By Aonduna Tondu
“O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men.” – William Shakespeare
Faced with the distinct prospect of imminent defeat at the Election Tribunal in Makurdi, Governor Ortom’s PDP and its goons have apparently opted for a frightening escalation in the perpetration of unprovoked, politically motivated violence and criminal attacks against mainly APC targets.
The somber catalogue of mischief and brazen atrocities does include, amongst other examples, the Wednesday night (April 11, 2019 ) invasion and destruction of the Jime/Ode Campaign Organisation office in Makurdi; the brutal attack on the country home of Hon. Wombo in Katsina-Ala; the killings or attempted assassination of APC members or those suspected to harbour pro-APC sympathies and farmers, home owners, business men and women whose enterprises and other investments have been targets of unconscionable despoliation by PDP agents.
Suffice it to say that a great number of the atrocities and mayhem visited on APC victims have largely gone unreported. Of course, other atrocities have allegedly been of a collateral nature, that is to say that they have not necessarily targeted APC members, like the case of the recent assassination of a son of a notorious Gboko armed robber, apparently as a result of intra-party PDP squabbles for the blood booty that Kanshio who has sadistically refused to pay both salary and pension arrears, not to mention his inability to undertake any meaningful development projects, did so generously dole out in a desperate bid to rig the last elections.
And lest we forget, in the attempt to keep the mandates they stole from the APC, Kanshio and his gang are getting more desperate ahead of the Election Tribunal proceedings. They are engaging in more mischief and other dastardly antics.
Parallel to the acts of violence and the atrocities mentioned above, one is also sadly witnessing, especially in the social media, a worrying spike by PDP elements and their attack dogs, in the scurrilous campaign of calumny, systematic denigration, libel and blatant lies or fake news against key figures of the APC in Benue State coupled with a toxic narrative of character assassination, spurious innuendo and outright defamations against the judiciary and its august symbols of due process and the rule of law.
This unwholesome assault on the judiciary is a strong warning regarding the fact that the Ortom kakistocracy (i.e., government by the worst elements in the society) is disdainful of the law and anything legal and is more determined and desperate than ever before to recklessly squander the state’s money and other resources in the demonic scheme by the man to hang on to power at all cost.
Mention should also be made of a despicable move by key PDP usurpers aimed at persuading or arm-twisting the APC’s legitimate owners of the mandates that were democratically given them through the ballot box to forego those mandates in favour of the usurpers. It is heartwarming to know that the leadership of the APC is sufficiently concerned that it has severally tried to reassure the APC family and the country at large that there will be no compromises regarding the imperative to retrieve our stolen mandates legally and transparently, that is, at the election Tribunal, a far cry from the PDP’s politics of desperation, mischief and criminal impunity.
Of course, the ultimate objective of the criminal attacks and atrocities, the mercenary write-ups by con men masquerading as informed media types, the egregious and uncouth attacks against the APC establishment and the judiciary alike as well as the impudent and highly unethical interventions by corrupt and socially irresponsible allies of PDP impostors who are scared stiff of losing at the Election Tribunal, is to prevent the rule of law from taking its course through the restitution of the victories that were deprived the APC in the recent electoral heist of February and March , 2019.
The crooked move by the PDP riggers aimed at delegitimizing the APC brand and its wins at the 2019 polls through the unconscionable demonization of the symbols of judicial restitution is bound to fail partly because it is eminently rooted in the fraud of violence and illegality.
Yet, we hasten to emphasize that the PDP’s gangster tactics, the obnoxious and deeply offensive narrative of fake news that has become the party’s staple, both at the state and national levels, the libelous and defamatory targeting of the APC leadership and the judiciary, though diversionary, are the clearest indication today that Ortom and his confederacy did woefully lose the governorship and other elections in Benue State.
The continuing offensive antics by Ortom and his partners do call for greater determination and vigilance on the part of the APC to reclaim their respective mandates. The latter do represent electoral victories that are an authentic expression of the sovereign will of the people. In the final analysis, those victories constitute an implicit testimony of a sacred contract – a bond of legitimacy – between the people and their elected representatives. The stakes are high.
The criminal machinations of an Ortom, a Suswam or any other brigand within the PDP confederacy cannot and must never be allowed to prevail. That confederacy and its members are a clear and pervasive danger to the wellbeing and overall development of Benue State and its citizens.
While the local police force and other security agencies are challenged to be proactive with an aim to putting a definitive stop to the excesses of Ortom and his dangerous PDP clique, we call on the EFCC, the ICPC, the DSS and the NJC in particular to redouble their efforts by making sure that the Election Tribunal in Makurdi is not compromised like the Benue chapter of the INEC was in the recent polls by the enemies of due process and the rule of law. In this regard, it is incumbent on all of us to make sure that the following reassuring words of caution by the current CJN do not turn out to be a vain chatter without the force of their conviction: “Anybody that knows he won election by rigging should excuse himself before we disgrace him judiciously…”
Aonduna Tondu is a Public Affairs Analyst.