Splattered on the several mainstream media outlets are the reports on bombing attacks on electoral office and polling station in central and northwestern Nigeria. From the Oyinbo-land I live in Upper Midwestern U.S, one could easily be made to believe that the election in Nigeria on Saturday April 9 may not be any different from previous ones marred with widespread violence and electoral fraud. This may not be the case this year. It does appear the violence is limited to just few areas, and the election has been relatively free and fair. Continue reading…
There are few good men on the Nigerian political terrain and two of those men appear to be heading against an uphill task to make good what seems a lost battle. It started with Nuhu Ribadu then Patrick Utomi joined in, unfortunately these men may never attain what they have in mind—be the next president of the Nigerian republic for one simple reason: they are politically naive. Continue reading…
Some factual statement about elections in Nigeria. Hardly anyone would disagree that most elections in Nigeria are set up to be rigged. And no one knows this better than the present Governor Segun Mimiko, who fought for his stolen mandate for nearly two years before he recovered it through the Appeals Court.
The drama in Ekiti during and following the botched elections unfolds to yet another dimension with the State INEC commissioner, Ayoka Adebayo making a comeback.
The questions on everybody’s mind should be why she quit; what and who pushed her to (almost) bail out.
To me it’s a blessing in disguise that she vacated position — these questions would not have been necessary if she had stayed put as Akin and many others would have loved. And contrary to what it seems, it appears now that she might indeed be a pawn that didn’t fall off the chessboard as suggested on AfricanLoft, but one that had made a strategic retreat — even if that wasn’t her plan when she wrote that resignation letter.
With the comeback of Madam Adebayo, tough questions must be asked and culprits identified and sanctioned to the full extent of the law.
However, this process would amount to a useless exercise as long as the status quo remains, particularly within the police command.
That the Police Inspector General Okiro is still has a job is troubling, and another sad reminder that the man mandated to oversee Nigeria’s affairs is not really home. The Ekiti drama was a case of security breakdown. Simple. The Police had enough time to plan and perfect their strategies to keep the peace, but it could not do that. The buck stops with the head man; Okiro and his lieutenants in Ekiti should be fired!
One of those lips belongs to a man making the rounds on any Internet discussion site he could sneak on to engage in character assassination, hawk conjured facts, and peddle falsehood of all dimensions. This man is called Adewale Donald Ologbon.
Since the Ondo State Tribunal ruled last July, Mr. Ologbon and scores of commentators have assumed the role of arm-chair lawyers and legal experts examining and re-examining the tribunal case. Their analytical skills and knowledge of law ought to have made the PDP legal team bury its head in shame, but they were all baseless rants!
One way to deal with agents of misinformation is to ignore them. Not in this case, I’m going to confront this man. Since my heritage stems from Ondo State, it’s hard to assume a “silent mode” knowing that Mr. Ologbon is either oblivious of the facts or just malicious in intent.
Those that have been following the electoral proceedings in Ondo will know that the incumbent governor — Dr. Segun Agagu (PDP), has had his mandate voided in favor of Dr. Segun Mimiko (Labour Party, LP) since last July. A verdict the incumbent has appealed in a higher court. The verdict of that appeal is being awaited as I write. The irregularities recorded during the election and the tribunal ruling –and its appeal, have been well documented in the media and even here on Grandiose Parlor — just search “mimiko” or “agagu” or “ondo” to read.
“the Labour Party (LP), an amalgam of groups of political jobbers who found leadership and direction in the character of a public name with uncontrolled personal quest for political power…”
Those being referred to are Dr. Mimiko and the leadership of the Labour Party in Ondo State.
Dr. Mimiko can’t be described as a “political jobber”. He was a Federal Minister for Housing before the election. And he wasn’t fired, he voluntarily resigned so he can contest the election.
Also, the current Chairman of LP was the Chairman of PDP under Agagu before Mimiko joined the gubernatorial race. He wasn’t fired either, he left PDP voluntarily for LP! And he wasn’t the only one, even the Secretary of PDP then left to join LP too! And several PDP party-men did as well!
What Mr. Olugbon should be asked is why would the people he has tagged “political jobber” leave certainty for uncertainly? Why did they leave the ruling party (PDP) for LP that emerged just weeks before the election? What happened to the so-called power of incumbency?
Included in the article is the half-truth about the EFCC’s investigation of the contracts awarded by the Dr. Agagu after the July tribunal ruling. Excerpts:
“…Through spurious petition to the EFCC and the ICPC, obtained restraints against the government from discharging its statutory responsibility to the people of this state through the spread of general goods among the population.”
The restraints came after it was discovered that Dr. Agagu had awarded more than N65 billion Naira worth of contracts within a period of six months. The governor went on a contract-signing binge after the tribunal ruled against him in July.
Some of the projects being questioned include a N14.4 billion dam renovation and a N3.8 billion stadium construction — which the writer states “will change the skyline of the state capital”. I wonder why the construction of a stadium should be a priority of a state that can’t boast of one functioning industry!
It can be argued that the timing of the contracts was just a coincidence. This is a plausible explanation; however, the Ondo State Finance Commissioner did let the dog out of the bag: The contracts were awarded to either loot or empty the state coffers in the event of a negative ruling from the Appeal Court.
“An insight into why the Ondo State government decided to embark on massive award of what it termed “monumental projects” just after the verdict of the election petition tribunal voiding Olusegun Agagu’s election was given yesterday as the Commissioner for Finance, Tayo Alasoadura, said: “We cannot allow the opposition to spend our hard-earned resources”.
I have more instances of misinformation being dispersed by Mr. Ologbon, but I wouldn’t waste more energy going into details.
One thing is clear: the only way the truth can be countered is through falsehood. There is no other way, and this is what Mr. Ologbon and his cohorts have resolved to do. And this is permissible since we live in a world where freedom of speech is a standard. However, in the same spirit, it is also necessary to confront those paid agents and freelancer-peddler of misinformation. It will be interesting to know which category Mr. Ologbon falls in — is he being paid to write or just a man of conviction.
In closing, it’s interesting that Mr. Ologbon concluded his article with these words: “The people will overcome”.
I thought the people already did. It was reported in the news media that the people of Ondo State took to the streets to rejoice when the tribunal ruled last July!
When Adams Oshiomole (Action Congress candidate) decided to run for office as the Governor of Edo State, he didn’t know that it would take him 19 months to actualize his mandate. During those long and troubling months, the state and the people of Edo sat helplessly under the reign of Oserheimen Osunbor of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, whose “mandate” came via the manipulation of a weak electoral system.
On November 11 2008, The Appeal Court affirmed Oshiomole the duly elected governor of Edo State after the April 14, 2007 gubernatorial elections. While this can be seen as a major step in a democratic Nigeria, the fact that Oshiomole has his mandate back is just half of the victory; it is also necessary to address what led to the events during those 19 months.
While Oshiomhole looked on to the judiciary – at huge monetary and emotional expense – to make right what INEC and the Nigerian electoral system messed up, Osunbor, Oshiomole’s opponent from People’s Democratic Party sat in office as governor, calling the shots for good 19 months, a long time to allow an error of this magnitude to exist at such a high and delicate level.
Osunbor dictated the affairs of a state he had no business managing, got paid for a job he did not qualify, and enjoyed the trappings of power he did not deserve. And all Osunbor got for usurping power was an order to vacate office within 24 hours after the Appeal court verdict!
As it is, the Nigerian electoral system permits fraudulent ascension to power and encourages political contestants to bend the rules to the extent possible and with every ounce of impunity they can muster. This is what happened in Edo State and several other states in 2007.
After Peter Obi of Anambra State and Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, Oshiomhole becomes the third governor to secure his mandate through the judicial process. Edo state is also the first case in which an opposition party outwitted the ruling party among cases that had been decided. Many petitions are pending, as the Guardian reported, particularly that of Mimiko vs. Agagu in Ondo state.
Should the Nigerian electoral system reward fraud and injustice? No it shouldn’t; this is why electoral violations must carry stiffer penalties; annulments aren’t enough deterrent.