Growing Political Terrorism In Nigeria, A Call For Concern | The Street Reporters Newspaper Growing Political Terrorism In Nigeria, A Call For Concern | The Street Reporters Newspaper
Independent National Electoral Commission INEC

Growing Political Terrorism In Nigeria, A Call For Concern

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By Mazi Chidozie Ugwuegbe

Terrorism can be defined as the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, to pursue an agenda or aim. Such aims can be political, religious, or ideological.

Wikipedia defined political terrorism as a violent criminal behaviour designed primarily to generate fear in the community, or a substantial segment of it, for political purposes.

An example of political terrorism is the insurrection in the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Where a group of political terrorists and supporters of Republican President Donald J. Trump attacked and disrupted a joint session of Congress convened to certify the results of the presidential election of 2020.

In Nigeria, examples abound where supporters of politicians resorted to crude and brutal ways of opposing election results or outcomes. This act of terrorism has often been excused with a flimsy excuse that the result does not reflect the people’s wishes.

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The validity of such a claim does not justify the unlawful violence, arson, and destruction witnessed in such situations. In contrast, the law provides legal means to address such grievances.

As governments at all levels are trying to proffer ways to address those unlawful expressions of political and democratic grievance, some politicians are busy growing these brands of political terrorism on all fronts.

Today, some politicians believe it is abnormal for anyone or any group in their constituency to visit or associate with their opponent or perceived enemy.

Like I remarked in my earlier post, “if politicians choose to make all their opponents their enemies, it is fine by me. But they must not force people to accept that their enemy automatically becomes the enemy of the people.” People still have rights of association and engagement as enshrined in Human Rights Laws.

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We now have a handful of political jobbers and economic sycophants recruited by politicians to bully, intimidate and terrorise anyone or any group that goes against their wish. They send them as emissaries to attack physically, plant them in media to bully others or use other means to intimidate innocent citizens into surrendering their rights.

It is purely an act of terrorism – political terrorism. Government must rise to this disturbing new normal.

In a democracy, people have rights to visitation, association and engagement. The act of coercing people into believing in your political ideology, forcing them to hate your political opponent or intimidating them into submission against their principle should be condemned by all people of value and integrity.

It is disturbing and worrisome how people are being ostracised or banished for simply exercising their fundamental human rights.

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Political leaders engaging in these harmful activities should better retrace their steps or be read to face international criminal court. The world is evolving; the era of crooked politicking should be over. We are in the twenty-first century, the information age.

Those being terrorised politically should henceforth have the courage to keep records of such criminality and the boldness to speak up – no matter how highly placed the perpetrators might be.

There is always time for accountability, and very soon, we shall be initiating a process to hold such political terrorists accountable.

Mazi Chidozie Ugwuegbe writes from Enugu, Enugu State

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