KANO-BASED politician and commentator, Dr Junaidu Mohammed has declared that blood would flow if President Goodluck Jonathan runs for a second term. This is the latest in a series of incendiary comments from Mohammed, who should otherwise stand as one of our elder statesmen.
The following statement was attributed to him in an interview he recently granted The SUN: “Quote me, if Jonathan insists on running, there will be bloodshed and those who feel short-changed may take the warpath and the country may not be the same again. His running will amount to taking about 85 million northerners for a ride and that is half of the country’s total population. So, there will be bloodshed. But we don’t pray to get to that level, before his ethnic and tribal advisers pull him back”.
Dr Mohammed, as a bona fide Nigerian citizen, is free under the constitution to hold the view that the president has not done well, and even to express it. But he does not have the right to threaten violence and attempt to pitch the northern part of the country against anyone or part over the constitutional rights of any other Nigerian.
President Jonathan reserves the right to decide whether he wants to run for a second term. It is guaranteed by the same constitution that gives Mohammed the right to express his views. And it is left for Nigerians to decide whether they want to vote for Dr Jonathan for a second term or transfer the mandate to the candidate of another party.
When Dr Mohammed says “blood will flow”, we wonder whose blood he is referring to. Are we going to see him or people he holds dear leading the “fight”, or will it be the usual issue of mobilising impoverished and downtrodden Nigerians to kill non-indigenes and people of other faiths in their midst in the north? Since hundreds of thousands of people have been sent to their untimely graves by disgruntled politicians like Mohammed over the decades, it has never fetched them any dividend.
Besides, there is no guarantee that Nigerians usually levied with violence after some political interests lose elections will fold their hands come 2015.
We call on the law enforcement agencies to be alive to their duties and bring to book those mistaking democratic rights for licence to threaten other Nigerians. This is even more imperative when we recall that about three years ago when some Nigerians insisted on producing the president of the country, they also threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable unless they were obliged. Since the 2011 general elections came and went, the nation has been wracked by a campaign of terror, which the armed forces are battling in the North East.
Nigerians must be vigilant and close ranks to ensure that those seeking to set them at each other’s throats are consigned to the dung heap of irrelevance.