By News Express
“The unprecedented rise in divisive/deadly regional politics and threats of war by 2015 if such aspirations are not met must be institutionally brought under control by the presidency to save Nigeria from full blown anarchy before, during or after the general elections in the year 2015.”
With the above summation, a democracy-inclined non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) this afternoon strongly condemned the statement credited to erstwhile Niger Delta militants’ chieftain, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, that war would break out if his Ijaw kinsman, President Goodluck Jonathan, is not re-elected come 2015.
HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko
In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Officer, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said such “careless”, “callous”, “well-calculated” and “divisive” statements of threats against the peace, unity, and stability of the nation for political gains are not protected by the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression as enshrined in chapter four of the Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).
The rights group therefore tasked the President Jonathan to immediately call his political supporters like Alhaji Asari Dokubo and presidential Adviser on Amnesty in the Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, to order, strongly reprimanding them to stop making inflammatory media statements capable of igniting instability and disunity, “if indeed President Jonathan still holds firm to his professed ideology of politics without bitterness.”
HURIWA said Jonathan’s silence 48 hours since Mr. Dokubo made the threat of war should he (Jonathan) not be re-elected in 2015, “is absolutely unacceptable and incongruous.” It reminded the President that he maintained silence when in 2011 a similar threat was made by some cabals in the north and ever since then instability has heightened all around the north.
Similarly, HURIWA has also asked President Jonathan to caution self-acclaimed northern regional leaders such as Adamu Ciroma, Lawal Kaita and a few others who had earlier issued similar threats that the north must produce the President in 2015. The rights group said that “do-or-die politics must be consigned to the dustbin of history if Nigeria is to outlive its centenary of amalgamation between north and south.”
It warned the ethnic and regional campaigners to realise that as a democracy, “the decision on who would clinch the constitutional mandate lies with the good people of Nigeria who are the electorate.”
HURIWA said it was “inconceivable and indeed unpardonable that the holder of the highest office of President of Nigeria is watching helplessly as the nation is being torn apart into shreds by irredentists and ethnic bigots who are bent on creating an atmosphere of anarchy and doom.”
It reminded those issuing threats of violence should their ethnic candidate not emerge President in 2015 to take special notice of the provision of section 1(2) of the constitution which clearly and unambiguously stated thus: “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this constitution.”
HURIWA therefore faulted the increasing tempo of divisive regional clamour for the presidency in 2015 saying that threats of war or violence should be viewed by the holder of the highest office in the land as grave and unbecoming