“The issue of violence did not increase in Nigeria until when there was a declaration by the current President that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning. The party started by saying Mr. A can rule, and Mr. B cannot rule, according to PDP conventions, rules and regulations and not according to the Constitution. That created the climate for what is happening. Is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, he could cause a problem in the society?” This was the only stanza in the speech by the National Security Adviser, Owei Azazi at the second South-South Economic Summit in Asaba that sparked off the current controversy over the cause of the spate of bombings in the country.
So what was in the above statement that was not already in the public domain either as perception or speculation? Nothing whatsoever! Was he wrong in saying PDP placed its conventions and backyard democracy above the Constitution? Not actually!
The only fault anybody can pick with the statement was that it came from Azazi himself who occupies the sensitive position of the NSA. He would have be more cautious knowing fully -well that any pronouncement coming from him could be outrightly taken to be the position of government on the issue. Nowhere in the world does a National Security Adviser make such statements in office even if it’s true. Such statements are usually made when they had long resigned and writing their memoirs.
And this may be why President Goodluck Jonathan reacted in the discoloured and badly tempered manner he did on Saturday April 28 at the Thisday premises in Jabi, Abuja. He could have been more diplomatic in his response.
“I don’t believe that it is the undemocratic practices in the PDP that could give rise to Boko Haram or any other groups. So, probably, people need to ask the NSA to explain what he really meant. I have read it from the papers. I don't believe it is undemocratic practices of the PDP that gave rise to this or any other militant groups,” he said.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, was even blunter than the President in condemning Azazi. “Appointees of government should navigate only on the terrain where their authority would not be humbled by superior knowledge so as to avoid attracting undeserving and unnecessary ill-feelings for their principal.
“It is therefore a comment in grave error, a fatal diagnosis of facts for anyone to insinuate or directly assert that a section of the membership of the PDP or its foundation predisposes that only a certain section and not others will aspire to the highest office in the country.”
Truth be told, Jonathan was only defending the perverted system that brought him which had all the trappings of pure undemocratic platform. Some top PDP members for selfish and evil-inspired reasons wanted to rediscover the wheel of democratic principles when it established its own brand of democracy of appointing rather than electing candidates. So the NSA spoke the truth of course which all of us know.
The NSA who is an insider also with privileged security reports on the issue was only alluding to this funny arrangement and the insincere PDP apparatchik who thought it up but never considered what the constitution said on the death of any sitting President and the consequence of that terrible concept in the event of death of a sitting president.
And for those hoping Jonathan will sack the NSA, that may not happen at least not on this issue. As said by one commentator, “They are both on the same page.” Jonathan had said earlier that elements sympathetic to Boko haram had infiltrated his government. This was because he knew just like the NSA had said that the insurgence is fueled by elements within and outside the PDP. Anyway, we wait to see how this unfolds.
Is it not disgraceful that so much time and energy is being expended in the ongoing blame game which will only achieve one thing: distract purposeful and focused efforts to tackle the source and the root causes of this spate of bombings in the country? Nigerians are not interested on whether it is the PDP or disgruntled groups that are bombing the country. All we are saying is: stop the bombs! Nobody seems to be doing that which is what really worries the ordinary citizens.
Nigerians are bothered that neither the blame sharing, nor the claim to be on top of the situation has worked to produce any visible analgesic.
Nigerians want to see Azazi doing more than pointing out the source or the sources of insecurity. We cannot arrest PDP. Has he done anything about the individuals responsible for the party’s decisions? Or has he advised the President and he refused to listen? We need to know.
A straightforward connect between the NSA’s statement and an earlier one made by the Inspector General of Police show that these two men people are being frustrated by their employers and those in power. They both have all it takes to work, but personal interests and selfishness of those who they report to. True Nigerians should understand that these two gentlemen and fine officers are being frustrated by the leadership. It is better they open up and let posterity defend them. Someone had to stand up and tell everybody the truth.
If he is fired for this perceived unfriendly comment though, Jonathan would only succeed in making the General a hero and icon that would obviously be the darling of everybody who is not only disgruntled but currently outside the Jonathan administrative gang. Mark my words!
IFEANYI IZEZE, ABUJA (email@example.com)