Jega's INEC Walk, Completed, Finished Or Completely Finished

People say there is no difference between COMPLETE & FINISHED!!!

But there is a difference! An example:
When you marry the right one, you are COMPLETE...
And when you marry the wrong one, you are FINISHED...

And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are...COMPLETELY FINISHED!

As I reflected upon the just concluded voters' register and its display and all the drama that has led up to the soon to hold April elections. I had to in the words of a senior friend Bashir Sani ...let my voice be heard. I do this discuss in the light of the following salient notes.

Only last week, Prof. Attahiru Jega requested the Senate to approve another N5 billion to enable his Commission laminate the voters' cards. This was coming barely three weeks after he made similar request of additional N6.6 billion for an extension of the voters' registration.

For a lot of us the N87Billion is already gone to the dryers, off course many would argue by all means necessary give us an election free and fair whatever the cost.

The same INEC has requested for N63.1 million and N77 million for refreshment and honorarium respectively during the 2011 fiscal year.

The commission would need another N450 million to cover donations and gifts to some agencies that already made presentations for sponsorship of capacity building workshops and seminars.

This was as he also said the commission would spend about N181 million on fuelling and lubricants in addition to another N45 million on generators and plant for the 2011 fiscal year.

Similarly, the commission was expected to spend N22 million on local training while N270 million was reserved for foreign training in addition to another N180 million on local travel just as it would need N135 million for foreign tours.

We are a nation that largely holds accountability in scorn and disdain. How has these billions been expended and who is auditing the ones yet to be spent and comparatively are we getting value for these monies.

For the Haeir laptops, for the substandard gadgets and corpers that INEC told us could not operate computers, how many billions went down that channel?

Most Nigerians had to help in their domain, provide fuel and 'I pass my neigbour generators' and food for the corpers, these excludes the many cartridges of printing ink that the citizens bought.

All is not well, and as we are wont to do, Nigerians, we just carry on. At this point I 'd like to note that this is not about Jega and how poorly he has performed but a warning, an alert that we get it right or we can just as well keep the pretence up.

Can someone tell me, or rather educate us, on the stolen DDC machines stolen before ad during the registration exercise, what is the status report/investigation/trial of those responsible?

After all the drama of the registration exercise, the Nigerian myth and factor, we gathered from the grapevine that we may still have to use a manual register for the election.

In co-relation to the National Population Figures and the absence of a certified and ratified counting through validation of finger prints, can we vouch that the figures are free from manipulations and indeed it is not a pre-rigging scheme, how about the underage and foreigners?

For all it is worth phrases such as "One man, one vote, my vote, my future, say No to rigging, etc" are they not just illusive catchy slogans?

We are not asking questions, we are still plagued with politicians that have not been tutored in the art and act of loosing, with over a 100 and several scores o litigations facing it and our docile National Assembly watching, who do we trust...Jega. Jonathan or our own INEC?

In our constant wayward manner we see a slick, rigging free, ballot snatching absent credible election, after all God is Nigerian, and although Obasanjo said even though Jesus cannot conduct a credible election in Nigeria, so why bother?

June 1992 was free, credible and not totally fair because plenty people were induced by Abiola salt and wrapper. The truth remains that we got that close without even a register both manual and electronic.

I ask a N10million 'who wants to be a millionaire' question, who is the chairman, woman or head of the US or UK electoral body, why is it that they do not go to the courts like us, just musing, what do they even call the name of the bodies, is it USNEC, or UKNECK?

Jega was never the answer because he was not the problem, though he must take the brunt of the failure. Its beyond Jega, it's about a system that is bankrupt, that needs a major surgery, an overhaul and a participatory political system that still lacks the basic knowledge of how to play democracy.

A system that celebrates Bode George, accords him and his cohorts a thanksgiving, give him a presidential pardon, a national award and an appointment for full effects.

The system that wears Aso ebi for such characters in one minute and ready to burn down his properties is not ready for its votes to count.

In Bashir Sani's words..."Witnesses to a marriage ceremony are asked to speak up if they know any reason that the ceremony should not take place. Similarly, witnesses to Nigeria's upcoming election ceremony are duty-bound to "speak up" or forever live with the calamity and shame of their silence" It is no secret that our upcoming national election process is flawed.

There is no one man one vote system in place. Rather, it is one man many votes due to lack of oversight for voter registration. This will lead to calamitous results that we, who do not speak up, must forever have on our collective guilty conscience. I encourage you to bear witness to history by making your voice heard. Do not sit silently by while our elected officials come to office via a flawed, unfair process.

Over many years of struggle, we asked for the majesty of Democracy. Today we must protect that hard won democracy by protesting the flawed voter registrations. Be a responsible witness to history not a helpless victim of history. Let your voice be heard."

I end therefore, saying, some say we do not know what our problems are, others say we do not know what we want, where we want to be or should be. It's barely weeks to the elections, we better talk, act, for those in position to, let's ask questions, Nigerians speak or by May remain silent when it dawns on us and be under the continued bondage of a ruling, rigging cabal. Let's help Jega, help INEC, and help us to help Nigeria.

Prince Charles Dickson
Nigeria's 1st Online Newspaper
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Articles by Prince Charles Dickson