DR. ALEX OTTI, LABOUR PARTY, ABIA STATE AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF POLITICS IN NIGERIA.
One of the best coinage I’ve had the rare privilege of assimilating in this political dispensation is the one captured a few days ago by the Director General of Peter Obi Campaign, Dr. Akin Osuntokun when he described the rude interference of an old thug, named Lamidi Apapa, in his brazen attempts at forceful and hostile takeover of Labour Party amid support by powerful people as nothing less than the criminalization of politics in Nigeria. No expression can be more apt or better stated.
But the tragedy now is that while we watched and entertained ourselves with the comedy of the criminalization of politics in our clime, it has turned to full-scale assault or criminal invasion of the polity and our psyche by political bandits and desperate individuals.
We are once more witnessing another entertainment cycle, this time pertaining to yet another depravity being celebrated as comedy, that is the illegal sacking of the governor elect of Abia State, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti. This one election that made all the difference and which defied the audacious rigging machine perpetrated by Professor Mahmoud Yakubu. The eagles preying eyes will never leave Abia state for a long time to come.
This is high treason being cloaked in trivialism and being tolerated and supported as usual by prebendal political culture. It is an illegality taken too far and purely a criminal usurpation of the rights of Nigerians of Abia extraction. It is a high crime that has brought public disorder and might have caused a few deaths if properly investigated.
What concerns a Federal High Court Judge in Kano with the election in Abia state for crying out loud? Is a federal high Court Judge to be presumed to be unlearned in the hallowed principles of jurisdictional law? Under which Nigeria statutes is Abia State now a part of Kano state jurisdiction? And lastly, since when did Abia state become a colony of Kano state?
Without mincing words, the events leading to and culminating in the purported illegal sacking of Dr. Alex Otti is highly provocative and culminated in the wilful assault against his person and many of his supporters. This cannot be accepted as mere political gamesmanship. And then we ask, at what point will the impostor and political thug, Mr Lamidi Apapa and his cotravellers be arrested for acts capable of causing public disorder and disruption of public peace?
A federal judge delivering a ruling against Alex Otti and Labour Party without first joining them in the case is way too reckless to imagine. Do you shave a man’s head in his absence? And this judge also played father Christmas by granting orders which the petitioner didn’t even ask for. A judicial rascality taken to new heights.
Why is Lamidi Apapa, a wretched old thug be walking around as untouchable and looming so large? Who are the drummers of this proverbial ‘nwanza’? Who sponsors his rides in chartered private jets? Who bankrolls his fattening pockets and war chests? Who takes care of his perks, logistics and apourtenance and choosy lifestyle now? He was even seen today in court with bodyguards. Who are these enemies of the people working through Apapa? The bubble will soon burst.
A certain outgoing governor from the North is said to be bankrolling Apapa and few others to upturn the apple cart at Labour Party for political gains. So why is the political gains of certain individuals being promoted as public interest? And what is footdragging the law enforcement agencies from getting to the root of the matter? Why must Labour Party in Nigeria be a target of destruction and unwholesome wotowoto? And while the police force remain as spectator?
An international observer during our recent polls has described our election as nothing short of a crime watch. But what we’re seeing today is turning to a state policy at sustaining criminal pervation by those who want to foist illegality against the will of the people. This criminal interdiction has turned the whole country into a crime scene which is now a threat to our peaceful coexistence.
Those who brought the ant infested firewood into the kitchen must be brought to book. The federal high Court Judge who overreached himself and possibly overstretched his constitutional brief must be probed and made to account for his misdeeds. Lamidi Apapa and his gang of thugs must be arrested and booked by the police for disturbance of public peace.
Labour Party must be protected from political hirelings, political hyenas and political vampires and their constitutional rights to operate peacefully as a political party must be guaranteed under the law.
Odo Ijere, Okpotemba Ohafia.