Noah Ebije, Kaduna
A former Kaduna State Governor and 2-term Senator (Kaduna North), Ahmed Makarfi, has that said that Nigeria’s survival would depend on how the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies conduct the 2019 general elections, saying that their conduct may mar or make the nation’s peace.
Makarfi, who spoke to journalists, in Kaduna, on Monday, said INEC must conduct free and fair general elections in 2019, just as he urged the security agencies to be professional in their conduct.
The former governor, who scored both INEC and security agencies low in their performances so far, noted that their conducts could make or mar the country either before, during and after the elections.
The former Caretaker Committee Chairman of PDP noted that this could spell doom for the nation as the action or inaction of these two agencies could threaten the country’s peace and survival.
While calling on the APC-led Federal Government to, henceforth, desist from intimidating or harassing opposition governors, Makarfi reminded the government that there is always tomorrow saying, ‘What goes around comes around.’
He said the sitting Federal Government should not use the comfort of power to denigrate PDP governors saying, PDP governors and aspirants must be allowed to operate according to the dictates of the country’s constitution.
Said he, “I was shocked when I saw the news in an online medium that the 2019 elections may be postponed, but thank God, I later saw INEC coming out to deny making such pronouncement.
“That notwithstanding, that was the most dangerous news I ever read, that was very reckless.
“You see, the interest of Nigeria is larger than interest of any of us. How we conduct this elections and how we manage this electoral process will largely determine the fate of Nigeria.
“INEC and the security agencies must know that, the fate of this country squarely lies on their shoulders.
“It is not even about history being kind to them, it is about how they will end up. Therefore, they must conduct free, fair and credible elections.
“When you see some moves like freezing of accounts, monitoring of opposition Governors.
“Because I have never heard where an APC Governor’s account is being frozen. If Governors do certain things, is it only PDP Governors?
“The APC Governors may be doing worse, but you never hear that happens to any APC Governor. While elections are approaching, you don’t hear of APC members, aspirants accounts being frozen.
“But here (in PDP), even accounts of family members of aspirants are being frozen. They should remember that, there is tomorrow, because what goes around comes around and questioning that, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
“If you are doing anything to anybody, do it to everybody. Our governors must be left alone to work, our aspirants must be left alone to do their politicking and campaigns unmolested like other aspirants.
“From what I am seeing, I am not comfortable, and if Nigerians keep quiet, then it is like harbouring what is wrong. People must speak out. If it happens to someone today, it can happen to you tomorrow.
“You don’t have to be in politics, but it means, once you dissent, anything can happen to you.
“As journalists, yours is to report but once you keep on reporting objectively, then something can happen to you.
“So, for me, I think INEC and security agencies have a lot to do and so far, I am not impressed, but they must remember that the fate of Nigeria lies squarely on their shoulders. PDP and other political parties will do what is right.
“I am cautioning APC, they should not be smiling and grinning, we must never burst this bubble.
“They should not be carried away by the comfort of power, and think that they are immune from calamity.
“We are all not immune from calamity; nobody knows when calamity will come. We all have a stake, we all have responsibility, be you PDP, APC or any other political party and especially INEC and security agencies and other agencies that are used to muzzle down the opposition, they must remember that the country comes first, not any government or political party.”
However, a Kaduna-based businessman, and an entrepreneur, Alhaji Sani Salsabil, disagreed with Makarfi, saying, “Security of the country is in the hands of the politicians. It is based on how sportsmanship they react to election outcome.
“The INEC and security agencies could better discharge their responsibility if the politicians are sincere to Nigeria project”.
In a similar vein, Sarkin of Yoruba community in the Northern States and Abuja, Chief Mohammed Arigbabuwo, said the country seems to be at war considering the level of insecurity almost across the country, which needed to be tackled with all vigour.
He added that the current situation in the country requires the co-operation of all citizens to move the nation forward for even development.