Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja
Senator Smart Adeyemi Thursday restated his belief in democracy, as he also debunked a statement credited to him that military government is better than democratically elected government.
In a statement signed by his legislative aide, Olowo Cornelius, which was made available to journalists in Lokoja, the senator was said to have been quoted out context that “military government is better than a democratic government.”
The part of the statement read: “One would have ordinarily ignored this attempt to deliberately misrepresent the people’s senator, considering the section of the online media where the news emanated from, who their principal is, and the injuries they are still nursing from their losses in the recent Kogi West senatorial election; however, their situation can be understood.
“Our knowledge of the fact that Nigerians and particularly the media sector knows Adeyemi as an astute journalist and a fearless labour leader with indelible records of struggle against the military government, and even now as a serving ranking senator, he is too knowledgeable, exposed and mature to make such careless statement.
“But for the purpose of setting the record straight for posterity, I wish to clarify here that what Adeyemi said on the floor of the Senate was that ‘truncating the wish of the people by not allowing their votes to count in elections is worse than a military takeover’.
“He said this as a contribution to a discussion on a bill to curtail the devastating effects of electoral violence and election rigging.
“It is known globally that the hallmark of democracy is free and fair elections, but this cannot be said of some of our previous elections in which politicians of questionable characters whose adoption of the do-or-die approach to elections have resulted in pandemonium, arson, killings and maiming, even the killing of security agents and youth corps members as well as the robbery of the people’s mandates at gun point. Where free and fair election is lacking, such situation is worse than a military government.
“In Nigeria today, hardly can election be held, even for positions as small as councillorship, without recording casualties. This cannot be encouraged nor allowed to continue as the wish of the people as regarding who leads or represents them, which must be respected. If only we want as a nation to continue to enjoy the grace and favour of God and the goodwill of the committee of nations. We must know that God will fight for the helpless and common man when criminal-minded politicians continue to trample upon their rights in their helpless situation.
“We must know that distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi was himself a victim of electoral fraud and rigging, and recently he was personally made to know and experience the pains of election rigging, so he spoke from a position of personal experience.”
He added that “Nigerians must wake up to the fact that when leaders obtain their electoral mandates legally from the people, their interest and loyalty are to the people, but when electoral mandates are criminally obtained from thuggery and weapons, definitely their loyalty and commitments will be to the thugs and their weapons.”