The End Of Buhari's Presidential Candidacy
By Femi Aribisala
If Nigeria is a nation of laws and of the rule of law, the presidential
candidacy of Muhammadu Buhari should end this week. The reason is
well-known to all. Buhari swore an oath on his INEC application that his
creådentials are with the military. This turned out to be a lie.
The military has come out to deny that it has Buhari's credentials. That
means Buhari committed perjury instead of fulfilling INEC requirements.
For this reason, he must be disqualified from contesting the presidential
The matter has been taken to court and the courts should decide the matter
this week. I am not a lawyer, but from my layman's perspective, this is an
open and shut case. Buhari lied willfully. As a former military secretary
of the Nigerian Army, he knew that the military does not keep any
credentials of its service-men. Nevertheless, he lied on oath that his
credentials are with the military. He must face the penalty for this
perjury. There can be debate about whether, and for how long, he should go
to jail. However, there can be no question about his resultant
ineligibility to contest: he must be disqualified.
To overlook this infraction is to succumb to Buhari's appraisal that
Nigeria is corrupt. If we are going to deal with corruption, we must not
fail to deal with the likes of Buhari, who are contemptuous of the laws of
the land. Buhari's false affidavit is corruption. The disqualification of
Buhari by the courts will be a testament to the determination of the
judiciary to show zero tolerance for corruption in the coming new
Some of us have watched APC make a song and dance about the possibility of
postponing the 2015 elections. The party brought out all its big guns to
tell us that the election cannot be postponed. They insisted that if it is
postponed all hell would break lose. Well, the election has been postponed
and nothing has happened. It has been postponed and the APC can do nothing
about it. It was postponed according to the law.
Similarly, the heavens will not fall with the lawful disqualification of
Buhari. Of all those APC could present as its presidential candidate, it
chose a man without the appropriate credentials. APC has nobody to blame
but itself for this fiasco. It has forfeited its chance of presenting a
candidate for the 2015 presidential election. The contest should now be
between the remaining 13 presidential candidates. Shikenan!
JEGA MUST GO IMMEDIATELY
The excuse used to force Attahiru Jega to postpone the elections is the
inability to provide effective security given the insurgency in the
North-East. However, there is little likelihood that the security
situation will improve within the next six weeks of the postponement. So,
strictly-speaking, security has nothing to do with the postponement. One
major reason for the postponement was to prevent INEC from compromising
INEC has long ceased to be a disinterested umpire in this election. The
evidence is now overwhelming that INEC is determined to bias the election
in favour of Muhammadu Buhari and the APC. This is evident in INEC's
determination to go ahead with the election in spite of the fact that out
of 68 million registered voters, over 20 million have yet to receive their
permanent voter's cards (PVCs).
It is remarkable that, in announcing the postponement, Jega conveniently
forgot to mention the nagging issue of the inadequacies of INEC in
providing voters with their PVCs. It is also remarkable that Jega briefed
the Council of State that INEC was ready to conduct the elections. This
was one big lie. You cannot be ready to conduct elections when there is a
cacophony of complaints, especially in the South, that people are unable
to claim their PVCs. Given the time it took INEC to distribute 40 million
PVCs, it could not have realistically expected to be able to distribute
the outstanding 20 million in just one week?
What is even more sinister is INEC's willful determination to
disenfranchise select geopolitical regions which represent areas of
strength for Goodluck Jonathan. Credible Alternative Alliance, an
independent political interest organization led by former Kaduna State
governor, Balarabe Musa, observed in INEC activities: “a criminal gross
disparity of voter spread designed to tilt the election to a
It said: “Voters in the zones that tend to support President Goodluck
Jonathan are massively disenfranchised by the application of the so-called
PVCs debacle, 40% to 50% of voters in these regions who are lawfully and
duly registered to vote will be denied their right to vote by INEC. That
is nearly half of the support base of the President, simply nullified by
administrative failure prior to the election. By comparison, the zones
that tend to support Buhari are handed a massive voter advantage, nearly
80% of his support base will be allowed to cast their votes by INEC.”
“In an election, which many say will be won or lost by a slim margin, to
now disenfranchise 20 million voters through a questionable and unlawful
rule by INEC is not acceptable by any measure. CAA condemns in its
entirety this attempt by INEC to undermine our nascent democracy through
this criminal enterprise to determine the outcome of this election before
the ballot is cast.”
This position is corroborated by different observers in the field. INEC
needs to explain how more people in the war-torn North-East have collected
their PVCs than in the South-West, South-South and South-East. In the APC
strongholds of the North-West and the North-East, 80.18% and 81.09%
collection rates were recorded respectively. In the North-Central, the
figure was 69.89%. However, the figures in the South were significantly
lower than these. In the South-East, it was 59.22%. South-South: 66.66%;
and South-West 43.15%.
Since INEC under Jega is no longer an independent umpire but is now
clearly working for the opposition, Jega should be sent on compulsory
leave and a temporary chairman should be nominated to handle the
elections. Jega can no longer be trusted.
THE MISCHIEF OF FORMER CBN GOVERNOR, LAMIDO SANUSI
Former Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, caused uproar when he
declared that $49.8 billion of Nigeria's oil money was missing, allegedly
diverted by the NNPC. For a Central Bank governor, the statement was not
only irresponsible, it was downright mischievous. If it were not that
Nigeria is an innumerate society where we have little or no understanding
of figures, it would have been obvious that, for the size of the Nigerian
economy, it was impossible for such a large sum to be missing.
However, the allegation fell into the narrative of the opposition APC
party which was determined to portray the Jonathan Administration as the
most corrupt in the history of Nigeria. There was a lot of hue and cry in
the press about the missing money; after all, the claim was made by the
Central Bank governor no less. However, the governor seemed to have
plucked the missing figure out of thin air.
Soon, it was not $49.8 billion at all, but $10.8 billion. Then again, it
was no longer $10.8 billion but $20 billion. It should have been clear
from all this that the CBN governor was just fibbing. But in Nigeria, we
are socialissed to believe the worst.
General Buhari, the APC presidential candidate, has used this fictitious
$20 billion dollars to preach his own school-certificate economics on the
campaign stump. He said: “$20 Billion at N210 to $1.00 is equal to N4.2
trillion- nearly a year's federal budget.”
If so, how can Buhari believe an amount nearly equal to Nigeria's annual
federal budget could possibly be missing? No matter how corrupt a nation
can be, it is ridiculous to presume that public officers would go ahead
and steal the entire annual federal budget? Haba! Buhari then used this
malarkey to formulate his own voodoo economics.
He said: “If it is true that this sum cannot be accounted for, this is
grossest form of corruption. Just think at N5 million per vehicle, this
money would have bought 840,000 patrol vehicles; (this would have improved
security in every town and village in the country). At N13.5 million for a
high capacity bus this money would have bought 311,000 buses; (this would
have revolutionised the transport and production side of the economy).”
It is this kind of rudimentary economics that Buhari has been presenting
as an excuse for an economic policy to Nigerians in this election season.
Just listen to this vain platitude from our eminent retired general. He
says: “The monies we realised from anti-corruption campaign will be
adequately used to improve education in the country.” Now that is an
economic policy that is practically meaningless.
Because of the nuisance value of men like Buhari, the Finance Minister,
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was constrained to ask for a forensic audit of NNPC
accounts in order to put the matter to rest. She chose
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC); one of the big four auditors in the world,
along with Deloitte, EY and KPMG.
PwC has now provided a conclusive report that shows Sanusi's allegation of
a missing $20 billion is one big fabrication. This matter needs to be
emphasized now that the report is out. Lamido Sanusi lied. The Central
Bank governor deliberately cried wolf when he jolly well knew there was no
wolf. He was just determined to malign and discredit the government; and
he was playing a script to the benefit of the opposition APC.
This then lends credence to the PDP allegation that Sanusi was an APC mole
in the government. Indeed, the PDP claims Sanusi gave the APC 1 billion
naira of Central Bank money to open its offices nationwide. It also
maintains that a fraudulent N48 billion contract was awarded by Sanusi's
CBN to a leader of the APC, while a further N5 billion was paid to another
APC member as consultancy fee. So much for APC's anti-corruption hogwash!
Femi Aribisala is a scholar and international affairs expert. He is
currently an iconoclastic church pastor in Lagos. He is also a syndicated
essayist for a handful publications in Nigeria.
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