You are currently viewing In Lagos, police call threat to lives a joke, by Ikeddy Isiguzo
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CHIEF Superintendent of Police Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Force Headquarters, Abuja, wore a smirk on television as he dismissed the threat that MC Oluomo issued against voters if they did not vote for the candidate of his choice in the governorship election of 18 March, as a joke.
Oluomo merely escalated the threat he carried out on 25 February with visits to polling booths to stop voters who were not for his presidential candidate. A video went viral of a police officer pleading with Oluomo to allow the voters be.
All these happened in Lagos where Oluomo had upscaled thuggery skills he acquired in motor parks to his official role as an enforcer at the 2018 governorship election in Osun State. By the 2023 he has become an official, a forceful harvester of votes for the All Progressives Congress, and in particular its presidential and governorship candidates.
Tepid responses like the one from CSP Adejobi, described variously as an “astute officer” who attended the University of Ibadan, and holds a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict from the same university, is a major concern.
CSP Adejobi is not Oluomo who reportedly is a primary school drop-out. He is a police officer who by his training and experience should know a crime.
Threat to life is a criminal offence according to Section 56 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. According to Section 56, “Threatening Violence. By the provision of this section, a person who threatens to carry out the violence of attacking another person is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be jailed for one year”. Oluomo knew the law was on his side.
He acted freely, no let, no hindrance. Attacks on voters on 25 February were nothing compared to the governorship elections. Oluomo got all the help he needed from security agents who looked away.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Idowu Owohunwa was not different. He said the Command was investigating the Chairman of Parks and Garages, Musiliu Akinsanya (MC Oluomo. “”We condemn in the strongest possible terms any act, statement, or an action that could be interpreted as hate speech or that could be interpreted as deepening political tension regardless of the brain that might be behind it.”
What Oluomo said, “We have begged them. If they don’t want to vote for us, it is not a fight. Tell them, Mama Chukwudi, if you don’t want to vote for us, sit down at home. Sit down at home.”
The Lagos Police Commissioner continued, “With regards to this specific video you mentioned, it is currently a subject of a detailed investigation. Of course, we are deploying our cyber security access to solve that. And, I can assure you that nobody is above the law.
“This country is regulated. Anybody that tries to use his position, or his influence on others to deepen hate, or engender political tension which could, of course, snowball into violence, it remains the responsibility and the mandate of the Nigeria Police to investigate such cases.
“This specific one you mentioned will not be in isolation. It is already a subject of review. And it will be in the interest of the actors behind it and all others that might wish to also engage in such ill-informed, indirect action to be very careful, to be firmly warned because in the fullness of time, the full law will take its course and it will be not different in this instance if established.”
Oluomo was worse after these wasted words on an issue that required action. Nigerians await the outcome of the investigation. We still remember that nobody is above the law?
We also have to understand that some people are either the law or above the law. Immunity, impunity, and indifference are all part of the law.
In this instance, people expected an arrest, interrogation of the suspect for him to respond to the material evidences against him.
From conversations in the media, the police were interested in the politics of Lagos than the lives that were threatened. Put differently, who won the elections was more important than lives. No wonder Oluomo decided who could vote on 18 March.
Though Ndigbo were the initial target. Eventually, more people could not vote. Some Yoruba people said they were stopped from voting. Their offence? According to Oluomo and his disciples, they looked like Igbo!
Are we not making progress? In 2023, a Nigerian cannot vote in Lagos, easily Nigeria’s most cosmopolitan city. The police and security agencies celebrate it with regurgitated emptiness.
There are some blaming Ndigbo for being boisterous, showy, aggressive, taking over Lagos. These are supposed to be electoral offences that have been franchised to Oluomo and company to punish as they please?
Bland responses to these issues are inadequate. There are enough laws to punish electoral crimes. Will they be applied?
Why should the silence of the law worry law-abiding citizens? Many reasons, among them, no protection for victims of the abuses that Oluomo professes, electoral infractions like his distort the will of the people, worse still converts of Oluomo, emboldened by the law, are planning ahead.
One of his converts is Bayo Onanuga, 65, a 1980 second class upper graduate of the University of Lagos. A journalist, until politics overtook him, he was once Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria.
He has distinguished himself with diatribes against anyone who opposes his principal Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Jagaban Borgu.
Onanuga was triumphal after Tinubu was announced winner of the presidential election, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu was returned as Governor of Lagos State. If Oluomo has occupied the present, Onanuga has annexed future threats.
He tweeted on the night of 18 March after the governorship election, “Let 2023 be the last time of Igbo interference in Lagos politics. Let there be no repeat in 2027″.
If an uneducated Oluomo is causing this much damage, what would an educated Onanuga do with the advantage of four years’ planning?
You can bet that the police will tell us that Onanuga was joking. After all, what is good for Oluomo cannot be bad for Onanuga.
One day, threat to live will become a punishable criminal offence even in Lagos. One only hopes it would not be too late.
STILL on Abia, the misinformation about what Prof Nnenna Oti did or did not do as the Chief Returning Officer has been blown out of proportions and she should not accept it, including the gift of a jeep that someone was supposed to have offered her. Did Prof Oti defy instructions from INEC Chairman Prof Mahmoud Yakubu? No. The impression was created that INEC instructed her to call a different result. This rumour persists though INEC has denied it.
THE world – 6,500 participants, including 100 ministers and a dozen heads of state and government – gathered in New York in the past week to discuss water. The United Nations and UNESCO are concerned about “vampiric water consumption”. Wastes, pollution, climate change, over-use, poor financing models, were listed as impediments to better water management. Our Minister of Water Resources should tell us how water matters affect us who have so little water to use but are still vampiric.
MINISTER of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, a pilot, keeps confusing us with dates of the inaugural flight of Nigeria Air. Since December 2018 when he said the airline had taken off, we left him alone. Is he launching another national airline before 29 May?

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues

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