NATIONAL SECURITY AND ELECTORAL LAWS
Part of the reasons legislators at the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), are in a state of unease at the moment regarding elections 2011, is the nearly traditional failure by all concerned, to honour the spirit and letter of existing laws, especially those governing the conduct of elections in this country called Nigeria.
As we await the burial of the Electoral Act 2006 and emergence of the yet-in-transit (to States Houses of Assembly) Electoral Act 2010, it is pertinent or perhaps desirable to do a mini review of the National Assembly's Electoral Act 2006, so we can take the due judicious notices of errors and weaknesses; of the various acts of omission and commission as well as of the flouted rules which have put the democratic process here in jeopardy in the past four years.
The objective, of course, is to watch the expectations contained in the statute books against the current realities on the ground, with a view to ascertaining whether or not the attitudes and behaviour of those who ought to have fulfilled certain roles as statutorily expressed, played their parts credibly, and suggest how such lapses may be averted in the near future.
The signals are indeed worrisome, what with some faceless individuals acting through dubious corporate names without forwarding addresses choosing to import 'weapons of mass destruction' at this critical moment in the country's march to democratic maturity. Whether the equipment were destined for Gaza, according to Israel, and not Nigeria, as claimed on Thursday, what about the ones stopped at Abeokuta, Ogun State? And, in any case, is there no difference between Gaza and Apapa, Lagos, in the forms used for processing export and import transactions?
Why Lagos, and not Gaza? And how many of such cargoes have landed in Nigeria, undetected so far? Where have they been stored, if that actually happened? Who financed the procurements and importation of such weapons? There are just too many unanswered questions on the matter at the moment.
With the bomb explosions very dangerously near the Eagle Square venue of the October 1st 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations and the brilliant exposure of the illegal importation of 'rockets, grenades and explosives in 13 containers impounded at Apapa Wharf, Lagos, on Tuesday', (October 26) by security operatives - notably the State Security Service (SSS) – perhaps there will now be a paradigm shift on political stability and national security in Nigeria.
One is aware that most of the responsible media organizations which governments before now loved to hate, had always been harping on the need to tighten security and for our citizens to learn to play their power games according to the rules.
We must not assume that the arms cache unveiled last week at Apapa Wharf was necessarily the brain-work of those who do not want free and fair elections to be held next year and are prepared to create maximum disorder in the polity, to achieve their nefarious ends. The truth must be acknowledged, that some people think that they are synonymous with the Nigerian State and that what they want is what must be done; that the laws have nothing to do with them (a dangerously imperial position to hold in a country that has always been democratically ambitious - at least in some of its 'regions') - and that 'the Nigerian experiment' can be paralyzed by them, whenever they wish.
Those types of people with such unpatriotic and megalomaniacal mindsets obviously have to be identified, caged and jailed or executed legally for treason. Otherwise, the rest of us may well watch Nigeria being 'Somalized', as a good political and diplomatic observer noted in Lagos last week.
Yes, Somalia. A land of war-lords without any more respect for love, peace, order and socio-economic progress. A land ravaged by the greed and mental disorientation of a few with access to funds and power over the years. A land that has forgotten to ask and answer the question: What does it profit a man if he shall gain the throne and be the lord over his cohorts only? Or, perhaps (from another angle), why must some people be so greedy, selfish and naÃ¯ve, as to set out to prove that life is 'brutish and short', by making themselves tools in the hands of Satan, at a time others are preparing to exercise their franchises, as in all truly democratic societies?
Let us please take these shady characters very seriously, because a rocket launched anywhere in Nigeria means people running helter-skelter; markets, schools and hospitals being closed down and activities therein put on hold indefinitely, and the borders flooded with fleeing, innocent citizens.
Rockets flying here and there means the roads getting deserted, or traffic bedlams and, sooner than later, closure of petrol filling stations, the products of which will increase the chaos through making the use of Molotov cocktails by miscreants, possible. It will mean looting and killing and raping to an unlimited extent by people who will be serving the ends of their naÃ¯ve and selfish 'warlords' from the gates of Hell.
Let us all imagine such ugly situations now. Perhaps that will encourage our law-makers and law-enforcement officials to urgently adopt a resolution for actions in defence of their fatherland, or motherland, if you wish. It is the safety of the country that matters most, now.
One does not subscribe to the doomsday prophets who said Nigeria was becoming a failed State and will fall into pieces by a specified period. Even the USA and Britain can become failed States if and whenever the threats to their corporate existence are not identified and permanently put away.
There are problems, interests and issues, admittedly, but Nigeria is the Least Common Multiple (LCM):If you are for her, stay here; if you are against anything, state your own opinion(s)in the way that is done in all democratic societies, or 'forever hold your peace.' This development has further exposed the ports here and abroad as theatres of shady dealings,because the transactions have revealed the hidden agenda of certain importers and exporters without forwarding or contact addresses.
Now is the time to stop this senseless trend, which began with the Koko port toxic wastes story some years ago.
As one had indicated here earlier, current occurrences in this 'Obodo Nigeria' clearly call for decisive leadership reprisals against trouble-makers with disguised treasonable intentions.
Those who have no respect for the laws and think they represent the law themselves, must be 'smoked out' urgently. Also, the law- enforcement officers and agencies as well as the incumbent public office holders at all governance levels, should strategically move against these merchants of death and destruction,or get blown to smithereens themselves, pretty soon.
That may well happen if the laws of the land as they stand, including the electoral laws, are not given the obedience and respect they truly deserve. More on these, on Monday.