By Remi Oyeyemi… I have just finished reading the statements of the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu in the PUNCH newspaper of August 20, 2016 that he and his Commision would not be able to “guarantee conclusive elections in 2019.” He engaged in some noxious inanities and obnoxious platitudes to justify the possibility of this ridiculous position. He, without any shame insisted in the statement that any attempt to give “such an assurance at this time would be to second guess the outcome of the election.”
Without any sense of accountability that reinforces his obvious lack of integrity, Professor Yakubu said inter alia:
“It is not strange. More than any commission in the history of the country, we have conducted more elections outside the context of general elections. People often forget that we had inconclusive elections in the past.”
This is an admission of incompetence of this commission under his leadership. Professor Yakubu might have issues of amnesia, but not all of us are inflicted with the same challenge. It is this same commission that conducted several elections outside the general elections under Professor Attahiru Jega and did so conclusively. I remembered several complaints by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wondering why they were losing elections under a PDP controlled Federal Government. But they could not make a good case against what Professor Jegga was doing. He made sure Nigeria had conclusive elections during general election and off general elections.
It is my view that Professor Yakubu potentially, is one of the enemies of Nigeria. He is bent on destroying this imperfect democracy that everyone is working hard to sustain. He is making it clear that he is not capable. He is saying it loud that he is not fit for this position. He is saying it loud that Nigeria is in danger and this democracy would hit the rocks if he continues to be in charge of INEC until 2019. Professor Yakubu is so shameless about his incompetence that it boggles the mind. He has to be removed using the instruments of the law now if he does not know how to resign.
He rhapsodized about the 1979 general elections tragedy to justify in advance what is to happen in 2019. Extricating himself from the restraints of rectitude, he exuded disrespect for the concerns, anxiety and aspiration of Nigerians when he added as follows: “In recent times, we have had series of inconclusive elections. The governorship election in Bauchi State was inconclusive because of the post-election violence and INEC concluded the election after two weeks. The same thing happened in Imo; the first election that brought in Rochas Okorocha was inconclusive, until two weeks after. In 2015, Taraba, Abia and Imo were inconclusive and there were other constituency elections where elections inconclusive.”
As a Professor of Political History and International Studies, it is amazing that Professor Yakubu has no respect for logic in his approach to issues. If elections were held, the votes counted and results available, why not make that result available to the public rather than hold on to it on the excuse that it is “inconclusive.”? Is it not the refusal to make the result available that leads to violence in the first place? Is it not the suspicion that INEC was holding on to the result of election because a particularly preferred candidate did not win that causes “post election” violence? Is Professor Yakubu’s INEC not an active collaborator in fostering post election violence if it holds on to results that are available for whatever reasons?
It is an abdication of responsibility for Professor Yakubu to begin to suggest that 2019 elections would be “inconclusive.” What would he be doing as the Chairman of INEC between now and 2019 to ensure that the election is “conclusive”? If he has the knowledge that 2019 elections could be “inconclusive” what is he doing to rectify the variables and do a good job for Nigeria and her democracy? Is this not an obvious self disqualification for this responsibility?
It is my conviction that Professor Yakubu is flying a kite for 2019. He is trying to prepare Nigeria for the rigging that is about to take place in 2019. He is trying to set the table for the tragedy he and his sponsors are ready to inflict on Nigeria in 2019. Professor Yakubu is spilling the secret plans of his sponsors for 2019. The plan ought to be obvious to all Nigerians. When in 2019, President Buhari is voted out of power, they would come out and insist that it is an “inconclusive election.” This way, President Buhari would be able to remain in power technically after he has been rejected at the polls.
In 2019, Nigerians should be allowed to pass judgment on President Buhari “conclusively.” The election has to be free and fair. It is not negotiable. It has to be transparent. It also has to be conclusive. For the Chairman of INEC to suggest that the 2019 elections could be “inconclusive,” shows that he is not up to the task. He is incompetent. He is unsuitable. He has to quit now. He has to resign his post now. If he fails to resign, he must be impeached by the Senate.
It is not a secret that Nigeria has a lot of enemies. These enemies are not few and they amount to many among her citizens and those holding the helms of power. These enemies are allergic to facts and are cocooned from reality. Some of these enemies of Nigeria get to this stage unconsciously. Some of them are aware of what subsists, but for their selfish reason do not really care if Nigeria goes to the dogs. These enemies of Nigeria are those who despite all the empirical evidences that this Buhari Administration has failed are still plotting to sustain him in power beyond 2019. Professor Yakubu and his INEC are collaborators against the people of Nigeria in this heinous conspiracy.
President Buhari’s incompetence could not even be put in words. His sadism is becoming legendary. His nepotism has undermined the fight against corruption. He has inflicted economic woes on Nigeria. Social and religious tension is mounting across the country; there is increasing armed insurrection against the Nigerian state on daily basis and this President Buhari has no idea what to do about it.
In spite of all this, some politicians within the set up of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are still insisting that this country must have Mohammadu Buhari as its candidate for presidency in 2019? They strut the land with blatant arrogance; flagrant in their condescension and contemptuous in their insensitivities. They address Nigerians with a noxious sense of insouciance, suggesting that Nigerian really do not have a choice but must continue to carry this odious burden called Buhari.
This group of APC leaders, with a disturbing degree of coldness permeated with toxic tinges of sadism gallivants around the public space daring Nigerian to accept their fate or go to hell. They blame everyone but their Party. They reach deeper down beyond illogicality to defend the indefensible insulting the intelligence of suffering Nigerians. They look for any and whatever excuse to absolve the obvious debilitating ignorance of President Buhari. They blame others for President Buhari’s nauseating incompetence.
Professor Yakubu is in on a conspiracy. This is why he is indirectly telling Nigerians that the election in 2019 would not be free and fair. He is already preparing Nigerians to accept President Buhari despite all his glaring failures. Professor Yakubu is working hard to ensure that President Buhari would still remain in power technically beyond 2019. Nigerians who love their country should begin to speak out now. This is a deliberate plan. Professor Yakubu’s reach into the past in relation to 1979 is very ominous. It is dangerous.
Nigerians must begin to pay more than due attention to INEC and its commissioners at all levels. Nigerians must begin to scrutinize every action or inaction of INEC. All INEC’s acts of omission or commission must be examined. This INEC is compromised. It is no longer an impartial arbiter. Professor Yakubu has just undermined the remaining modicum of credibility that this INEC enjoys. We can no longer trust this INEC anymore.
All of us can blame President Goodluck Jonathan for everything, and he would deserve all the blames. But one thing separates him from other leaders in Nigerian history, his ruling party lost elections in several states while he was in control during off-general election years. He did not mess with the courts to give judgment in favour of his own party’s candidates. He never intervened which he could have done. And at the end when all was said and done, he gave us conclusive election that brought in the Buhari administration.
Nigerians must protect this democracy from the enemies of Nigeria, one of which Professor Yakubu potentially is. “Inconclusive elections” would not be acceptable in 2019. Nigerians ought not to accept such a travesty. They should not and would not accept such retrogression. Nigerians must not accept any “inconclusive” election from INEC.
Those of use seeking the balkanization of the Nigerian State should not be given an excuse to further make our case. Every one of us must stand up now and defend this democracy or say bye-bye to Nigeria. “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.” - John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961
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