"Ekiti Election Flu"
Written by Odimegwu Onwumere
Nigerians should hit the nail on the head regardless of whose ox is gored, because she has become a bitter pill for some to swallow. While the rest of the world were battling the outbreak of the scourge called “Swine Flu” which started from ravaging Mexico recently, the world also focused its searchlight on Nigeria to know what the April 25, 2009 re-run election would be in Ekiti State, as it was branded by many self-acclaimed “wise men” in the PDP as a “do-or-die”.
I might be writing rubbish. But Nigerians should always be voluble when it comes to injustice, because this is our father or motherland. We should stop supporting evil or anyone who has any intention of supporting or drumbeating for those enchaining Nigerians and Nigeria, thereby practicing the art of looting before the public glare.
Nigerians of good will should always speak their minds even before anybody's intimidation. Was it not Thomas Jefferson who said, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God"? Nobody would one day extend any invitation to anybody in Nigeria to rise up and fight injustice, but as individuals or groups, we must fight injustice, abuse of power, and dictatorship in Nigeria in our different ways.
We should not forget in a hurry that Prince Tonye Princewill, the leader of the Action Congress in Rivers State in March, rising from a meeting, which centered on the arrest of Lai Mohammed before the Ekiti re-run election, the assassination threat and the run-off election that came up on 'this' 25th of April at Ekiti, called on the Police to release Lai Mohammed immediately without any further delay and stop any further intimidation of the opposition as the use of Police by the PDP led Government to score cheap political point will not in any form deter or cow AC in exposing the deficiency of governance in Nigeria. “Any attempt to silence the voice of the opposition in Nigeria as currently represented by AC will be resisted,” said Princewill.
Princewill further admonished politicians across the country to desist from actions capable of truncating the democratic process that has cost the country so much of the tax payers money to sustain. He called on President Yar'adua to be transparent and ensure that his government comes up with an electoral reform that would ensure the peoples mandate in further elections. This he said would enable the system to undergo an automatic overhaul, which will certainly keep venal and insincere persons with a propensity for violence and disregard for human life away from politics. Nigeria, he said is blessed with enormous human capital that is not being harnessed because of an electoral system that is flawed, giving rise to a lot of misplaced protagonists who style themselves as leaders while the patriots shy away for fear of being assassinated.
But did anybody paid heed to Princewill's admonishment? Is what the PDPians and gang are doing to Nigerians fine with us? I always lose sleep over it. Nobody is inviting anybody either to join the crusade against injustice, albeit many were called, but few were chosen. After all, is Obasanjo not a god to many? I am looking for that day when we all shall stand out and say enough is enough in the concentration of the populace in Nigeria.
Under the current condition and the current INEC, why must election be re-run in Nigeria and PDP will continue to win? Not that PDP wins on a clear ground; there is always allegation of irregularities that mars “their” election. We always experience uselessness of a bed-in government in the PDP-ruling Nigeria. "The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves". - Mark Twain
While many Nigerians are still are for or against this ghastly accident called election, many editions of 05.06.2009 Nigerian newspapers, reportedly said that the Presidential candidate of the All Peoples Party (APP) in the 1999 presidential election, Chief Olu Falae, said that he does not know the circumstances in which Mr. Segun Oni, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared winner of the governorship supplementary election in Ekiti State. Oni said he would not comment on the outcome of the governorship election in Ekiti State, until he got full detail of what transpired? On his part, President and founder of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fahseun, said that people should be true to their conscience. “Let everybody be true to his or conscience,” Faseun said. The Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress (AC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the party would not accept the result of the governorship election in Ekiti State as declared by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo.
“The victory for Oni and PDP, it is victory of impunity. Unfortunately, the same impunity will consume PDP. We are not accepting this result and we shall go to court to challenge it. How come only 2,100 voted in Oye Ekiti said to have about 18,000 voters? We call on all well meaning Nigerians of goodwill to join us in our fight to restore electoral integrity in Nigeria,” Mohammed said.
But even that Mr. Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) formally got the nod to come back as governor of the state, he might not have the nod before his conscience that, “I truly won a free and fair election.”. Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), declared him winner of the rerun in 63 wards across 10 local governments of the state. But can this declaration mark the end of the tension-soaked governorship rerun in the state? Did this election squabble in Ekiti not begin last April 25 and which witnessed a rescheduled poll 5th May 2009 in two wards of Oye Local Government? Did the declaration of Oni not come amid confusion and protest by supporters of the opposition Action Congress (AC) at the collation centre at Christ High School, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital? Did AC supporters not move to the streets in protest immediately after the pronouncement? However, reportedly, according to Adebayo, Oni polled 44,306 to beat Dr. Kayode Fayemi of AC who polled 28,238 votes in the 10 councils. Is this not incongruous? Was the results earlier validated by the Court of Appeal not, PDP has 65,743 and AC 78,091? Did this in earnest bring the final figures of the governorship poll as follows: PDP-110,049 and AC- 106,329?
I know that Oni will by now be swimming in congratulatory messages particularly from selfish PDP leaders and governors who have begun pouring in for the governor-elect, to “see my candidate for an appointment.” This could be why the AC National Publicity Secretary Lai Muhammed said: “It is a sad day for democracy and Nigeria. People's vote no longer counts. The Resident Electoral Commissioner should come out and tell the whole world why she disappeared and resurfaced again. Where has her Christianity gone to?” Even Wole Soyinka called what happened in Ekiti, apartheid worst than South Africa's.
Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. 08032552855. [email protected]