WHY were the April elections accompanied by so much violence?
This is the question the Federal Government is battling to answer.
A 22-man committee to lead the search for answers was named yesterday by the President. It is headed by Sheikh Ahmed Lemu (chairman).
After President Goodluck Jonathan was pronounced winner of the April 16 election, supporters of the rival Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) went berserk in the North. Nine Youth Corps members were killed. Many other residents were displaced. Homes were torched.
But the panel will not limit its job to the post-election violence; it will look into the various crises that occurred before and after the elections, which was widely hailed as free and fair.
Specifically, the Lemu CommUwecheittee will examine the pre-election violence in Akwa Ibom as well as the violence that greeted the President’s re-election in some states in the North.
It will recommend how to stop the flow of weapons into the country.
Justice Samson Uwaifo is the committee’s Vice Chairman. Mr. F. F. Ogunshakin is the secretary.
Other members include former Deputy Governor of Lagos State Mrs. Lateefat Okunnu, immediate past Chairman of Punch Newspapers Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, Rev. Father Idowu Feron, Alhaji Muhammadu Danmadami, M. B. Wali, Mrs. Timiebi A. Koripamo-Agary, Comrade Peter Esele, Alhaji Muhammed Ibrahim, Prof. Femi Odekunle, Amb. Ralph Uwuche, Alhaji Bukar Usman, Sheikh Adam Idoko, Major General Mohammed Said, Mr. P.C. Okorie, Mr. Shamsuna Ahmed, an architect, Major General L. P. Ngubane, Alhaji Sani Maikudi, Rear Admiral I. Hotonu, and a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
According to a news release signed by Mr. Femi Olayisade, a Permanent Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the panel, which will be inaugurated tomorrow, was also mandated to look into the remote cause(s) of the pre-election violence in Akwa-Ibom and also the sources of the weapons used during the various election-related crises.
The panel is to determine the number of lives lost and those injured and, above all, investigate the sources of weapons used in the unrest.
The President had in his recent address to the nation said he planned to look into the remote cause(s) of the sporadic unrest that enveloped some parts of the North, following the presidential election.
The panel is to:
•ascertain the number of persons who died or got injured during the violence;
•identify the spread and extent of loss and damage to means of livelihood and assess the cost of damage to personal and public properties and places of worship and make appropriate recommendations;
•investigate the sources of weapons used in the unrest and recommend how to stem the tide of illegal flow of such weapons to the country; and to
•examine any other matter incidental or relevant to the unrest and advise the government as appropriate.
Source : www.thenationonlineng.net