…Seeks Govt of national unity
By Clifford Ndujihe
ELDERSTATESMAN, Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, has picked holes in the comments of Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that President Muhammadu Buhari would not resign over the security challenges of the country.
Describing reasons given by Alhaji Mohammed for President Buhari’s non-resignation as ”untenable,” the legal icon asked: ”In a situation of worsening insecurity threatening the lives and property of all of us and where President Buhari has bluntly refused to resign for reasons quite untenable, what alternative is left for the country to save itself?
Two days ago, the Information Minister said: “Mr President will not resign”, because “he has the overwhelming mandate of Nigerians to preside over the affairs of the country till the expiration of his tenure in May 2023,” in response to calls on the president to quit.
Picking holes in Lai Mohammed’s comment, Nwabueze, in a statement said: ”The reason given is untenable on two main grounds. First, the so-called overwhelming mandate derived from the February 2019 presidential election is disputed by the – European Union Election Observation Mission Report; International Republic Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI); in their final report; the Coalition of NGO’s Report; and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDC)” Post-Mortem Report.
”The Nigerian people themselves are not deceived by the rhetoric of overwhelming mandate.
The reason given by the Hon. Minister is untenable more because it ignores the obvious fact that the worsening incidents of insecurity as aggravated by the everyday and continuing holocaust of killings by Fulani herdsmen, by kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers and cultists not to mention the slaughter of thousands by Boko Haram terrorists is a post February 2019 presidential election phenomenon.
”Aggravated insecurity occurring after the election could not have been mandated by the votes of the people cast at the said election. If anything, the votes cast at the election are a clear repudiation of the claim of mandate based on them.
President Buhari’s blunt refusal to resign, which is accompanied by the equally blunt refusal to change the service chiefs, raises the issue as to what alternative is left for the Nigerian people in order to save themselves from the scourge of insecurity that threatens them with ruination.
”I venture to suggest that a Government of National Unity composed of the candidates of the political parties, with significant votes at the February 2019 presidential election, and headed by a person chosen by them, may be the alternative for us. The details of such arrangement will need to be worked out and will require compromises on all sides.”