President Muhammadu Buhari last week charged security agencies to ensure that the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State went ahead as scheduled.
The President’s directive followed heightened insecurity in the state, and not forgetting the fresh sit-at-home directive issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which will be in place till November 10.
We tracked two other stories from the seat of power that will catch your attention.
Buhari’s riot act
President Buhari on October 21 gave a marching order to security agencies to dominate Anambra before, during, and after the state governorship election in order to ensure a hitch-free process.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, had said: “The President has directed that under no circumstances will anything be allowed to stop the elections from taking place successfully.
“The people have a right to vote and select their leader. No group or individual will be allowed to stimulate anarchy and chaos, leading to murderous activities.”
Buhari’s directive can be adjudged commendable as it comes in defence of democracy, a constitutionally guaranteed system of governance Nigeria has signed on to.
It is also a signal to political actors, irrespective of their affiliations, that no effort would be spared to ensure a credible democratic process in a state that had been in the spotlight for wrong reasons in the last few months.
However, President Buhari must be reminded that, even in the face of plans to dominate the state with security forces, there are rules of engagement.
Nigerians expect that the military will be so guided, and that they would not become willing tools in the hands of the ruling party to hound perceived opposition elements and favour own candidates.
Two other talking points
Media reportage of insecurity
President Buhari on October 18 insisted that insecurity in the country was in decline.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, the President urged the media to address the tone on reporting security-related issues saying, among others:
“The reality of declining insecurity should replace the inaccurate narrative of rising insecurity in the country.”
Despite the President’s demand, recent incidents suggest that the country’s insecurity is far from abating.
About two weeks ago, suspected bandits killed 43 persons at Goronyo market in Sokoto State.
A few days later, several persons including a former federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, narrowly escaped death when bandits bombed a Kaduna-Abuja passenger train.
While the bemused citizens are still recovering from the shock of the train attack, gunmen on Friday invaded the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo State and freed hundreds of inmates.
No doubt, the stats do not speak too well for Mr President, and time is fast running out for him to convince Nigerians that he has what it takes to secure the country from elements threatening the country’s stability.
Therefore, to subtly demand that the media twist the fact of confirmed stories is to encourage a culture of unprofessionalism that would backfire on the industry. After all, are media institutions not designed to hold government accountable?
Osinbajo’s push to get youths into politics
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on October 20 encouraged Nigerian youths to join politics in order to make desired changes in society.
Osinbajo, who spoke at a virtual interaction with Fellows of the Mandela Washington Institute for Young African Leaders, said: “You need to go the extra length if you are not already involved, get involved in politics – while a lot can be achieved in civil society, the government still holds the ace in terms of capacity and resources to bring social goods to the largest numbers.”
Osinbajo’s submission amplifies the call for youths to seize the initiative from the older generations in the not too distant future.
The Vice President cannot be oblivious of the hurdles youths face to get involved in Nigerian politics, especially the huge fees charged by political parties and the desperation of the elite to cling to their seats.
Beyond the rhetoric, Osinbajo must resolve to lead the crusade for a paradigm shift so as to firm his commitment to change.
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