President Jonathan, to have any respect worldwide, must immediately direct INEC to deploy the machines in the Ekiti and Osun elections
The president, the father of the nation went azonto-dancing in Kano the other day even as blood was still flowing at Nyanya, in the federal capital territory, Abuja, where he, incidentally, resides. Limbs, burnt torsos, and, indeed, shredded bodies were still being packed for evacuation, in a once tantalisingly peaceful Jos, as the father of our nation, our very no.1 citizen, was being programmed to visit Ekiti to kick off what the clueless, soul-less party touts as the opening glee of its rampaging, rigging machine to capture theSouthwest to signpost their plan to once again inflict President Jonathan on the country even when U. S Senator McCain, not just hapless Nigerians, already know that Nigeria has been so terribly ill-served with him as president.
For the PDP to consummate its evil plans in Ekiti, all manner of rigging devices are being put in place but none is as shameful as Professor Jega and his INEC’s recant of its open declaration to deploy PVC card reading machines for both Ekiti and Osun Elections. As part of preparations for the 2015 election, INEC said it has concluded plans to deploy card readers to be used at the 2015 general election as well as in the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. Speaking at a knowledge sharing workshop with national publicity secretaries and deputy national publicity secretaries of political parties on the optimisation of the voter register, continuous voter registration and permanent voters’ cards (PVCs), Dr Ishmael Igbani, INEC’s ELECTION MONITORING AND OBSERVATION COMMITTEE (EMOC) Chairman, publicly announced that INEC would use card readers to interpret the PVCs at the elections. Said Igbani, ‘In line with its legal mandate, the Commission is currently in the process of printing the permanent voters’ cards for voters. The PVCs have embedded electronic chips containing the personal information and fingerprint details of the voters and will be used to identify and authenticate the voters at the polling unit on Election Day through the planned deployment of handheld card readers.’ But without the slightest regard for INEC’s integrity, his own apparently nebulous integrity and that of Jega, the body, like a drunk, would within hours deny that it would use those machines which are the only means by which to read the embedded electronic chips to identify and authenticate voters. These crafty INEC officials are yet to tell Nigerians how identification will now be done, but woe betides anybody caught presenting a cloned card to vote in Ekiti. Without a doubt, PDP electoral investors in the Southwest who have successfully blackmailed President Jonathan by claiming the PDP had to win in Ekiti and Osun for him to have a ghost of a chance in 2015, must have again rattled the president who, in turn, must have directed INEC to recant. Or how do you explain an official of Dr Igbani’s status misrepresenting what must have been discussed severally at the topmost echelons of INEC unless he was not sober at the occasion? President Jonathan, to have any respect worldwide, must immediately direct INEC to deploy the machines in the Ekiti and Osun elections. Any other thing will be disastrous for his presidency.
News have since filtered in as to how the PDP is buying up PVC’s from students and the poor as well as assembling former Adedibu thugs who will use the cloned cards to vote. The president should know in advance that whoever is caught in Ekiti attempting to use cloned voters cards will not have the opportunity of reporting his/her fate to the police. Ekiti will never go back to those days of murders and attempted murders, of treasury looting, massive insecurity and outright mayhem.
Former Ekiti State governor, Engr Segun Oni, has advised the good people of Ekiti never to have anything to do with the PDP but should, instead, vote for the respectable and performing incumbent, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi. Said Asiwaju Segun Oni, concerning the PDP, in a well-publicised newspaper interview: ‘I did everything I could do to give the party a chance to pick a candidate we can be proud of; one we can show to coming generations as a role model. When the PDP decided what its own options are, we had no alternative but to make up our mind to toe the path of honour. What we are doing is for the good of Ekiti, especially its name and integrity, both of which we may lose if we are not careful and for which coming generations will suffer. The position of a state governor is an exalted one in which the occupier must be a moral leader, a role model. If you have a governor you cannot sincerely pray in your heart that your children should emulate, then it means that the state has missed it. If you have a governor that could not be a role model for younger ones, then something is amiss. What is required is far more than legal qualifications or satisfying the letters of the constitution. The position of governor is a higher ground and like Caesar’s wife, its occupier must be seen to be above board because you cannot make somebody governor that is deemed in the eyes of all reasonable persons to be devoid of morals. It is a slight on the office of a governor and on Ekiti people to have someone that the average man on the street perceives as a crook. You just cannot make just about anybody governor as doing so will mean creating problems for generations. Such a society will be planting trouble.
“Secondly, I know the clique that is scheming to install one of its own as the PDP governor in Ekiti. It is a very dangerous amalgam. It will be a grave mistake if we allow people, who have been declared wanted to answer for crimes all over the world, to become kings and kingmakers here in Ekiti. I want to sound this note of warning to all, that we should be vigilant and not allow a nursery bed of evil to germinate and mature in any part of the country. When that evil matures, the monster will threaten the peace and sanity of all, ala Boko Haram.”
These are words of wisdom from a highly experienced statesman who knows the PDP and its dangerous ensemble only too well. Engr Oni was elected governor on the platform of the PDP and knows what evil the party is capable of perpetrating. Also, in its 15 years’ stranglehold over Nigeria, the PDP has nothing to point to as its contribution to Ekiti development. Federal roads in the state are worse than anywhere in the country and all we have for a federal secretariat are empty promises thus making Ekiti the only state without a federal secretariat in the country. Were the PDP a decent party, its members will loathe coming to Ekiti to canvass for votes.
Nigerians, irrespective of where they are located, must impress it on President Jonathan that our country needs a rebirth. Given the horrible names world leaders and leading newspapers have deployed in describing Nigeria in the wake of the abduction of about 250 girls in Borno State and our government’s incredible ineptitude in handling it, it is important that the president be prevailed upon to know that we already have enough bad news to add a post election crisis which, in the case of Ekiti State, God forbid, will be massive and riveting. The entire world has shown enough empathy towards President Jonathan, with many sending men and material that he should by no means, under whatever subterfuge, allow these dangerous businessmen to manipulate and mess him up since the buck stops at his table. God has been more than kind to Goodluck Jonathan. He should learn to count his blessings.
By Femi Orebe
This article was first published in The Nation on May 25, 2014.
Last modified: May 25, 2014