PROFESSOR JEGA RESIGN NOW, IF…
When Professor Atahiru Jega was appointed by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), many Nigerians applauded his appointment. Everywhere, the accolade was the same. They said that here indeed was a man of integrity.
I personally was very skeptical to say the least, especially as the government appointing him was the same that rejected all the crucial recommendations of the Justice Uwais committee(of which Prof. Jega was a member) on electoral reforms, which same government had set up.
To cut a long story short, I participated in the 2011 presidential election as a candidate, and my party the African Renaissance Party(ARP) participated actively alongside other political parties in the general elections.
I was personally far from convinced that the results announced by Professor Jega and his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) represented a true reflection of the electoral wishes of the Nigerian electorate especially regarding the presidential elections where all the six(6) presidential candidates who three(3) days to the presidential election (on the 13th of April to be precise) stepped down for the incumbent president Jonathan at a function held at the Legacy House (president Jonathan's campaign headquarters) were announced to have scored much more votes than me. Some even scoring as much as four times my votes. But I did not go to the tribunal.
I made calls to many Nigerians including to Prof. Wole Soyinka complaining that there appeared to be much more than met the eyes with the whole elections.
However of the about 21 presidential candidates who contested the April 16 elections , two(2) went to the tribunals/court to challenge the outcome of the elections as announced by Prof. Jega. One was General Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change(CPC), and the other was Chief Ambrose Owuru of the Hope Democratic Party(HDP). The application of Chief Owuru did not go far and was soon thrown out by the tribunal amidst controversial circumstances that I found most confusing, but the application of General Buhari, or rather of his party (CPC) has continued up till date.
Now, the Federal Government spent hundreds of billions of Naira on this election and Nigeria as a whole spent trillions of Naira on the exercise. Above all, about 800 Nigerians lost their lives in the violence following the presidential elections for which the federal government set up a panel of enquiry.
Ordinarily, one would have expected that an Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) chaired by a prof. Jega whom so many said was a Mr. Integrity himself would have not needed any promptings to fully release the ultimate evidence to demonstrate to all and sundry that the elections it conducted was indeed credible once there were any contestations to its credibility.
Of course the ultimate evidence can be none other than the very ballot papers that the voters purportedly used to register their support for the candidates and their parties for the elections.
But when INEC and Professor Jega begin to refuse to produce the ballot papers and other necessary electoral materials for forensic examinations by parties actively contesting the veracity of the presidential election, then the direct interpretation of such refusal by the Nigerian masses and the world can be nothing but that the ballot papers must be at variance with the results declared by the electoral commission.
For Professor Jega's INEC to claim that production of the ballot papers would bridge national security is not only an insult on the intelligence and sensibilities of Nigerians but indeed an affront on the souls of the about 800 Nigerians who died in the violence attending the presidential elections.
The April 2011 elections and the preparations to the exercise were witnessed by Nigerians as well as by the international community. Since the test of the pudding lies in the eating, and Nigerians are fully entitled to know exactly what really transpired in not only the presidential elections , but indeed in all elections conducted by professor Jega's headed INEC, I call on all Nigerians who voted in the elections, on all Nigerians, on all religious leaders whether Muslims or Christians, or others, on all members of the international community as well as local bodies that monitored and observed the elections, on all donor bodies that have been making contributions and assisting the Nigerian electoral processes, to prevail on professor Jega and the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to immediately release the ballot papers used for the elections and other materials for forensic examinations.
I call on the Nigerian Labor Congress, on the Nigerian Bar Association, on the Nigerian women and on the youths, indeed on all bodies, professional and otherwise to patriotically prevail on INEC and prof Jega to release the ballot papers and other so-called sensitive materials necessary to bring the nation abreast with the truth pertaining to the elections.
I call on all political parties and on all civil society organizations, on all NYSC members, indeed on all citizens of Nigeria to insist on the release of the materials and documents.
Truly, conscience is an open wound and only truth can heal it.
In the bible, it is written; AND YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE. ..Nigerians demand to know the truth, so they shall be free of conjectures and falsehood.
The Quran says in Sura 17(81)
TRUTH HAS ARRIVED, AND FALSEHOOD PERISHED. FOR FALSEHOOD IS (BY ITS NATURE)BOUND TO PERISH.
It says in Sura 21(18)
NAY,WE HURL THE TRUTH AGAINST FALSEHOOD, AND IT KNOCKS OUT ITS BRAIN AND BEHOLD, FALSEHOOD DOTH PERISH.
And it says in Sura 34(49)
SAY,TRUTH HAS ARRIVED AND FALSEHOOD SHOWETH NOT ITS FACE AND WILL NOT RETURN
I recall that when Professor Atahiru Jega was collating the result of the presidential election, many vice chancellors of Nigerian universities who assisted in the collation of the results were there on the screens of our national televisions and were watched by Nigerians announcing purported results from the states where they served
I say to all those vice chancellors that their reputation and integrity are at stake. And that they collectively and individually owe it to themselves, to their parent institutions, to their families, to their students, to their friends and relatives, in-laws and colleagues to insist and ensure that the ballot papers and other so-called sensitive materials pertaining to the election whose conduct they participated prominently in are produced by Prof. Jega and INEC for thorough forensic examinations to determine the veracity of the elections the conducted. If they fail to do this, then they shall be condemned by posterity and shall be construed to have consciously colluded to undermine the electoral will of Nigerians.
I say to Professor Jega, that he should stop hiding under the pretense that the release of the ballot papers and other relevant materials pertaining to the conduct of the presidential election of 16th April 2011, and other elections would undermine the security of Nigeria. I put it to him that I am not aware of anything that makes him , or any INEC Commissioner more patriotic or more Nigerian than myself, or those contesting the result of the elections he conducted at the tribunals, or any other Nigerian for that matter.
I say to him that IF YOU CANNOT OR REFUSE TO PRODUCE THE BALLOT PAPERS AND OTHER RELEVANT MATERIALS TO ESTABLISH FOREVER THE VERACITY OF THE ELECTION YOU CONDUCTED AND FOR WHICH NIGERIA SPENT SO MUCH, THEN IMMEDIATELY RESIGN AND LET THE PERSON WHO WOULD PRODUCE THEM TAKE OVER AT INEC, AND FOREEVER HIDE YOUR FACE IN SHAME.
The transformation that Nigeria needs and that Nigerians want and have been waiting for must be one predicated on the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
The implications of INEC not releasing the concrete evidences in its possession(which are properties of the Nigerian state) are too enormous to contemplate.
Sovereignty is not of the state ultimately but of the people. It is not the swearing in ceremony or exercise per se, that gives a president the powers to govern but the mandate of the people, which in a multi-party democracy is bestowed through voting. If the electoral body that conducted the election and pronounces a candidate (returns) winner refuses to produce the concrete evidence to prove that the candidate it declared winner is indeed the true winner in a situation where there is serious contestation, it should be clear that the candidate declared winner may not have won the elections after all.
This means that the person was wrongfully declared winner. It means that the person is occupying the position so declared to have won illegitimately. This means that any government formed or founded by such a candidate is illegitimate.
The implication of an illegitimate president for a nation such as ours is indeed enormous and its consequences for the nation are frightening.
For an illegitimate president, all appointments made by him whether of ministers, Ambassadors, chief of police or army, secretary of government and what have you are all illegitimately done and of no consequence and null and void. All official communications whether to the National assembly, to foreign governments, e.t.c, are illegitimate and in fact if INEC dose not produce evidence to justify its declaration of Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan as haven won the April 16th elections...It means that what happened on May 29th 2011 at the Eagle square Abuja by way of a swearing in ceremony was essentially a coup detate and a treason against the Nigerian state.
If what happened on May 29th 2011 was a coup detate against the Nigeria state, then it is the duty of every and all law abiding citizens of Nigeria to pull down such a government with any means necessary and install a legitimate one.
I recall at a point just when the April 2011 elections were to commence and professor Jega had invited Nigerian political parties to an emergency meeting or rather briefing at the conference room at the INEC headquarters at Asokoro District, Abuja where he announced that the commission had no option but to postpone the elections as the vendors that INEC had contracted to supply electoral materials had failed to deliver on schedule. At that occasion, I had asked professor Jega directly to disclose the identity of the vendor or vendors who he alleged had disappointed the nation. Prof. Jega had answered that he would not disclose the identity requested and that the information was with the National Security Adviser.
Clearly, Prof. Jega's was strange and extremely suspicious .This attitude of the ruling elites of Nigeria and their collaborators of secrecy is at the bottom of all the problems bedeviling the nation.
It is common knowledge that several people were caught in different parts of the nation during the infamous elections with baskets and truck loads of already thumb printed ballot papers. The public does not know how many millions of these nefarious ballot papers found their way into INEC strong rooms and were part of the votes that were declared by Prof. Jega and the collaborating vice chancellors from various Nigerian universities as having been won by their selected candidates. The only opportunity open for the nation to discover the truth is the forensic examination of the ballot papers and other vital documents used for the conduct of the election. This opportunity is the same that Prof. Jega(Mr. Integrity)is trying to frustrate.
But we , the people of Nigeria shall not agree.
These people have been fooling the nation for too long and making Nigeria the laughing stock of the world. Nigeria is a nation that has set up hundreds of panels and commissions of enquiries, spending trillions of Naira in the processes, only for the findings of the panels and commissions to be kept hidden and secret.
It is a secret what the nation spends on the members of the National assembly. It is a secret what the almighty governors collect as security votes. It is a secret why the Nigerian nation grows richer everyday and her citizens grow poorer every minute.
It is a secret who and who have been importing petroleum products for Nigeria while her refineries remain comatose.
Indeed, Nigeria is in trouble and Nigerians are left with no other option but to stand up and demand that all the secrets must be made open in the spirit of freedom of information, transparency, democracy and good governance.
\This country belongs to all of us and the transformation we want must be based on the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
all those who were shouting themselves hoarse in insulting Professor Maurice Iwu have all lost their voices. They tell us that the election conducted by Professor Jega was mush better. But where is the proof?
The proof lies in the release of the ballot papers and other vital materials used by Professor Jega to conduct his 2011 elections.
Some believe that the number of aggrieved candidates who have gone to the tribunals and courts to protest electoral mal practices have reduced drastically from what it was in 2007 to the situation now in 2011, they do not know that the reasons for the apparent reduction in the number of cases in the tribunals are traceable directly to the draconian and wicked imposition by the Nigerian judiciary of a fee of N400,000(Four hundred thousand Naira) for all aggrieved candidates to pay before their matters can be entertained by the courts and tribunals.
They do not know that INEC under Professor Jega was simply allocating votes to favored political parties and candidates at will and that the votes being announced by INEC has haven been scored by candidates had no bearing whatsoever to the votes cast by the electorates at the polls.
Incidentally, these are the same announced votes that Jega and his INEC intend to use to deregister parties which they claim did not meet up certain most undemocratic criteria.
The chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has been variously fingered at the revelations coming out of the Senate hearings on privatization. None has heard anything of any summons whatsoever being issued on him to come and clear the air. Yet his party as we have been told by the current acting chairman..will rule Nigeria for ever.
As matters stand, INDEED, ONLY A REVOLUTION CAN DELIVER NIGERIA.
* Yahaya Ezeemoo Ndu is National Chairman, African Renaissance Party(ARP).