By Eddie Mbadiwe
Recently the INEC Chairman Professor Yakubu was reported in both print and electronic media to have said that INEC was the most improved federal institution. I had to read that twice to convince myself I was not seeing double.
If according to him, INEC is the gold standard for Nigeria’s public service, does it surprise anyone that our institutions are in such dire straits? Nigeria is in deep trouble as we seem to be in regression mode.
Before going further, let me remind the INEC Chairman of what our well respected and so far the only Nigerian Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka wrote about June 12: “This year’s recall of an uplifting day in the year 1993 comes up against a background of its most shameful disavowal: the 2019 elections (still under judicial contestation) an event that would be more accurately described as an exercise in body count rather than ballot count. The elections merely reflected a pattern of savagery and abandonment of human sensibilities that have eaten away the sheerest sense of community in the nation. I have already described it as the final descent into the abyss of human degradation.’’
That was vintage Wole Soyinka reflecting on the election which Yakubu and his INEC want to paper over as credible and fair.
I have not bothered to find out Professor Yakubu’s academic background and discipline nor the university that promoted him to the rank of professor. One thing I am sure of is that he is not a scientist. If he was, he would know that in science, especially scientific academics, one cannot set an examination for one’s self, mark it and also award himself excellent grades. It just does not work that way. This is a typical case of the ostrich burying its head in the sand. Let ordinary Nigerians tell INEC their opinion of the 2019 elections.
Of recent, there has been plethora of well-articulated propaganda projected by INEC all in the attempt to convince Nigeria and the world that 2019 is the election to celebrate. Veiled attacks have been levelled against observer teams especially from the European Union and the Nigerian Situation room. This image laundering has been reinforced by getting a motley crowd of so called presidential candidates to give a stamp of approval to Yakubu’s election.
In this digital age, it is easy to obtain accurate analysis and certification of the 2019 election vis-a-vis the other elections since independence. Reputable companies such as KPMG and Pricewaterhouse can be commissioned to do a nation-wide poll and let us know how 2019 ranks in comparison with other elections.
Must people believe that June 12 1993 election conducted by Professor Humphrey Nwosu and his team is the most credible we have had.
Those who contemplated and excised history from our school curriculum do not wish this country well. George Santanyama reminds us that ‘’ Those who cannot remember the past are bound to repeat it’’.
We may have to revisit Humphrey Nwosu’s Option A4 which is very close to our traditional way of choosing leaders in our communities.
What should concern Nigerians is not how excellently Yakubu scores his team but the fact that our democracy is not maturing. How can an election in which the INEC Returning Officer went on National television to state he declared a senatorial seat under duress, be adjudged credible?
Before election, INEC informed Nigerians, that all their monetary requirements had been approved and released. How come they were unable, according to them, unable to transmit results electronically? Greece had an election a few days ago and before night fall the same day had a new Premier.
The oversight committees of INEC in the Senate and House of Representatives owe the Nigerian people an explanation.
A major part of the reason why Nigeria continues to dither and waffle is that public office holders are not held accountable. Public office holders are used to bullying the public but this will not wash in this case for the people are not all that stupid.
Albert Einstein adjudged to be most intelligent scientist of the last century reminds us that ‘’ The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil deeds but by those who watch them without doing anything’’.
As long as we are stakeholders in Nigeria, silence is not an option.
Dr. Eddie Mbadiwe wrote from Abuja
Pix: INEC Chairman, MahmoodYakubu.jpg