Very recently, the presidential candidate of the APC in the 2019 general elections, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), flagged off the Kano State version of his presidential campaigns, and Nigerians witnessed very high influx of Niger Republic citizens into Kano City, the venue of the event for the programme.
They came in their thousands, led by two serving state governors in their country. There was an unusually high traffic between Katsina and Kano States as early as 8am on that fateful day, courtesy of the mass movement from Maradi in Niger Republic to Kano City
They were in Kano to be part of, and to show their support for the presidential ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari, one of the many Nigerians contesting for the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for another tranche of four years, beginning 29th May, 2019.
To this I said to myself; what an uncommon show of love. What an unprecedented support for a presidential candidate of a sovereign nation by citizens of another sovereign nation, a thing never heard of in the history of the world.
I also wondered, if there is a place for this development in the laws of our land or in international law. Unfortunately I am not of the learned profession to know much of this, but I find it very strange and painfully disturbing that I find it expedient to ask some pertinent questions, bothering on not just the propriety or otherwise of the action, but also its legality and implication for our dear nation:
(1) Firstly, how is it the
business of the people of Niger Republic who becomes the President of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
As the learned people would say, “what is their nexus in this matter?” Why are the people of Niger Republic interested only in Buhari’s Presidency?
Why not any of the other presidential candidates?
Could there be any pact between the people of Niger Republic and Muhammadu Buhari that Nigerians are not in the know of?
(2) Would this action not amount to interference in the affairs of a sovereign Nigeria, to have citizens of Niger Republic make the election of a Nigerian President their business, to the extent of participating in the process of making the Nigerian President in 2019?
(3) Assuming a David Cameron, the former British Prime Minister for instance, was sited somewhere in a Nigerian town where an Atiku Abubakar Campaign is holding, what would be the reaction of the Buhari Presidency? This reference has become expedient, given that when the man (David Cameron) made a simple statement of caution to the Buhari Presidency over the suspension of the CJN, the Federal Government and the APC attacked the counsel as “foreign interference” in Nigeria’s domestic affairs.” How different are the two?
(4) How did these multitude of people come into Nigeria in one swoop?
Did they come through the border?
Did they all have the requisite documents and followed the right channel?
(5) Did they return to Niger Republic after the programme or they are still in Nigeria?
Given that political rallies are meant for members of the political
party (s) concerned. I note that the two Niger Republic governors who
led the delegation of their country’s Citizens to the event in Kano,
adorned themselves in APC outfits and regalia, signifying membership of
the APC, a political party in Nigeria.
Are the Niger Republic governors members of the APC, and like the APC governors in Nigeria would canvass support for President Muhammadu Buhari in their respective States in Niger Republic?
Could there possibly be an arrangement for Buhari’s supporters from Niger Republic to vote in the 2019 presidential election (holding in Nigeria)?
Could nationals of Niger Republic be part of the Six Million PVC holders declared in Katsina State?
Would they have come all the way from Niger Republic to support just the rally and not to vote in the election?
If that number of foreigners can come into Nigeria through a Nigerian border freely in one day, it means anything, just anything including getting Nigerian PVCs is possible, and voting in a Nigerian presidential election would certainly not be a problem.
For me, it portends great danger for the country to have citizens nurse the kinds of feeling that I nurse over the issue, particularly that I also feel helpless.
When I see that circumstances as grievous as this deployment do not elicit outright disapproval of fellow citizens, particularly those in positions of power I begin to check whether something is wrong with me, that I seem the only one feeling the weight of the ignoble action.
Why does every wrong thing seem to become right if it is perpetuated by Buhari?
I am so pained that a t this juncture, I can feel A’isha pain, when she shouted at an APC public function; “WHERE ARE THE NIGERIAN MEN? INSTEAD OF STANDING UP TO THEM, YOU GO TO THEM ONE BY ONE LICKING THEIR SHOES”.