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Electoral fraud is also corruption


inecThis All Progressives Congress-led government has blamed the past administration in virtually all aspects of life except in the election that brought it into power. Although during the presidential election, there was massive media reportage of under-aged voters and other electoral malpractices going on in some parts of the country, the then president ignored that and conceded victory in line with his political belief of “My political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.” A lot of elections have been held since APC took over the mantle of leadership of our dear country. In Edo State, there was media reportage of financial inducement of voters but the ruling APC feigned ignorance of that allegation after all; it won the election in the state.

In Ondo, there was what I called “pre-election rigging” because when all parties are not given a level-playing ground, it means there is partiality. Both the electorate and the PDP candidates could not state with certainty the authentic PDP governorship candidate barely three days to the election. After a long-drawn legal battle, Eyitayo Jegede was finally cleared by the court to be the authentic PDP flag bearer for the election barely 72 hours to the conduct of the election. Despite all calls for postponement by the PDP in Ondo State, INEC went ahead to conduct the election in the state.

In Edo state, when APC was not so sure of her chances, the security agents came out with all sorts of security craps to hoodwink us. That moment of respite, gave APC enough time to reinforce itself, which culminated in their retaining power in the state. It is regrettable that what was sauce for the goose in Edo State was not deemed to be sauce for the gander in Ondo State.

To this end, Jimoh Ibrahim went ahead to congratulate Akerodolu about 24 hours before the election day, having known the chances of PDP in that election were very slim. I need not bother if there was any financial inducement of voters during the election in Ondo because the major politics was played before the election. Jonathan showed the highest level of political maturity by conceding victory in the face of political provocations and media reportage of under-aged voting in some parts of the country.

We expect nothing less than that in Rivers State over the elections of yesterday. I want to specially beg the good people of Rivers State to be wary of those who will come here to create problems for us and return to roost in Abuja or any other city of their choice in the world. In all the 16 years of PDP rule, Lagos state was in opposition to the government at the centre and that was the beauty of democracy. I wonder why Rivers State must be forced to be an APC state. I am still confused at the notion behind the body language of “one-party” system.

They made us believe that all politicians in APC are saints and corruption-free while those in PDP are corrupt until proven otherwise hence all prosecutions and the much-touted anti-corruption fight are meant for the opposition parties with the PDP members topping the list. We need no elected State House of Assembly members whose primary roles will be to impeach governor Wike. We need no elected National Assembly members who will be at loggerheads with our governor. This is the time to shun money politics. Our politicians are mean; they missed it in the court and they are now hell-bent on producing representatives that will destabilise Wike’s government through this Rivers state rerun election.

We in Rivers State should say no to ‘Oka mma n’ama’ group of politicians, who party is dealing with Nigerians at the national level. They made us believe during the 2015 election that they were going to make life better for average Nigerians but today we are worse off than they met us. They increased petrol pump price, electricity tariff, cost of living at the same time withholding the salaries of workers. They have come out with another policy of slashing the salaries of workers. They wanted to increase call charges but when they discovered that, that might be the last straw that could break the Camel’s back, they shelved the idea for the future and continued with their habitual blame game.
Dr. John writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State

The change they promised us is what I call backward change aimed at taking Nigerians back to the pre-1999 era where ‘black and white’ television was an exclusive preserve of the rich; they abuse human rights in the name of fighting corruption.
Dr. John writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Taking a closer look at what they call anti-corruption fight, one will see that it is a fight for the total annihilation of the opposition parties and for carrying out personal vendetta. They recently closed importation of cars through land borders without making any alternative arrangement to cushion the effects by creating local car manufacturing factories. Tomorrow, they may lift the ban as the members of the House of Representatives have intervened. That is what I call ‘trial and error’ style of government.

This reminds me of the sagacious words of the late Gani Fawehinmi that the Nigerian law is strong whenever it gets to the weak (the victims of political persecution, opposition parties, and personal vendetta) and weak whenever it gets to the strong (the members of APC and the former members of the opposition parties that have defected to APC). The late Chinua Achebe was both spiritual and clairvoyant when in his book, There Was A Country, he remarked that: “Every Nigerian knows that there should be accountability, that people should be accountable.

But if the president the person running the whole show-has all the power and resources of the country in his control, and he is also the one who selects who should be probed or not, clearly we will have an uneven system in which those who are favoured by the emperor have free rein to loot the treasury with reckless abandon while those who are disliked or tell the emperor that he is not wearing any clothes get marched swiftly to the guillotine.” The above quote captures exactly what the APC government is giving us in Nigeria.
Dr. John writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State

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1 Comment
  • Mazi JO

    Are you kidding? Electoral fraud is the ‘Central Bank’ of corruption. You can take that to the Bank, my man.