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Should indicted INEC sit over her judgement?

By MC Asuzu
13 March 2023   |   3:07 am
Without any iota of doubt, all Nigerians must know by now that the vast majority of the people in this country are no longer ready to go on with all the lies and deceptions that had gone on in this country for all these past years.

INEC Chairman, Prof.-Yakubu-Mahmood

Without any iota of doubt, all Nigerians must know by now that the vast majority of the people in this country are no longer ready to go on with all the lies and deceptions that had gone on in this country for all these past years.

And even that statement is to put it very mildly indeed. The only surprising thing about this emerging situation is that unlike in the past, the young people that dominate this revolutionary movement have apparently agreed not to be violent about it; no matter the provocation they get from the erstwhile political brigands in this regard.

It has been said that perhaps this wisdom had come from the lessons they received from the disaster of the EndSARS revolts in which responding violently cost lives and properties of these revolutionaries. It did so, while the fraudulent political oligarchs that they were opposing their works and who went ahead to cause unwarranted mayhem on some of them are still not caught by the expected “long arm of the law.” May of them have still kept advancing in their political brigands.

Now, following the long drawn, debated, argued and repeatedly reassured readiness to deliver a free, transparent, peaceful and credible elections in which our so-called “Independent” National Electoral Commission (INEC) headed by another supposedly “independent” professor was chairman, it has turned out in many ways to have been a charade of everything that we had been promised and repeatedly assured of. It is to be recalled that nearly N400 billion is said to have been budgeted or spent doing this charade for the presidential and other national elections on the 25th of February 2023. The state-level elections are billed for coming Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Despite the promise of such an efficient and transparent election that if it happened as assured, results would have been out latest by the following day, Sunday, February 26, 2023, what really did we get?

There was problem with the election all the way! The last-minute briefing of the official electioneering officers, like the professors and other senior staff of the University of Ibadan right inside the UI campus, turned out to be an exercise at the intimidation of the professors by the INEC officials on this job that they had hired them to come to do.

These are people that the Federal Government had held their salaries and starved for the eight months of their past protest for the proper funding of education. If there is anything that better means “adding salt to injury” than this silly treatment of the cream of our intellectuals, I will like to learn about it. Election materials did not arrive in time in many places for the elections on the very day of that presidential and federal legislators election.

In many places, especially in Lagos and Rivers States, the thugs apparently working for the principal political godfathers in the two states prevented people who would not vote for their “anointed” candidates for the elections. These are in addition to the many administrative government acts and speeches that they had made in that direction as well. At other voting booths, these other people were abused and/or disenfranchised from voting at all.

In many of the voting stations people were seen sharing the new high denominator naira notes so that such recipients go to vote for specific candidates. These are the same notes that we are having Federal Government funny plays about, such that even people like me have never been able to touch just one of it from any of my banks. We have become so impoverished that bribery is made so easy by anyone who has them; apparently these same political thieves. What a shame!

In some cases, as in the past Nigerian corrupted elections, ballot boxes were still filled before being brought for voting, or afterwards. Some of the electronic recorders of votes also reportedly arrived with many people recorded on them as having voted. Some were disenfranchised from voting because the BVAS that we were so repeatedly assured on how excellently they were working, failed to show the face of the voters and despite their name and pictures displayed at the pooling booth areas, with duplicate at the voting desk, people were still disenfranchised from voting on that single account.

Ballot boxes were still snatched from the supposed INEC people by the seemingly well-arranged activities; with the law enforcement agents there, just watching them and doing nothing. Many of the results at the polling centres duly counted and signed by the party agents there, were not remitted live “in real time” as promised by INEC. On the contrary, many of them got to the returning centres with different score sheets than the ones signed at the pooling centres. Under-aged children voted at many centres in the North as no man’s business; as they had long been reportedly doing.

All sorts of explanations have been held and given to us by INEC as plausible, for what they were actually doing. Even after the election voting processes were over and not transmitted at once as assured, many of the electoral officers were threatened in many places by these political thieves that if they do not upload or deliver the report that they desire, they will kill or do other harms to them. Many of these political brigands doing these things are well known to one and all, including INEC itself. Yet nothing is done to these criminally minded fellows.

The amazing thing about all these happenings is that uncounted pictures and another electronic recording of all these frauds were captured by the people at all these events. Yet INEC Chairman, despite all his promises and assurances that the election would be perfect, all these faults have followed it; by far more than we have ever had in elections in Nigeria, apart perhaps from those of the Wetie crises in Western Nigeria, of 1961-1966 January. Yet will all this dribbling of everyone, its hide and seek in the well-assured would-be transparent election, the chairman was full of himself, arrogant and not for once apologetic for the mess that he has had us go through!

Following all these shameful events, virtually all parties, with the exception of the people that INEC has apparently corruptly worked for, have said in no mistakable ways that they do not accept what INEC has done; which borders on criminal compromise with our political killers in this place.

The amazing thing that has happened in this regard, and the reason for this article is that the supposed traditional, religious, and other supposed authority figures in the country in response to this thorough mess bordering on very serious criminality, is that INEC should be allowed to loot into these “lapses” and improve on them! The right response to such a suggestion from these “should be reasonable and responsible people” is to inform them most cordially and respectfully, that saying such a thing is pure blasphemy!

A thief, criminal or other accomplices should be taken to a court of justice. He should not be allowed to sit over his criminality as that suggestion is exactly saying. Anybody saying so is obviously an accomplice to the criminality. What they should be saying is that everybody should do these things in very orderly and peaceful manners; and that the judges must be just and true for the common good. Please let all these people talking as senior, traditional, and/or religious leaders do these needful; and God will surely bless them for doing so. God bless this new and emerging Nigeria! Amen.

Asuzu is a professor of public health and community medicine, at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo.

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