Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan automatically became a statesman of international repute when he voluntarily handed over power to the current President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2015. He was the first incumbent President to lose an election and he was famously quoted to have said ‘My ambition is not worth the drop of the blood of any Nigerian.’ This set him apart as a different specie of African leader in a continent where the sit tight syndrome is the order of the day and there is the general unwillingness of incumbents to concede victory to their opponents. Former President of The Gambia, Yahyah Jammeh was reluctant to hand over power to his opponent, Adama Barrow who defeated him in 2016 and had to be forced to do so before he left the tiny former British colony for exile in Guinea.
Jonathan’s action made him the toast of the west as he was regularly invited to give speeches. He also became an envoy of the African Union on peace missions where he brokered peace deals in warring nations in the world’s second largest continent.
On Christmas Eve, there was an attack near his residence in Otuoke by some armed men. They were resisted by some soldiers who were stationed in the area and immediately repelled through the combined action of the former.
Fortunately, the ex President wasn’t in his residence as he was said to have left for an event in the state capital, Yenogoa. The Ijaw Youth Council averred that there was indeed an assassination attempt on the former lecturer turned politician who was lucky to have cheated death during the yuletide period.
In a statement released by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze and made available via the Nation newspapers, he was quoted to have said: He explained that the gunmen had attacked a security post “located about 100 metres away from” Jonathan’s Otuoke residence.
“The attackers came in about five motorboats around 1:30am, he said. “They attempted to take away a gunboat belonging to the military stationed at the creek beside the residence.
They were, however, resisted by gallant soldiers who engaged them in a firefight.”
Tragically, a soldier was killed, and another was injured. Three of the attackers were said to have been killed.
One wonders why these dare-devil attackers chose to attack a security post filled with soldiers. Were they that asinine to want to risk their lives? Why fight the lion in its den? What was the rationale behind the attack of the security post near Jonathan’s edifice? The police have a lot of investigative work to do and owe it to all Nigerians to unravel the raison d’etre behind the sinister attacks.
We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for reaching out to Jonathan through a phone call and reassuring him that all was well. The sportsmanship of Sai Baba as he is fondly called is highly commendable but we urge him to extend his gesture to all Nigerians especially the vulnerable ones who get murdered on a daily basis without any presidential call or media coverage. In this New Year, the security of lives and property must be paramount in the mind of the President and he must fulfill this obligation he swore on oath before the Nigerian people. Life must be made bearable especially for the masses that have no one to fight their cause through a heavy government intervention in the protection of their lives. It is not sufficient to grandstand – there must be the necessary action taken to ensure that the country is indeed a habitable place for all irrespective of social status.
Why would the attackers attempt to pilfer a gun boat? What did they want to use it for? Where they former militants who wanted to return to the creeks and hence needed it for their covert operations? More questions begging for answers await the police investigation. We commiserate with the family of the soldier who lost his life in active service to his motherland and pray the good Lord grants the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss. We urge the President to declare him a national hero and ensure that the welfare of his family is adequately taken care of.
If foreign investors are to come into the country with the much needed funds required to jack up this ailing economy, then security must be of paramount concern to the government. It is not enough to junket around the globe trying to attract them when news like this travels faster than the speed of light to meet them. The President really must do something urgent to stem the tide of this ugly trend. The incident is highly embarrassing and lot of damage control needs to be done in order for the country to still be found investment worthy.
We hope we never see this again and this New Year must see a drastic reduction in crime and insecurity if Buhari is to leave a legacy as time is fast ticking.
This is to wish my highly esteemed readers a Happy New Year which will usher in unprecedented peace and prosperity.
Tony Ademiluyi writes from Lagos and edits www.africanbard.com
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Anthony Ademiluyi and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)