July 22, 2024

2023: Afe Babalola’s call for Interim Government invitation for anarchy – Uzodinma

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… says two killers of INEC workers arrested

The governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, on Tuesday criticised legal giant, Are Afe Babalola’s (SAN) call for a six-month Interim Government in place of election as an invitation to anarchy.

Uzodinma urged those who have alternative views to the constitution to go through the National Assembly rather than an interim government arrangement that can lead the nation to a crisis.

The Imo State governor wondered how the interim government would be selected with no election to replace the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari since the constitution did not make provision for an interregnum.

Uzodinma spoke to State House Correspondents shortly after a meeting at the Presidential Villa, on Tuesday.

He said: “By May 29, if there is no elected government, our constitution has not provided for an interregnum. There shouldn’t be a gap, otherwise, you are creating room for anarchy.

“What will be the process of selecting the interim government because, after May 29, the president may not have constitutional powers to function as a president anymore? So, I don’t think we will decide to abandon our constitution.

“Constitution is like a bible. To some of us who are Christians, the Bible is the manager of our faith. So, the Constitution should be the instrument guiding our actions as a country.

“If you think there is an opinion that is worthy to be canvassed superior to what is in the Nigerian constitution, such opinion should be taken to the National Assembly and they will through due process amend our constitution to factor in such an opinion.”

Uzodinma who also spoke on the increasing spate of attacks in Imo communities insisted that the killings were sponsored by desperate politicians.

Uzodinma said that he briefed the President on the unprovoked gunmen attack at the Continuous Voters Registration at Ihitte Uboma where an INEC staff, Anthony Nwokorie, was murdered in cold blood.

The governor said that two of the gunmen who carried out the Ihitte-Uboma, are now in the custody of the police and are assisting the police with the investigation.

According to him, the INEC registration Centre was attacked by gunmen whose attempt to attack the Okigwe Correctional Centre was frustrated with adequate intelligence and security arrangement.

“On the incident that happened which involved the INEC staff, regrettably INEC was not the target. We had the intelligence that the Correctional Center facility in Okigwe was to be attacked by bandits.

“We recorded their conversation and fortified the Correctional Center for safety.

And true to it, the bandits, approaching Okigwe, saw how fortified the place was, tried to escape through Ihitte Uboma and ran into INEC staff when they were doing continuous voters’ registration. It was out of that anger and frustration, that they (bandits) attacked them. “You must have heard that two of the bandits have been arrested and are helping the Nigerian police and Imo State Government to do a very thorough investigation and until that is done, I will not say much on that.”

Uzodinma who said that PDP members have never been attacked in his Easter message maintained that he was never in doubt about those sponsoring the banditry in the country.

He dismissed the claim in some quarters that the ruling party might be behind the banditry wondering how many opposition states are under the kind of attack being witnessed in Kaduna every day.

“Then on the issue of the sponsor of banditry by APC, I want us to look at the issue of banditry in Nigeria holistically. If anybody is telling you that the government in power is sponsoring banditry, how and why?

“How can anybody even think of a government sponsoring banditry in a country that they are in charge. If that is correct, assuming that is a possibility, how many states governed by opposition parties are under this kind of attack that we hear from Kaduna every day; that we get from Imo state every day, that we get from Ebonyi State.

So, if we are the ones, why are we attacking our own states? Why are we going to be enemies and opposition to our own governments? Among those that have been killed and houses that were attacked, how many of those buildings belong to the opposition party?

“Am I supposed to be attacking and burning down my own house? Or do you think Ebonyi Governor will burn down his own house? Or the Kaduna governor will burn down facilities in his government?

“So, we should be able to ask questions, not only as media practitioners but as Nigerian citizens. I just use this medium to call on Nigerian politicians to play politics without bitterness and stop letting blood here and there in the name of looking for power. “I am no longer in doubt, as to who are the sponsors of banditry in Nigeria. Those who want to make Nigeria ungovernable cannot be the people governing Nigeria, currently.

“After all, we don’t have an election this year. The election should start by next year. So, for complete one year, APC government is in power and will not encourage any disruption,” he added.

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