President Goodluck Jonathan and his closest cronies are still collaborating with a tight-nit circle of military officers to scuttle Nigeria’s general elections that had been postponed by six weeks from the original date of February 14, 2015, according to revelations by several political and security sources.
After failing to gain traction with the floating a so-called government of national unity, Mr. Jonathan and his associates have placed renewed hope in persuading some top military generals to force another postponement of the elections, once again using insecurity as their ruse.
SaharaReporters had revealed through several reports that President Jonathan was set on invoking the climate of insecurity in Nigeria’s northeast to win a postponement of the elections. However, with members of his party admitting that Mr. Jonathan’s electoral fortunes remain dire, the president has been persuaded by hawks close to him to try a fresh tactic of using the uneasy military situation in the northeast to thwart the elections.
Our sources disclosed that the latest plot is being anchored by the National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, who has virtually assumed the functions of the Minister of Defense, Aliyu Gusau. The minister of defense, Gusau who is the NSA's in-law has been tipped to head an interim government in case it becomes a necessity. A military source told SaharaReporters that Mr. Sambo was now deploying his tremendous financial power to recruit top army generals into doing his bidding. Apart from the NSA, Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison Madueke and Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State were identified as the other important players in the latest risky gamble to further postpone elections.
Whilst Ms. Alison Madueke has been providing funds to finance the new plot, Governor Mimiko has been offering strategic advice on how to combat politicians within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) who may be opposed to the scheme.
Our military sources said the evolving machination threatens to polarize the military as several mid-level officers are reported to be furious with their superiors who are warming up to the idea.
One source described President Jonathan as unperturbed by the clamor for elections, telling members of his kitchen cabinet that his decisions are based upon advice from army generals fighting against Boko Haram.
Although Nigeria’s military top brass had claimed that they would wipe out Boko Haram in six weeks, the evidence points to the reality that the Islamist terrorist group may be growing stronger and increasing its ability to strike against new targets. Recently, the Islamist insurgent group has launched a series of attacks on Gombe and Adamawa State, the latest state in the northeast. They have also captured a few more towns in Borno State.
The postponement of the election appears to have given Boko Haram militants a new boost. In a recent video released few days ago by its leader, Abubakar Shekau, the group talked about their disruption of the upcoming elections.
One security source said the latest plan to scuttle the elections would involve a deliberate effort to allow the security climate to worsen across Nigeria. One plank of the plan is to sponsor Niger Delta militants to cause havoc in the oil-rich delta region in the coming weeks. If the situation becomes dire enough, President Jonathan would then have grounds to declare a national emergency that would make elections impossible in March.
Recently, political thugs financed by Mrs. Patience Jonathan began shooting at opposition rallies held in Rivers State. Such politically-motivated attacks have also been planned for several other states of the federation to create an atmosphere that would get more Nigerians to accept the unviability of holding elections, according to several sources. “The goal by Mr. President is to achieve another postponement of the elections, but this time by six months,” a source familiar with the plot disclosed.
A source stated that the plan explained the fact that Nigeria’s security services have yet to schedule an inter-agency briefing with top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to discuss a comprehensive strategy for guaranteeing security during the elections.
Mr. Jonathan’s military option is meant to proceed in tandem with a parallel plan to offer massive bribes to members of the National Assembly to win their support for a six-month extension of the tenure of his administration. Several lawmakers said they were aware of the plan, but added that there was little hope of a majority of legislators backing the plan.
In what represents a third plank of the plot, several cronies of Mr. Jonathan have filed or plan to file lawsuits aimed at scuttling the elections by seeking the disqualification of the APC’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. At the latest count, some 11 lawsuits have been filed by persons or entities tied to Mr. Jonathan, including the government of Plateau State which has filed a case asking INEC to discard it current voters roll in favor of the one used in 2011.