By Ifeanyi Izeze
When the police officers directly from the Inspector General’s office Tuesday September 4th 2018, raided the Abuja residence of former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, for alleged stockpiling of arms and ammunition, it would have ordinarily been assumed they were merely doing their job but for the now familiar “acts” of this government which has perfected mischief and intimidation as part of its defining characteristics.
One of two things is playing out in this government as we approach the general elections. It is either the president is being taken for granted by those he appointed to work with or rather for him or the president himself is part of the scheme to drag this nation into a senseless wave of violence for whatever reasons. Things that happen on daily basis in this country make it look as if there are people high up in this government who deliberately are out to create conflicts/crisis for President Buhari for reasons obviously not in the interest of the nation.
Let’s even look at what transpired at the Abuja residence of the south-south leader on Tuesday 4th September 2018: Eight policemen came in an 18-seater Toyota Hiace bus with number plate: EU 979 ABC, from the office of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris. They were said to be from the IGP’s ‘Special Tactical Force’ STF, Guzape, Abuja, which reports only to the IGP.
Three of the policemen, who were heavily armed, waited outside the house, while three others entered the house to effect the search. At the end of the two-hour search, the policemen were said to have left without finding anything incriminating against the elder statesman.
As narrated by Chief Clark, three of the policemen reportedly signed a document indicating that neither arms nor ammunition was found in the house, while three persons from Chief Clark’s household counter-signed the document. Those who signed on behalf of Chief Clark were Ambassador Godknows Igali, Secretary-General of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Dr. Alfred Mulade and Mr. Mac Emakpore.
The policemen who were led by one Kolo Yusuf, told Chief Clark they had a search warrant obtained from the court.
Now who is the IGP deceiving that the policemen who report directly to his office acted on their own without instruction from him? Disowning and detaining the eight police officers seem more like looking for dummy fall guys as the operation has gone sour.
This Government, whether President Buhari is aware or not the buck stops on his table, should be told in a language they understand very well that this action against Chief Clark was an outright provocation and a deliberate incitement orchestrated to draw out the Niger Delta militants into a new round of violence in the region. This is the truth, the whole truth and, nothing but the truth!
Do we need anybody to tell us that it is impossible for the raid by the Police on the Abuja residence of the 92 year old leader of the Niger Delta to have been carried out if it was not planned and ordered from only two sources, the Presidency and/or the office of the Inspector General of Police?
It is outrightly ackward that the police ‘acting unilaterally’ can invade the residence of a prominent man of that age who President Buhari and his government did duly acknowledged and recognized as the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the group the government has been talking to in the name of Niger Delta and which has helped the government so much in dissuading the angry youths of the Niger Delta region from violently engaging the government security agents even in the face of outright provocations.
Why would an elder statesman of 92 years stockpile arms and ammunitions? Buhari or people around him deliberately want to provoke the Niger Delta especially the militants so that the government will have excuse to do what they have become used to doing in the region.
For the police to conduct a raid on the home of a man of that age on the pretence that they were looking for arms and ammunitions and eventually the claim turned out to be a hoax, means that something must be amidst as the stories are not adding up at all.
We need to get this drama clear. Before now, these kind of sting operations were usually carried out by men of the Department of State Services (DSS) and not the police. So suddenly the police has discovered their swag to sting, abi? Could it be that whoever packaged the operation did pass whatever intels they had to the DSS to handle because of the person of the current Acting Director General of the Service? Just thinking aloud!
Is it not curious that the raid on Chief Clark’s house came few weeks after one of the Niger Delta militant groups, the Niger Delta Avengers, issued a threat to the federal government to immediately restructure the country or be ready to face another round of armed agitation by the region against everything that has to do with oil productions in their area?
For the president not to see the game plan playing out (though terribly muddled up by the police), says a lot about his aloofness to the happenings in his government and/or his complicity in the whole matter.
If the Niger Delta militants or even their father, Chief Clark, want to stockpile arms and ammunition to sabotage oil facilities, will they be so foolish to keep the weapons in Edwin Clark’s house in Abuja? Throughout the spate of the previous agitations, did the militant groups keep their arms and ammunition in Abuja? You see the foolishness of those that pushed the very foolish Police Inspector General into making another mockery of not only himself but the entire internal security efforts of this government.
How could the militants have been so foolish as to keep their arms in somebody’s residence in Abuja? Are there any oil production activities in Abuja to warrant anybody to claim the action of the police was to forestall the militants’ attack on oil facilities since the militants are not interested in overthrowing any government?
No matter how anybody views this case, it definitely looks foolish on the surface but under the surface, it has all the attributes of a well-planned covert operation to provoke and incite the people of the region into another round of violence.
My plea to my people is that we should not fall to this unintelligent dummy. That thing wey their mama tell them, our mama don tell us too, abi? The wise thing to do is to insist on a proper investigation to unravel all the details particularly concerning who gave the order, who signed the police search warrant, which officers executed it and what objective was it meant to serve.
It should be clear to the people of the Niger Delta that the attack on Edwin Clark’s goes beyond the Police. If you look at it, you will think the police deliberately muddled it up. No! It’s all part of the plan. It is Operation Crocodile Smile III unfolding. My Niger Delta people let us be as wise as serpents for we are like sheep in the midst of wolfs! God bless Nigeria.
(IFEANYI IZEZE writes from Abuja: firstname.lastname@example.org; 234-8033043009)