By Jude Atupulazi
What more can one say about Nigeria in these times other than to say that she is a nation under siege; a nation staring down a precipice which could soon suck her in. Indeed, in Nigeria, it is a case of two days, one trouble; not the usual one week, one trouble we used to hear. The latest was the dangerous build up to the guber election in Ekiti State which was laced with all sorts of drama and ominous signs.
We heard how the Inspector General of Police deployed 30,000 police personnel to Ekiti ahead of the election. This had caused a great furore across the land. People were outraged that the same police which had failed to deploy as much as 50 personnel to areas terrorized by Fulani herdsmen was able to send as many as 30,000 gun-wielding police officers in respect of an ordinary election.
I also found it not just strange, but terribly outrageous. Daily we hear stories about how Nigerians in distress called and called the police to come to their rescue but nothing happened. Even when they send intelligence reports on planned attacks, the police will not respond. But after the killers have done their worst which always leaves a trail of blood and destruction, you will see the police everywhere. Even at that, no arrests will be made and where they are made, no further news will be heard about the trial of the culprits.
It is therefore this same police that we heard had sent 30,000 of its officers and men to a zone where there is no war. One thing it could however mean is that they expect a war owing to possible plot by their paymasters to thwart the people's mandate.
Already, the signs were obvious just before the election. On Wednesday, Nigerians were treated to the drama of the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, crying before TV cameras and telling how the police brutalised him by hitting him on the neck with the butt of a gun. He said that if anything happened to him, Buhari should be held culpable.
Before then there had been shootings at the planned venue of the PDP rally which forced the governor to relocate the rally to government house. When APC held their rally, there was no shooting. So how come that of PDP should attract shootings? That's APC's Nigeria for you.
Need I recall how the APC has been demonstrating anti-democratic tendencies like flouting court orders, ignoring summons by the national assembly, celebrating nepotism and ethnicity and generally failing to deliver on their promises. I don't want to talk about the party's callous attitude to the killing of Nigerians. I'm just getting tired of repeating myself.
Suffice it to say however that the vast majority of Nigerians want a change; a real change. Not the kind of change we clamoured for under Jonathan, a government that now seems saintly compared to what we see and experience now under the demonic government of Muhammadu Buhari.
But how will that change come? How will it come when the president has surrounded himself with his own people? Who or what then will force him out? At a stage it seemed nothing and nobody can. It was beginning to look as if Buhari would waltz his way back to Aso Rock.
But suddenly, like a bombshell, came the news of the coalition of 38 political parties comprising people once seen as irreconcilable enemies. They came together for one reason: to sack Buhari. The news was soothing to many Nigerians who by now, will not mind who rules Nigeria as long as it is not Buhari. Read how the news of that coalition was reported in one of the national dailies, THISDAY.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC) and 37 other political parties, agreeing to work out an arrangement by which they would produce a common presidential candidate to oust the ruling All Progressives Congress' (APC's) presumptive candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, in the impending 2019 general elections.
The MoU produced the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), which would be the special purpose vehicle for the achievement of their sole aim of picking a consensus presidential standard-bearer.
THISDAY had reported Monday that the main opposition party, the PDP, was arranging a coalition of 45 political parties to stand up to the APC in the 2019 general elections.
The coalition also resolved to seek and promote acceptable core values for the restructuring of the federation, secure lives and property and redirect the nation's economy.
The 39 parties which signed the MoU at a crowded ceremony in Abuja Monday, include, PDP, rAPC, Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Party (ADC), Action Alliance (AA), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Democratic Party (ADP), Action People's Party (APP), Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Democratic Alternative (DA) and Democratic People's Congress (DPC).
Others are National Conscience Party (NCP), New Generation Party (NGP), National Unity Party (NUP), Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), People's Progressive Party (PPP), People for Democratic Change (PDC), Providence People's Congress (PPC), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Restoration Party of Nigeria (RPN), Young Democratic Party (YDP), KOWA Party, Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), C4C and others.
Kicking off the event, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said signing of the alliance by the parties marked the commencement of the determined efforts to rescue the country from sufferings and bad governance, saying: "We are ready to go to detention until our freedom and good governance is restored."
He said PDP was committed to fighting corruption in a most civilised manner and not the crude method of framing people by the APC.
Using the opportunity to comment on Ekiti State governorship election slated for Saturday, he asked President Buhari to prevail on his party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the election was free and fair.
He added that PDP would resist any move to rig the Ekiti State governorship election, threatening that there would be no election in 2019 if the Ekiti election was rigged.
Reminding the security agents that their responsibility is not to do the bidding of one man but Nigerians, he lamented the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians.
The National Chairman of the rAPC, the break-away faction of APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, said he was highly delighted and elated by the presence of the cream de la cream of the Nigerian society seated for the MoU.
According to him, "What we are about to do will send shivers not only to those on the other side of the coin but to the entire world; we are witnesses to a significant event. Most diplomats and leaders of other countries of the world keep on wondering whether there are men and women of courage and integrity in this country that can face the monster.
"This significant event that we will be witnessing here very soon is the answer to the outside world and to Nigerians. Let me say since we made a declaration of the formation of the Reformed APC, we have received unprecedented messages of support, solidarity from all over the world and I am confident that should we put our acts together, should we tag together, if we are fair to ourselves, do things transparently and bring up one man or woman, we will save this country, we will provide a future for our children and grandchildren."
Galadima cautioned that the MoU is not going to be a tea party, saying: "The man we will be facing is a military general; but we know him and you and I know him; if I were him, if I were his adviser, I will advise him (Buhari) not to attempt to contest."
He added: "From the day we announced the formation of the rAPC, a lot of people received threats, a lot of people received gratifications, a lot of people received pressure from unsolicited quarters to persuade them to back out.
"We are ready, prepared to take on this fight despite any deprivation, intimidation, even torture, because this country belongs to all of us. We must together fight for this our right.
"They can use the big stick. You do know a desperate person can do anything. He can kill, if he has powers, he can arrest, detain. Whichever one they choose to do, we are prepared to lay down our lives for the sake of our country."
Very encouraging words, no doubt. It is clear that the only way to oust that monster in Aso Rock is to forge a common front by those well versed in the art of war. I do not believe that there could be anybody that will be worse than Buhari. It is especially heart warming that this coalition is looking the way of presenting a common candidate.
I only pray they do not derail along the way and either allow themselves to be compromised or to begin to wage an internal war. The battle against Buhari and his fellow failures in APC has become a matter of ''WE AND THEM''.
It's therefore now official: Nigerians and Buhari have squared up for the final battle to save or sink Nigeria. We win, we get liberated and start life anew. We lose, we remain under siege.