I LOVE EDO POLITICS
I love Edo politics. In fact, I recommend it as a model for other states. Edo politicians are pragmatic and proactive. They know what they want and go right after it, no detours, no loitering, no parking. Straight for the jugular they always go. They take no prisoners. And nothing catches them unawares. They always have a Plan B.
In other state's Houses of Assembly, when angry lawmakers make a dive for the mace, hell is let loose.
Chairs are uprooted to crack skulls and 'agbada' are rolled round opponents nocks until their eyes bulge. Not in Edo. They have many Maces. If one faction of the House abduct one Mace, the other factions whips out another Plan B Mace and a mace is a mace, right? Or didn't you watch on television the abduction of the Mace of the Edo State House of Assembly some months ago? One faction wanted the Speaker impeached and the other didn't. So, one faction seized the mace and right in front of the cameras, the other faction whipped out a duplicate mace from the boot of a car.
Now, how could the good people of Edo state tell one mace from the other? How would they have known the one with NAFDAC number and the one that is fake? They simply have to trust their creative legislators. One still doesn't know which Mace they are using now, in fact. But you must agree with me that the Edo way is better than other legislative houses where juju eggs are thrown on the walls of the Assembly or where lawmakers are thrown down storey buildings. It is even better than Houses where male members strip one another naked and 'use style to tap current' from female colleagues.
Edo politicians, like I said, are pragmatic. They don't wait for things to happen, they make things happen. They don't waste time on frivolities. A man's got to do what a man's gotta do; that's their motto. Tell me, which other state in Nigeria has an aspirant declaring his intention to run in the morning and is killed in the evening, same day? Edo magic has no part two. One young civil engineer called Ayo Omoregbe declared to run for the House of Representatives in the next election in the morning and was killed later that day. Smart politicians are my prime suspects.
They had no time to waste. They did a comprehensive summary of the process. Why wait to find out if Omoregbe would get the ticket of his party or not? Why allow him to win and disgrace his opponents? Who has time for the tribunals' long-winded process? So, they did what they had to do; cut down a young man in his prime, killed the son of a Zonal Pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God one week before the annual convention of the church. Edo politicians are smart cookies. They will dare God and man . They will poke their fingers in the eyes of their creator as long as they get 'the job' done.
You will see what they will come up with in the days leading to 2011 elections. They will abbreviate the lives of anybody who stands in their paths to political office. And you know the most interesting part? No killer will be found. Nobody will be brought to book because there is no book to bring anybody to in the first place.
I hereby move for the adoption of the Edo Model of pragmatic politicking for national use. Any seconder?
…And this is from a concerned NigerianDear Funke
Firstly I say kudos to you for being one of the very best few journalists that are till incisive in their write-ups, keep it up.
Secondly and to my main concern, I just read story on voter registration, where it was stated that INEC boss, Jega, clarified that each of the 120,000 registration centres will need NE devices (comprising a laptop, back-up batteries, web cam, a hand-held (presume a thumb-print device), and a printer), and each set of devices would cost a princely sum of $2,000.
A voter registration exercise was carried out in 2007, and same devices were purchased by INEC for same purpose. In fact, they were supplied by a local manufacturer who, reportedly saved INEC at the last moment from failure of the original contractors to deliver. Nigerians celebrated this when it was reported and the owner of this manufacturing entity received a national award from OBJ ostensibly for this service to the nation.
My question that I would be glad if you could use your good office to get an answer to, are the following:
Why can we not edit or modify the current database produced from the last exercises that was computerized? I find this strange because the primary reason for using a computer data store is to make the captured data extensible and updatable. Even if half of the data consisting of cooked-up persons and other errors have to be deleted, it would reduce the time for data capture for new genuine persons significantly, most people would not be re-captured but simply verified and the person walks away.
Why can we not re-use most of the devices that were procured in 2007? After all these were used only between the hours of roughly 10 am to 4pm for less than four months. I have been using the same computing device (laptop) and printer since 2006 almost daily, and it is okay, except that I am now planning to change these with more powerful systems to do more. So, the ones that INEC purchased in 2007 can still serve same purpose adequately.
If more than 75% of those devices are not available for use for whatever reason, Nigerians need to know why, who is responsible for mismanaging these expensive resources, and what punishment has been meted for such colossal mismanagement.
It is way past high time our public office holders began to realize that mismanaging public property and funds cannot just be glossed over.
Still on Jega's hangman's noose
I am worried about that N87.9bn that has just been approved for Prof Jega and his INEC. I hope he knows that there is little or no time for verification of that register. I hope he also knows that his incredibly expensive credible voters register won't turn bad politicians to children of God. My fellow Nigerians in the business of politics will still tinker with everything they can lay their fingers on.
Bad politicians, not voters register is the problem and that is exactly the problem.
We have convinced ourselves that this register is the promised land. I still believe that a review of what we have, deleting nine-year olds posing as 70-year-old farmers is what we should do for now but then I'm neither a politician nor a statistician. But I believe if we can box out the Mike Tysons , send the ghosts back to the land of the dead in the little space we have plus good attitude by all of us, we just might get a good election. If we can make sure Fashola votes in Lagos not in Calabar and that Wole Soyinka's name does not appear on the register in Taraba, we might save Jega a lot of headache. This fanaticism about sophisticated machines solving all our famous electoral woes is stupid, trust me and we'll all soon find out.
If thugs hijack ballot boxes, Jega will be in trouble. If those UPS and laptops fail him, we'll ask him for our N87bn.
As at this moment the good prof's reputation is still intact but I have this strong feeling that the civil servants are going to do him in. I have worked up close with civil servants and I know there are no species like them anywhere. The figures they are capable of coming up with at the snap of a finger will remove the halo from an angel's head. They are good at what they do and that is why we are where we are.
If Jega is already in their prison custody, he's in real trouble and when the shit hits the fan (pardon my French), the civil servants will send him forth to Golgotha alone. Or did they stand up for Iwu? We all want Prof Jega to succeed but we want credible elections more. Right now, Nigerians are worried about him. They are fervently praying for him but if he plays this the wrong way, they will surely turn on him with the same intense emotion with which they wish him well today. History should serve the professor well on this.