Though the 2015 election is still far away, the national space is currently awash with reports of manouverings by ambitious politicians seeking to emerge victorious at the end of the polls. Both open and secret meetings are being held daily by political office seekers to strategise for an election that is still more than 18 months away. As a result of their desperation to emerge victorious in the coming election, the majority of the current office holders have abandoned governance for politicking.
As they seek to outdo one another, many of them have engaged in acts that could be considered inimical to the country’s wellbeing. Some of these actions are also capable of truncating the country’s democracy.
Perhaps the most dangerous of these activities is the importation of arms by politicians to fight their way to victory. There are reports that as part of their preparations for the 2015 election, some politicians have been bringing arms and ammunition into the country under various guises. These are to be used to intimidate, harass or even kill their political opponents.
Recently, the Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar, was accused of importing arms into the country using his private jet without approval from the relevant authorities. The accusation was made by the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Sha’aba Lafiagi, on the floor of the Senate.
Explanation by some supporters of the governor that the weapons were imported for vigilance groups in Zamfara to provide security was hotly disputed by many of the senators who expressed worry over proliferation of arms in the state as the 2015 election approaches.
We are worried too that the Zamfara governor was able to import arms into the country without approval from the Inspector-General of Police or the President, who are the only two persons that can authorise arms importation into the country.
As the chief executive of his state, the Zamfara governor ought to know that arms importation is a sensitive issue that borders on national security and that an approval must be obtained from relevant authorities before importation. The explanation by the governor that he had contacted the Inspector-General of Police for approval after importing the arms into the country is not only an after-thought but sounds hollow. It is even counter productive to give rifles to untrained individuals to provide security. This action of the governor is capable of jeopardising the fragile security in the state.
Those who accused the governor of bringing arms into the country for the 2015 election certainly have a point. In fact, what the governor has done is an illegal act that should not escape the attention of the authorities. In a normal society, what the Zamfara helmsman has done is enough for him to be impeached, arrested and prosecuted. What he has done is illegal and he should be made to pay for it.
We also understand that it is not the Zamfara governor alone that is involved in this unwholesome practice. Many of the state governors are said to have used private jets to import arms into the country, preparatory for the 2015 election. Because of their status, customs officials are prevented from checking these planes for contraband. This is worrisome. It is our opinion that as we march towards 2015, everything must be done to prevent an upheaval that will disrupt the electoral process.
The federal authorities should move fast to mop up all arms brought into the country illegally. As we have stated a number of times, election should not be a-do-or die affair.
Source: PM News
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