The All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari’s party, has started another internal bleeding. The doctors handling the party’s ailment are yet to prescribe the appropriate injection that would guarantee her durable stability.
While the health condition of the APC is of great concern to her impoverished followers, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State is busy exhibiting deficit of democracy with his Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) ambitious cargo airport in the Obudu area. He is out to build the airport on the blood of the protesting people of Ukambi, whose farmlands are being grabbed for the ego project.
APC’s Deputy National Chairman, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, is pressing for the party’s National Chair, Adams Oshiomhole, to resign due to alleged incompetence. The development is already polarising members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
Shuaibu is claiming that the former Edo State governor lacks the composure to lead the APC. According to him, the supposedly progressive party under Oshiomhole has become badly fractured in virtually every constituency in the country and was fast losing the goodwill it enjoyed before the ex-labour leader’s emergence.
The Auchi-born politician has threatened to open a Pandora’s Box that could send Buhari packing from Aso Rock if the forces ganging-up against him succeed in unseating him from the juicy chairmanship post. Oshio baba, as he is fondly called in some circles, has allegedly threatened to unzip his lips and spilt the pap on how they rigged Buhari into power against the run of the electoral play.
This seems to me, to be an interesting aspect of the unfolding APC drama. To enable the Nigerian people hear how their mandate was stolen, is it not better for the Shuaibu forces to push Oshiomhole out? A rogue Presidency lacks the moral victory to lift all social and economic segments of the citizenry to the next level.
To avoid an Oshiomholeic hurricane, is it not noble for Buhari, a man of integrity, to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to release the authentic presidential election results? Till this disturbing matter is logically resolved, Buhari will be flying the Nigeria flag all over the world with a weighty moral burden.
In Cross River, Ayade is not even better. His conscience is dented with the blood of the people of Ukambi. In a seeming fascist style, he is choking the rustic Ukambi community with armed security to repress the resisting village folks to submission. Local sources say the security forces are busy arresting them. Ukambi women and youths have besieged their for over a week, to prevent Ayade’s bulldozers from demolishing their farmlands for a cargo airport lacking any significant community input.
A troubled villager told a local newspaper reporter, ‘’we don’t know our fate now that they have resorted to the use of soldiers. They are in five Hilux trucks and the SARS personnel in one. They are in our farm areas. Though some people have died since our protest started, we will not stop fighting for our land. Please, let it be on record that our lands were taken from us by force, by our own brother as a governor.’’
Soldiers from the Brigadier Ally Cantonment, Ogoja, who were deployed to Obudu, allegedly invaded the protesting community, harassing, beating up and arresting some of the youths spear heading the resistance to acquiring their community land for the proposed airport. The soldiers were said to have been led into the community by the Site Manager simply identified as Paul.
An eye witness says two persons-John Izaye and Emmanuel Undie- were forcefully taken away by the soldiers without any explanation. But the defiant Ukambi women are busy beating their traditional gong and requesting Governor Ayade to arrest and take all of them way so that he can plunder their land with ease.
For now, some of the local chiefs are being tagged as collaborators in the land grab show of security might by Ayade, for a bloody cargo airport project. The way the resistance struggle is going in Ukambi, Governor Ayade has to bury his fascist posturing, and engage the people in a dialogue as a democrat and not bully them as a terrorist.