By Richard Mammah
With a little over one week to May 29, the first anniversary of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, it is clear that there are political minefields staring the government everywhere it turns.
Elected in April 2015 but sworn into office on May 29, 2015, the administration is today bedevilled by a myriad of conflict and crisis situations.
In the South East, the Independent People of Biafra, whose leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is facing a treason rap is the chief albatross. The group which is a beakaway from the hitherto better known Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has in just about a year of its coming to the limelight, stolen the imagiation of the South Eastern streets and has proved to be a most determined traducer that cannot be easily contained.
In the South South, the erstwhile militant champions, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Nigeria Delta, MEND, may have been quietly replaced by the Niger Delta Avengers, a shadowy conclave that has reportedly sworn to cripple the nation’s oil installations and supply chain. By the day, it targets oil pipelines, rupturing them and making it impossible for the producing firms in concert with the NNPC to export and earn critically needed revenues. At the last count as much as 800,000 barrels per day had already been locked in, no thanks to the operations of the group.
In the Middle Belt, the menace of armed cattle herders who are repeatedly taking the laws into their hands as they wander through farming communities has already created enormous tension in states like Kaduna, Benue and Nassarawa. Only last weekend, Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom banned the herders from yet another community to prevent what he termed ‘possible retaliatory actions’ from local vigilante and farmers who have lost crops, properties, limbs and lives in some of the more recent skirmishes.
Add now to this, the untidy handling of the latest increase in fuel prices which has further accentuated the split in organised labour, and we can see that there are booby traps everywhere.
Nigerians are really waiting for President Buhari’s May 29 Anniversary Day address, if he would get around to making one, and you can be sure that there will be flying comments for virtually every paragraph that emanates from his carefully prepared text.