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The Nigerian nation is at cross-road, things dangerously failing apart and the centre is becoming difficult to hold. Indeed 58 years of the nation's independence and 104 years after the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates Nigeria is at its climax of frivolities, absurdities and theatrics. Either out of ignorance, short-sightedness or pretension, those in power are deploying their arsenals - the military, the DSS and the police to coerce, muzzle and stifle opposition voices so as to remain in power perpetually. Good enough, Nigerian oppressed have risen, determined to pursue, liberate themselves from the strangle-hold of their oppressors.

The Nigerian nation is at cross-road, things dangerously failing apart and the centre is becoming difficult to hold. Indeed 58 years of the nation's independence and 104 years after the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates Nigeria is at its climax of frivolities, absurdities and theatrics. Either out of ignorance, short-sightedness or pretension, those in power are deploying their arsenals - the military, the DSS and the police to coerce, muzzle and stifle opposition voices so as to remain in power perpetually. Good enough, Nigerian oppressed have risen, determined to pursue, liberate themselves from the strangle-hold of their oppressors.


Yes, the ruling APC is putting up its thinking cap, campaign strategies and propaganda network reminiscent of what it did in 2015 as the main opposition party, swayed the people of Nigeria to support it in dethroning the Peoples Democratic Party PDP out of power. Nigerians in their thousands bought into APC but today Nigerians are wiser, better in the Vanguard to pay APC in its coins. But APC is not taking it in good faith. It re-ignited its smear campaign against PDP Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku last week when the party through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed questioned and challenged the United States government for arranging to grant the PDP Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar a visa. According to Lai Mohammed, Atiku Abubakar is wanted in the United States over allegation of corruption. To grant visa to him is like taking sides and supporting Atiku's candidacy. “As you all will be aware, for more than 12 years, there has been a congressional bi-partisan investigation of corruption against certain individuals which had it difficult for the former Vice President to secure a US visa. I am sure you will all recall the Jefferson case and what they called the cold $90,000 in the fridge. This is not the making of this administration, it has been ongoing. Our position is that if the former VP already has a US visa, we have no problem about it. What we warn the US Government against is not to give the impression that it is endorsing one particular candidate over the other that is what is going to happen if, for instance, the former VP is granted a visa”,  Lai Mohammed argued. Apart from the Minister, other APC members opposed to Atiku visa have been making commentaries unguarded and uncomplimentary. Speaking on Friday 30th November, the government involved through its Consulate in Lagos said the issue a strictly confidential matter, which the American government will not discuss in public. According to the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Brussel Brooks insisted that irrespective of the social standing or interest of the society in the matter, the US government will give the matter the strict confidentiality it requires.
A leopard does not change its spots. Lai Mohammed is propagating over Atiku US visa process to pre-empt and blackmail the United States government which has remained blunt in condemning PMB policies and administration The European Union, the British and American governments have come out in unmistaken terms that Nigerians should pursue and emphasize issue-based campaigns in the 2019 general elections. In other words, propaganda, casting aspersion or mud-slinging such as visa issue of Atiku is incongruous.
If corruption allegation according to Lai Mohammed is hanging on the neck of Atiku Abubakar in the last 12 years, where was Atiku Abubakar in 2015? If not intended to smear, de-market, to draw attention, whip up sentiments, sympathy and curry favour of Trump administration, was this the same Atiku Abubakar that defected from PDP to APC before the 2015 general elections, given a heroic welcome, showered encomiums by General Muhammadu Buhari? Not only did Atiku Abubakar commit himself, he pulled his resources, followership to rebrand the APC presidential candidate to defeat Goodluck Jonathan. Alhaji Lai Mohammed then the Publicity Secretary of APC did not announce to Nigerians that Atiku Abubakar was a person non grata in the United States of America over corruption allegation. Why is it now that Atiku Abubakar for obvious reason, not out of place that PMB has failed and Atiku declared to quit when the ovation was the loudest. Who is Lai Mohammed to interfere with the policy and sovereignty of the United States of America? Why is Lai Mohammed guilty of double standard, double-speak? Prior to the 2015 general elections, General Muhammadu Buhari was a guest to many world leaders including that of Britain and America. We recall he travelled to Britain to address the Chatham House. Neither was Buhari restricted or disparaged by President Goodluck Jonathan. Even now the President since 2015 Buhari has been rated as the widest travelled Nigerian leader in history and Nigerians have not raised an eyebrow the absence of their President. What is then the hue and cry by the Minister of Information over Atiku's, Dubai visit and his US visa process. Obviously Lai Mohammed and APC are afraid of Atiku squad. Atiku has emerged and is unstoppable.
Fortunately too, America is not like Britain. The nature and disposition of American government to the 2019 general elections is not guess-estimation. Whether APC likes it or not and to double-cross US and Trump to withdraw and support PMB is a dead project. For another term is to stoke genocide orchestrated by Fulani herdsmen. If not for certain divine purpose, Mr. Donald Trump was not slated as more qualified, competent to win the Presidency. God knows why Trump was chosen this period of bloodbaths occasioned by religious extremism, terrorism and fascism especially in Africa. Abnitio, the APC planted the seeds of disunity, disharmony, ethnicity and ethno-religious tendencies after winning the Presidency. Back-firing, Alhaji Lai Mohammed would quickly react, point out the Rwandan genocide to those like IPOB. What is Ruwanda when leaders are called to be just, fair and equalitarian?.
To ensure that the chances of APC remain unconquerable, INEC was armed to assume larger than life status.    It muddled the electoral terrain by indiscriminately registering as many as 91 political parties. If APC came into existence by amalgamation, the selection of Professor Mahmood Yakubu was a script to grant a political party status to individuals who lack the clout to build parties with national spread. If not for a sinister agenda or script to increase or decrease the number of voters in a particular geo-political zone, the INEC Chairman should have retained the registration formula of its predecessor which made registrations decentralized. For instance in the South-east zone, registration centres were centralized at the 27 local government councils worsening logistic problems in terms of transportation. As a result, many Imolites were disenfranchised. The Commission and its reputation further went down the drain the way it conducted elections.
With Atiku mere visa request raising dust in APC, what happens when the visa is finally approved. Atiku travels to meet the foremost American President, Mr. Donald Trump in the White House! It will be another blow, second to the Jonathan's 'Transition Hours”. that has kept APC wondering and wandering.
At this juncture, I am proud to be an Igboman. I wonder what would have been the fate of the Igbo nation of Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states had they voted against PDP in 2015 in favour of APC the way Okorocha tricked Imo State into. It is, therefore, unassailable truth whatever PDP stands rebranded to national and international reckoning is the credit of the South-east and South-South. If post 2015 PDP had gone into extinction, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would not have had a platform to prosecute his Presidential ambition. We must appreciate, commend Chief Oliseh Metuh who has been standing trial and whose account has been sealed by the anti-graft agency, EFCC depriving Metuh fund for medication. What a cruelty to a Nigerian of Metuh's status. Foremost among hard fighting politicians of the South-East is the Deputy Senate President who has been target and victim of attacks for his outspokenness on issues about the interests of the Igbo nation. The same goes to PDP senators and members of the House of Representatives. Special thanks go to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe whose only crime today is for bailing, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose only 'subversiveness' is demanding  equality, justice and fair play from President Muhammadu Buhari.
With APC primary over, members of the National Assembly of the party schemed out and short-changed, there is cease-fire, respite in favour of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The National Assembly is now speaking with one voice and asserting its sovereignty in the face of Executive meddlesomeness. Wonderful kudos!
If Atiku visa request from US is unsettling APC, it all means that Lai Mohammed is envious of the rising profile of Atiku/Obi even when the Presidential campaign is not even at its crescendo. This is panicky too and a further demonstration to the fact that everything, section of Nigeria is challenging the re-election of PMB. APC saving grace may well be INEC and security agencies obviously doing the biddings of the ruling party by their antecedents. There is nothing alarmist but rather a master-stroke of PDP NWC to demand for the sack of the INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu and the Inspector General of Police. There are strong indications and particularly the way the security agencies were used by the Inspector-General in the Akwa state House of Assembly. Benue State House of Assembly where few legislators held sway over majority legislators because their actions were backed by power from above. The anti-democratic approach of PMB will not change. The alarm by PDP is a welcome development for Nigerians. But in reaction, as usual the National Secretary of APC rather than address the fundamental issues raised by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus went gutter, embarked on smear campaign and ended up in shooting the party in the foot.
Sydney O. Madukwem, guest writer, Dile Emeohe, Mbaoma Emii Owerri LG. 07069123994.    

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