Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has warned Nigerians against making unguarded utterances capable of jeopardizing the nation’s democracy and precipitating ethnic crisis that could turn the country into another Syria.
Uzodinma (PDP, Imo State), who was speaking at the weekend, flayed the recent provocative statements from highly placed Nigerians against the leadership of the country aimed at inciting the public against the government.
He reminded those behind what he described as “explosive, wild and baseless allegations” to be mindful of the fact that such ungodly utterances could precipitate an ethnic backlash that can create a similar type of scenario that is playing out in the mid-eastern country of Syria.
According to him, the impression being created is that there are a set of ethnocentric leaders in the country, who are yet to come to terms with the fact of a minority presidency in the country and the prospect of a minority ruling for another four years.
In a veiled reference to the open letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan in which the latter was alleged to have told some people in confidence that he would not seek a second term in office, Senator Uzodinma said such ethnic bigots have become so obsessed with their disdain for a president from a minority ethnic extraction that they have lost all civility and decorum.
“I suspect that these people are simply obsessed that a minority is President of Nigeria and are also paranoid about the prospect of another four years of a minority Presidency. It appears that this obsession has made them lose calm and maturity so much so that they have become like a loose cannon mindlessly churning out warped logic and baseless allegations against the government”, he declared.
Continuing in his veiled attack against the former president, Uzodinma recalled that even those who were released from prison and made president with a promise to do only one term but ended up doing two terms and wanting a third, are the arrowheads of the plot to stop President Jonathan from seeking re-election come 2015.
He wondered when it became unethical for the President, as leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to be interested in who becomes the National Chairman of PDP or when it became the tradition that other party leaders will force a National Chairman down the throat of a President.
“I know it for certain that presidents, as leaders of PDP, have also influenced, if not determined who the National Chairman of our party is.
In fact, in some cases, some presidents even forced a chairman to resign at gun-point for having the courage to have a different view. So, why is it now that this president must be forced to have a chairman and must jettison the one he approves?” Uzodinma queried.
The senator said it was clear to him that the hidden agenda behind the mindless allegations and plots against President Jonathan was simply because those who believe the presidency of Nigeria is their birthright are truly embarrassed by the fact that divine forces threw up somebody from outside their cabal to be president and that he may be there for another tenure.
He added: “I think the cabal that has controlled the leadership of this country since independence is thoroughly embarrassed that a stranger found his way into the Presidency. They are finding it difficult to live with this and they appear desperate enough to want to do anything to stop this”.
The senate aviation committee chairman argued that the issue at stake is not about Jonathan’s performance, adding that even the president’s critics know he has done well and insist that the real issue is about protecting the interest of a cabal that is feeling increasingly threatened by Mr. Jonathan’s rising profile.
The senator said the danger in what is happening is that the spate of unguarded statements against Jonathan by this cabal and their cohorts is that it was throwing up unsavory ethnic sentiments that can backfire against the country.
“With the security situation in the country, I am surprised that these leaders are not mindful of the fact that the type of provocative statements they make is capable of precipitating ethnic crisis in the country. I urge them to thread softly and to remember that the interest of Nigeria is always bigger than an individual or group’s interest”, Uzodinma said.