I had resisted every temptation to join issues with Gen. Godwin Osagie Abbe- the Minister of Defence and the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party over the row that generated since the Ministry of defence ordered the withdrawal of the men of Nigeria Army from the joint military operations in Edo state because of two major reasons. Firstly, the Rtd. General is my fellow tribesman with many unresolved issues of contradictions over the aspirations of Benin people; and secondly, as an aide to Governor Oshiomhole, my reply to PDP’s outrage and deliberate mis-information over the Etsako re-run could be interpreted as political biases of a politician. However, guided by the wisdom of Karl Marx as chronicled in his co-authored book “the manifesto of the communist party”- to live an error uncorrected is to encourage intellectual immorality; I chose to make the following remarks.
Of fundamental concern to me and most Nigerians is whether Gen. Abbe as Defense Minister has the right to withdraw men of the Nigerian Army without recourse to President Yar Adua who ordered them to participate in the Joint Task Force, based on the plea by Edo State Governor; and if he lacks such right, who will take responsibility for this collosal misdemeanor, in the event Kidnappers takes undue advantage of the absence of the army from the joint military patrol to unleash terror on Edo people as was the case some months ago. We are all aware of the in-capabilities of the men of the Nigerian Police, as well as their perception by Nigerian civil populace. The time has come for Nigerians to be assertive in demanding their constitutional rights and complying with their duties. This is the premise that I endorsed moves by a socio-cultural organization to drag Gen. Abbe and the Ministry of Defence to federal High Court to test the spirit of the 1999 constitution on the issue under focus.
Prior to the recent withdrawal of the Army, my boss, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had alerted the public of plans by the PDP to rig the Court of Appeal ordered re-run in Etsako, the PDP cached-in on that piece of information to diabolically mastermind the withdrawal of the Army from the State security outfit, at best, in appreciation of the near-precarious security of the State, the Ministry of Defense could had advised the army not to move close to the Etsako Local Government for the purpose of ensuring a no-military-interfered-election. As a student of Political Science, a I understand that no nations got their axes right on less through mass movements and popular agitations; Nigeria can achieve the feat of greatness if we apply these modes, YES WE CAN. We must boldly and constitutional asserts our rights while checking the rampant abuse of power by political opportunists. Hon. Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo- Senior Special Assistant- Politics and Strategy to Edo State Governor.