By George Kushi
It is becoming expressly clear that anti-democratic forces are hell-bent on sabotaging due process in Adamawa state. The lessons of the past few days is a pointer to that following the foolhardy boast of Aishatu Binani and the inept handling of the governorship elections and consequent declaration that the election result is “inconclusive”.
Since Attahiru Jega introduced this despicable term some years back, Nigerians have come to associate it with falsehood and the criminal attempt to defraud the electorate. It is abundantly clear that “inconclusive” applies to areas where the APC appears to be losing elections.
The governorship elections screams loud in today’s circumstances. With a whooping margin, by far exceeding the results in Kaduna and Ogun states, the outcome of the results in Adamawa has been adjudged as “inconclusive” by a visibly biased umpire that has been caught on phone making highly compromising statements. He has even owned up to some of such statements, but yet the powers that be have not deemed it fit to relieve him of the position and replace him.
Even more interesting is the fact that despite identifying election fraudsters, none has been arrested and arraigned for such offences as laid down in the laws of the land. The stupefied REC has admitted saying “a taimaki matan nan “(singular) or matannan (plural), which ever the case may be, his duty is not to help anyone, male or female. His acceptance of having received instructions from “above” also demands scrutiny as to who gave him such instructions.
What is happening in Adamawa is a representative of the dwindling fortunes of the country’s political culture that has made us a laughing stock in the committee of nation’s, leading to outright condemnation of the 2023 elections by international observers.
The cases in Ogun and Kaduna, where the margin are little and below the cancelled votes have not elicited so much attention as to attract the term “inconclusive”. With only thirty seven thousand votes to contest in the most dubious of circumstances.
Adamawa citizens are subjected to a torturous wait for elections that we all know are meant to facilitate rigging. This calls for vigilance on the side of the electorate who must ensure that their franchise is not compromised. To ensure this, all must participate no matter the level of intimidation.
All must also insist on one ballot paper so as not to fall victim of over voting, a ploy that may be used to compound issues. The elections have been rife with criminal acts that have not been prosecuted. The criminal (known to many) that “snatched” the result sheet in Fufoure should be brought to book along with his principals. The dubious REC should be relieved of his position as his utterances have proved him to be unreliable and partisan in the discharge of his duty.
All of us owe it a duty to ensure that those involved in this attempt to steal the people’s mandate are brought to book. They must be made to serve prison terms as a deterrent to others.
This round of elections have terribly hurt the Nigerian psyche. It is fast bringing down the dignity of our revered, even though tarnished images of our security and Protective agencies, the judiciary that has failed to punish electoral fraudsters in the past and now, the academia that has produced suspicious professors for the electoral process.
Further more, diplomats in the country, like the out going British High Commissioner should learn to steer clear of local politics by not meddling and jumping the gun by congratulating candidates. Her duties do not include anointing governors. Had she done same for all declared winners, she would not have been faulted in congratulating Binani before deleting the tweet, but chosing her Adamawa means that she has chosen sides. How do you congratulate when results are still being collated and declaration not made?
Whoever recruited her in this anti-Adamawa enterprise has seriously misled her.
We will unwaveringly keep watch. We will protect our votes. Our people will ensure that the margin is further widened now that we really understand what they meant when they said “by hook or by crook”. While they employ their worst shenanigans, our spotlessly clean conduct supported by the solid resolve of the people cannot fail to overwhelm them.
Salus populist, suprema lex. The wish of the people, is the highest law. So shall it be in Adamawa state.
Kushi a media aide to the deputy governor writes from Yola.