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by Erasmus Ikhide
Mr Jimi Agbaje, the Lagos PDP gubernatorial candidate for April 11th general election may have literarily lost his political deposit for the post with his unguided and repulsive utterances in far away London some time ago. Seen early as a buffer to counteract the less expansive AD, ACN and now APC governance since 1999 in the nation’s commercial hub, Mr Agbaje crashed his burning ambition on the utter of political militancy.
Mr. Agbaje virtual call to the Niger Delta militias or any other to arm in the event of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s win in a foreign land is trajectory, if not anarchical to truncate the current spirit that has liberated and permeated the political space. I have suggested in the past that space ship could be purchased for the like of Mr Agbaje to relocate to some other planets, where porpoise of sub-humanity dominates.
The governorship hopeful had warned that if President Goodluck Jonathan fails to win last month’s election, the South-South could shut down the oil sector and this would affect the nation’s economy which is oil-dependent. Agbaje, however, asked that if another part of the country shuts down over the failure of its candidate emerging President, would it have an equal effect on the economy since Nigeria relies heavily on the Niger Delta for its foreign exchange earnings.
It’s no news Jonathan hails from the South-South while his major contender, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and the President-elect hails from the North-West. Mr Agbaje purportedly made the statement at a meeting in London organised by his supporters and the UK chapter of the PDP. In the six-minute video clip posted on DiasporaPr.com, which was sighted across the globe, Agbaje warned that Jonathan’s victory was a do-or-die affairs.
“I was active in the politics of the South-West in 1999. The Afenifere of which I was a very active member, did not support Olusegun Obasanjo as President but in 2003, it was difficult for the Afenifere as an organisation to go out and tell people that they should not vote a Yoruba man into office and so what did they do? They said they would not present a candidate because they had their own son (Obasanjo) who was running for office. That is the politics of that country.
“Now, in 2015, we are saying that the South-South has presented a candidate and we are talking about equity and some are saying that he should not be given a second term. This is a very difficult thing. “In argument, some have said ‘what will happen?’ Well, people will be upset and they have shown that they have the power to shut down the system. I am not saying it is justified but the reality is there. If the system is shut down, where are we as a country?
“They say if the others don’t get it, they too could shut down the system. Yes they can shut down the system but ask yourself which of the two do you think we can survive with? And these are the realities that we have to face. “These are the realities that we have to allow. Now, Mr Agabaje’s calls to arm has gained traction.
Barely four days after Buhari was declared winner of the Presidential election, beating incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, suspected
militants blown up a major high pressure gas pipeline at Ighwrenene Community in Delta State, reiterating Mr Agbaje’s incitement of the militias group to sabotage Gen. Buhari’s government. The bombing predates Asari-Dokubo’s threats to return to the creeks and resume his war against the Nigerian state in response to General Muhammadu Buhari’s election victory over President Goodluck Jonathan, his ethnic brother.
In the same vain, a group of Urhobo youths under the aegis of Urhobo Gbagbako a few days ago claimed responsibility for the March 22, bombings of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, oil pipe lines in Ekiugbo, Ughelli Local Government Area “on a massive scale.” It said that the aim was to give vent to their demand for pipeline surveillance contracts.
In a statement, leader of Urhobo Gbagbako, Priest Omodjuvwu, said the group carried out the latest round of bombing along the Afiesere and Ekiugbo axis of the council area, during which it shut down all the oil fields in Urhobo and Isoko nations. Omodjuvwu said, “We have earlier warned NPDC and the Federal Government on the pipeline surveillance contract to no avail.
“The contract is going on without the inclusion of the Urhobo, and that is injustice being meted to the Urhobo, which we will resist to the end. We need the pipeline surveillance contract now or the bombings will continue. “We have now commenced bombings of oil and gas installations in Ekiugbo/Ighrenene/Afiesere areas and we will continue in an unprecedented scale, until we get the pipeline surveillance contracts in our area.”
If the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC can be awarded N9 billion pipeline surveillance contracts by President Jonathan’s government, why should anyone objects to Urhobo Gbagbako request to be awarded one? After all, it’s a ‘Banana Republic’ where state institutions like the Police and Civil Defence Corps, to mention a few, are reduced to mere symbolism! The economic sabotage came about a week after some former leaders of the Niger Delta militants threatened to return to the
creeks and resume their war against the Nigerian state in response to General Buhari’s election victory over Jonathan.
The Federal Government under President Jonathan reviewed its new plan on March 16, to safeguard the waterways and oil pipelines by allegedly directing the Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, to quit the job for some companies, which had been signed on by the government.
The companies were reportedly owned by some former Niger Delta militants and prominent citizens including Government Tompolo; Mujaheedin Asari-Dokubo, Chief Bipobiri Ajube (aka Gen. Shoot-At-Sight) as well as the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, led by Dr. Frederick Fasehun and Gani Adams.
How else can Lagosians and Nigerians come close to having a near nihilist as an aspiring governor who couldn’t evince a single economy policy that will take the state he hope to govern from depreciating oil economy? How else can Mr Agabje demonstrate his ignorance of the Nigerian rich economy history that led to the development and stability of each region without oil in the First Republic? Was it power that push him into letting his naïveté get the best of him into advocating Nigeria’s death warrant?
The pure bluff of the harried governorship hopeful, occasioned perhaps by imminent defeat at the poll had not been taken lightly by the Lagos electorate. Mr Agbaje has been victim of the rough and tumble politics, which had damaged this fine, notable Lagos politician. He now capitulate to violence politics and wanton aggression which has left a residue of unresolved doubts among Lagosians and observers about his capabilities to hold on in times of crises.
If Mr Agbaje has meant to administer humiliation to the APC Presidential candidate then, it only give insight into his foggy
negative political thoughts in 21st century. His deference to militias groups like the OPC, which inflicted maximum horror on the state; setting alight perceived enemies houses, looting people’s property, roosting innocent people alive in broad day light and, charred bodies littering the entire streets of Lagos as experienced between 1999/2003 could easily resurface.
How can Mr Agabaje convince Lagosians that OPC militants will not be given a prime of place in his cabinet should he find his way into Alausa, since they have already been recognised by the PDP? The major deficits of our political parties experiment is the celebration of individualism, instead of political parties. One can only hope that this week Saturday’s Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections will settle that.
Erasmus Ikhide, A Public Affairs Analyst write in from Lagos, Nigeria
Follow me on twitter @Erasmus_Ikhide
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