(OPINION) ACN, TINUBU’S MILUTOCRACY GLUTAMATE
For a very long time, I have maintained that Lagos State Governor Emeritus and Sole Proprietor of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was everything but a democrat. I have also maintained that in terms of democratic principles, Tinubu's party; the ACN was not in any way better than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it (ACN) daily struggle to demonise.
My position was informed by my understanding of how Tinubu emerged as the Lagos State governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy
(AD) in 1999 and how he latter came back to destroy the Afenifere, the platform that secured the governorship ticket for him, on one hand and the fraudulent primary election that produced Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State as the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in late 2006 on the other.
Today, except those whose daily bread are courtesy of Tinubu and his ACN, I guess if there is anyone among those that were hoodwinked into seeing Tinubu and ACN as the true face of democracy in Nigeria that are yet to see the hypocrisy in their (ACN and Tinubu) democratic posture. If not for anything other thing, participation of the PDP in the last Lagos State Local Government elections has done the needful – exposed the hypocrisy of Tinubu and his ACN!
Interestingly, the degree of fraud that characterised the council polls never attracted my attention until I saw the video recording of the announcement of the results in Badagry Local Government by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) Presiding Officer. PDP candidate was announced as the winner and the video clip is now on YouTube. I also saw the polling booth by polling booth results of the polls in Ikoyi/Obalende Local Councils and Local Government Development Area (LCDA) where Jide Obanikoro, son of Nigeria's High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro contested the chairmanship position on the platform of the PDP.
Reason for my apathy towards the election was because I knew the ACN people would try anything humanly possible to rig the elections, and I was aware that members of the party were employed as electoral officers. However, it never occurred to me that the ACN would lose glaringly, and a completely fake result would be announced. At least, former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Prof Maurice Iwu that the ACN called iwuruwuru did not announce results different from those announced by the States Resident Electoral Commissioners.
However, Nigerians were shown that even General Ibrahim Babangida's annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election was saintly when; more than 48 hours after the election results in some council areas and wards were announced by Presiding Officers, as provided by Section
51 (1-8) of the LASIEC Law, the commission's chairman, Justice Abdul-Fatai Adeyinka (rtd) announced ACN candidates as winners in all the 57 Local Councils and Local Government Development Areas (LCDAs).
Out of the 57 councils and LCDASs, PDP claimed that it won in at least four and in 125 wards, adding that; “we have the results signed by LASIEC officials and ACN agents in the various polling units.”
The party claimed that LASIEC announced fake results to favour ACN in Agbado-Okeodo, Ikoyi-Obalende, Badagry, Somolu, Eredo, and many other wards. It said “in these said areas, the returning officers had announced the results and they presented PDP candidates as winners.”
More than the brazing rigging of the election however, Tinubu further exposed his contempt for the rule of law when he demanded to be allowed to vote without his voter's card.
Tinubu, who arrived the venue of the polling centre in the morning, caused a stir when he bluntly told electoral officers conducting the exercise that he was not with his voter card and that the officials should allow him to vote.
He said; “Well, my people, I have forgotten my voter card at home, hope you can recognise me. I am Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).”
By presenting himself at a polling unit, without a voters card as stipulated by the electoral act, and then proceeding to demand to be allowed to vote, and then actually casting his vote, it would appear that Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu acted in contravention of Section 49 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, which stipulates that; “A person intending to vote WITH HIS VOTER'S CARD, shall present himself to a Presiding Officer at the polling unit in the constituency in which his name is registered with his voter's card.”
Apart from the above, the electoral law governing the conduct of elections in Nigeria states that all forms of campaign and advert must stop 24 hours before an election. Technically, that means Thursday night since the election was conducted on Saturday. When Tinubu got to the polling unit, he introduced himself as the national leader of ACN.
This simply amounted to campaigning on Election Day because he would have caused all attention to be focused on him.
Tinubu did not stop at just announcing himself as national leader of the ACN, he also derided the PDP after casting his vote, saying; “The PDP is a party of riggers and I advise its leaders to come and learn from us.”
Though one is not unaware of the efforts of Tinubu's defenders to invoke section 60 of the Electoral Act, as a defence, which is however inapplicable in the circumstance. Section 60 (1) states; “If a person claiming to be entitle to vote applies for a ballot paper after another person has voted in the name given by the claimant, he shall, upon satisfactory answers given to any question put to him by a poll clerk, be entitled to receive a ballot paper in the same manner as any other voter, but the ballot paper (in this Act referred to as “the tendered ballot paper”) shall be put in a separate ballot box and marked tendered ballot paper.”
This particular section does not apply to somebody who could not produce his voter's card, claiming that he forgot it at home.
It is important to note that Tinubu used his position as the ACN leader to coerce electoral officers at the polling unit to allow him to cast his vote without his voter's card contrary to the Electoral Act.
One then begin to wonder how many illegalities Tinubu, a self-appointed democrat would have perpetrated if he were to be the president of Nigeria or the National chairman of the ruling party, the PDP.
Perhaps, if Tinubu's ACN were to be in charge of Nigeria, he would have one day asked the Central Bank Governor to open the vault for him saying; “Mr CBN governor, hope you can recognise me. I am Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Open your vault for me now; I have 20 bullion vans waiting outside that must be filled up with cash.”
That is Emperor Ahmed Bola Tinubu for you! But for those who have pretended not know the level of criminalities in Tinubu's ACN before now, some of their activities in Ekiti State will suffice.
In Ekiti State, an affidavit was forged in the name Late Adrian Forty, a forensic expert. Sulyman Babakebe, one of the ACN counsel that procured the fake Adrian Forty affidavit also went further to swear to another affidavit, claiming that Adrian Forty was indeed in Ado-Ekiti on May 11, 2007. The forensic expert however said at the tribunal that he was in London through that day.
There was also what is now known as “Voting after Voting” (ibo lehin ibo). i. Removal of thumb-printed ballot papers from ballot boxes and replacing them with freshly thumb-printed ones under the guise of forensic examination. The Ekiti Central senatorial seat was lost to this criminal act.
One of the ACN agents in INEC, Mr. Olusola Oladapo was arrested on Sunday, March 22, 2009 with voting materials. The same Olusola Oladapo was among the seven INEC officials arrested on Thursday, June 23, 2011 for voiding votes gathered by the PDP in the House of Assembly election for Ekiti East Local Government Constituency II. As I write, the four INEC officials are standing trial for this criminal act while the Caretaker Chairman of Ekiti East Local Government, Mrs Alaba Omonusi, who allegedly paid the INEC officials N180,000 to carry out the act is still walking the streets free. Most ridiculously, the police; in the charges preferred against the four INEC officials claimed that Mrs Omonusi was at large. According to the police, a serving council boss is at large!
Also at the tribunal, an unsigned, undated and un-authored SSS report was presented while in Osun State, fake police report was presented.
Tinubu's ACN also invaded Ekiti with fake election observers during the 2009 rerun eletion.
Fuad Oki, a known ally of Tinubu, who was one of the supposed
Monitors' was at that time a commissioner in the Lagos State Civil Service Commission. Dr.
Azeez Olaniyan, another of the so-called “independent monitors” has been appointed as Caretaker Chairman of Ekiti Southwest Local Government. Dr. Olaniyan even gave evidence at the tribunal to vitiate the conduct of the election.
Interestingly, many of those whose reasoning had been infected by the Tinubu megabucks never saw anything wrong in all the above criminal acts. Even most members of the public never believed that Tinubu and his party could be that contemptuous of the democratic norms and practices that they claim to be championing.
However, the story appeared to have changed now. Nigerians have now seen beyond the pro-democracy and rule of law posture of Tinubu and his party. But is Tinubu listening or reading those words of condemnation coming from those who hitherto adored him?
In the words of Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro; “those God wants to destroy He first make mad. That's the situation with him (Tinubu) now.
The process has begun. What he is doing is worse than what Abacha and IBB did. The only difference is that they were military dictators.”
Honestly, I cannot agree less with Obanikoro, because with the offensive aroma of Tinubu's milutocracy glutamate now spreading across the length and breadth of Nigeria, it is more than obvious that very soon; this king will dance naked in the market place and the soup he cooked with his milutocracy glutamate will be thrown into the soak-away of history with the pot!
Olayinka, a journalist sent this piece from Okemesi-Ekiti