What looks like a well choreographed theatrical climaxed on Wednesday the 6th of October when Abubakar Malami, minister for justice threatened that the APC federal government may declare a state of emergency in Anambra State to ensure that the November election holds.
His statement, coming after the federal government’s executive council meeting held at the presidential villa, Abuja tends to reinforce the boasts by the state APC politicians that they intend to “take” and not “win” the forthcoming election in Anambra State.
The minister said, “when our national security is attacked and the sanctity of our constitutionally guaranteed democracy is threatened, no possibility is ruled out”. And according to him, this includes “the possibility of declaring a state of emergency where it is established that there is failure on the part of state government to ensure the sanctity of security of lives, properties and democratic order”.
Well spoken! But if my memory serves me right, majority of the northern and middle belt states have been hotbeds of incessant destruction of lives and properties including Bornu State, the epicentre of the worst kind of terrorism in Africa’s sub-Sahara. Yet, no state of emergency was declared in those states. Instead the federal government injected a huge dose of security personnel to provide the much needed kinetics to ensure that the constitutionally prescribed obligations of the voters in those states were discharged, no matter how minimal.
The case of Anambra State cannot even be equated to what is happening in these other parts of the country. So, to begin to broach the possibility of a state of emergency at this critical time is purely sinister when the option of beefing up the security in the state has not been fully explored.
It is rather mischievous for Malami to add the proviso that if Anambra State government fails to protect lives and properties, federal government would declare a state of emergency in the state. He knows too well that no governor in this country controls the police and the armed forces. He is just trying to give a dog a bad name to facilitate the predetermined plan by APC in the state.
The minister of justice should follow the commendable steps of the inspector general of police, Usman Baba who in the wake of the latest killings and arson, rejigged the top echelon of Anambra State police command and deployed special forces to help arrest the ugly situation.
Any ploy by any political party to “take” Anambra State by force, through the instrumentality of the federal government, will certainly not augur well.