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Understanding what European Union observers told Nigerians

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[FILE] INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and members of the Commission at a meeting with the Chief observer of the European Union election observation mission (EU-EOM) to Nigeria, Maria Arena (MEP), INEC Conference Room, Abuja, Friday 14th June 2019.PHOTO/TWITTER/INEC


Sir: When Lawyer Festus Keyamo was rising to limelight, he was an admirable firebrand. But a younger brother of his was accusing him of being a bad man. His badness has become fully blown since he hired himself out to Nigeria’s President, General Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC), akin to Prof. Itse Sagay who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and in the services of GMB and APC.

Once you are a spokesperson for people in power, it is foolish of anybody to expect objectivity from you in many instances. That is why Keyamo expected the European Union observers of Nigeria’s 2019 general elections to spell out who won or lost the presidential election in particular, whereas the body limited itself to stating what it saw, including the lapses it observed, advising that Nigeria should try and mend her roof where it is leaking.

The late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had the opportunity to grant total autonomy to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but they refused to do so, and wasted the money spent on the Electoral Reform Committee of Justice Mohammed Uwais. How to get a truly independent INEC, coupled with free and fair elections was the principal assignment before the committee.

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So, what the committee recommended but buried by Yar’Adua, Jonathan and PDP should be exhumed and implemented, rather than expecting the European Union election observers to decide who won or lost the presidential election. The observers knew that they were not given the INEC assignment nor constituted into a tribunal. Keyamo is too much more brilliant and too much better positioned to know all of that but eating the dòdò (fried plantain) of the people in power cannot make him to sòdodo (tell truth), in Yoruba parlance.

PDP is now lamenting. Somehow, the APC will also lament sooner or later if it fails to make INEC to be truly independent. Nigeria rulers are basically not ready for political order but immediate gain through survival of the fittest. The PDP can now see that nobody eats his or her own cake and still have it. Posterity is awaiting the APC also, collectively as a political party and as individual persons to answer for their deeds and negligence.

The former President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda (of blessed memory), was son of a Pastor, yet he described Christianity as a “pie in the sky religion” (apology to Rev Fr Dr. George Omaku Ehusani). Our own Dúró Ọládipúpọ̀ (of blessed memory) was also a Pastor’s son, yet he told Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, who was under his tutelage as a dramatist trainee, to beware of Christianity. If southwest people know the extent of the poorest of the poor in the Fulani Muslim dominated areas in the north, they will beware of their political collaborators.
Prof. Ọlọjẹẹde Oyeniran Abiọjẹ, University of Ilorin.

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