigerians were looking forward to a vigorous campaign from the presidential candidates of the PDP and the APC that would be strictly issues based. That has not happened. Instead, the two parties are trading jabs on non-election issues like visa to the US and other such mundane things.

Therefore, Lai Mohammed’s press conference on Monday claiming some grandiose plan by un-named opposition parties to cause chaos in ten states, weaponize Boko Haram for political gain and install an interim government was laughable and a stretch of imagination.

Thankfully, the two leading candidates are from the north and of the same ethnic stock. So, ethnicity will not be used as a cannon. Besides, the minister’s allegation is an unintentional self indictment of this administration. With the north under the eagle eyes of security forces, how did some opposition parties manage to conclude arrangements to cause mayhem in ten states of the Federation.

The minister should be reminded that there is a subsisting agreement about how this campaign should go. That agreement was signed by Mr. President and the candidates of the other political parties.
The terms and conditions of that agreement cover the campaign, the elections, declaration of results and concessions. Besides, there is also a gentleman’s agreement that the elections will be issue based.

It will be in the interest of the country for everyone to stick to the rules of the game and healthily grow the democratic process.
Desperation can lead to chaos and no one can tell where chaos leads to. The country is fragile given the wide spread killings and other criminal activities going on. Making wild allegations that can by themselves provoke anger and fear is clearly unacceptable in any period let alone when elections are a few weeks away.

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