By Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong
Amidst palpable tension of presidential election judgement and Department of Security Services -DSS alert of eminent protest coupled with the resolve of Nigeria Labour Congress NLC to shut down the whole country with two days industrial action, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu travels to India for G-20 summit.
President Tinubu has left Nigeria on Monday to India to honour an invitation of the G-20 which Nigeria is not a member.
The polity in Nigeria has been so tense and feasible signs of a viral protest arising from the opposition parties who interpret the DSS alert of chaos to mean that President Tinubu has already been told the outcome of Presidential election judgement, which they say theTribunal has allegedly fashioned it to favour him.
The DSS in a letter it triggered an alarm of eminent protect wrote in part: “The Department of State Services – DSS hereby informs the public that it has uncovered plans by some elements in part of the country to stage violent protest in order to discredit the Federal Government and security agencies over sundry socio-economics matters.
The letter containing the protest alert dated 4th September 2023 and signed by the service Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya further said they have identified the ring leaders and it is monitoring them in order to deter them from plunging the country into anarchy.
Criticizing the alarm raised by the DSS which some Civil Society Organizations – CSO said it artificial three organisations have raised concerns over the sudden alarm raised by the Security Services where they claimed that unnamed individuals are planning to stage violent protests in the country shortly after the Appeal Court communicated the judgment date to political parties and candidates that are challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the validly elected Nigeria’s president.
The CSOs namely the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, the Civil Liberties Organisation and the South-East Coalition of Human Rights and Democracy Organisations, in a joint press statement, described the alarm as nothing short of a case of leakage and confirmed that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal would dismiss the petitions filed by opposition parties challenging the election of Tinubu on “technical grounds”.
The CSO in a Press Statement signed by principal officers of these Civil Society Organisations – Emeka Umeagbalasi (Intersociety), Comrade Aloysius Attah (South-East CLO), Prof Jerry Chukwuokoro (South-East Rights and Democracy Coalition), the CSOs argued that the alarm had further raised a serious question mark on the integrity and independence of the five justices of the Court of Appeal handling the case.
According to the statement, “The alarm by the DSS is correctly logically interpreted to mean that while the PEPT transited its information to the Parties to the case of its readiness to deliver its verdict on Wednesday, Sept 6, 2023, it turned around and leaked the Panel’s verdict outcome to the Executive Arm in the present Government of Nigeria including its internal and external spy police establishments particularly the DSS; warranting its ill-conceived and politically motivated panicky and intimidating alarm.
“The DSS, therefore, was chronically illiterate in its handling of the subject matter under discourse. For purposes of neutrality, impartiality, credibility, safety and popularity of the long-awaited Judgment, the DSS ought not to have issued the alarm and if it reasonably, credibly and neutrally suspected any planned “violent protest” in connection with the long-awaited judgment, it would have been literately and credibly handled by sharing such intelligence with other security agencies without publicity and creation of panics and fears borne out of desperation, partisanship, repression and abuse of statutorily and constitutionally delegated responsibilities.
“With the DSS alarm, therefore, it is most likely correct to say that the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has already told Nigerians and international watchers through the DSS the direction of its long-awaited Judgment: “dismissal of the case on the grounds of technicalities; devoid of meritorious consideration.”
While the Civil Society Organizations and the Department of Security Services are still fighting dirty and dragging the country political space into a flash point, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu travels out of the country while the NLC on the other win has shutdown the whole country with industrial action.
The Federal Government had tried to pacify the NLC, TUC on Tuesday night to drop their intention of going on strike on Wednesday 5th and 6th September, but Joe Ajaero, the NLC National Chairman boycotted the meeting, While the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong met only with Festus Osifo the National Chairman of Trade Union Congress TUC and few other members.
A letter signed by the National Secretary of the Academic Staff Union of University – ASUU, Comrade Kabiru Haruna Isa, also instruct to join the strike as ordered by NLC.
A similar letter signed by the Secretary General of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic – ASUP, Mr Shammah S. Kpanja also instructed their members to follow suit.
Meanwhile a memo signed by Oluwaleye Oluwasegun David, Chief Registrar, Court of Appeal, Abuja has instructed all staff working in the said court to stay at home on Wednesday 6th September 2023 because, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal PEPT sitting within the premises of Appeal Court will deliver judgement on that day
The staff members were told that only those with tags would be allowed entry into the court premises.
The memo reads”I have been directed to inform all members of staff of the Headquarters and
Abuja Division to stay at home on Wednesday, 6th of Septermber, 2023.
“This is to create a conducive and peaceful atmosphere for special sitting for the
Presidential Election Tribunal Petition at Abuja Division of the Court.
“In view of the above, very strong security apparatus have been arranged to man
the entrance of the Court and also in all strategic areas of the Court Complex.
“In addition, only staff with tags provided by the Management will be allow into
the Court premises. Please be informed as instructed.”
As it stands daily living is overstretched in the whole country and socio-politically and economically the atmosphere is tense.
Why citizens are groaning in the heat of the country’s harsh economic situation the political actors makes citizens to live in fear of an eminent breakdown of law and order.
©️Samuel Abasiekong, French & English languages Journalist, Researcher, Public Affairs Analyst.
Here reporting @ 9newsng.com