By Simeon Nwakaudu
The criminal arrogance of the APC Federal Government was displayed in full swing during the ill-fated Ekiti State Governorship Election. Make no mistake about it, the horrible and senseless rigging of the Ekiti Gubernatorial Election has sent the country to the dark days of INEC’s inefficiency and blantant fraud.
Since that fraudulent display of electoral theft by INEC, Police and the APC Federal Government, officials of the APC Federal Government have been dancing naked in the public, making spurious claims while struggling to justify the rigging.
Of course, as highest bidders, they have snatched the airtime on radio and television, whilst hijacking the opinion pages of traditional newspapers. The traditional media, as has become the norm, these days, insist that we should accept the criminal outcome. Of course, we no longer have civil society organisations. The likes of Femi Falana and others are neck deep in the APC feast. Remember, you don’t talk while eating.
So many reasons will be adduced why the failed APC Federal Government sent 60,000 security personnel to manipulate the electoral process in Ekiti, re-write results and snatch ballot boxes in favour of the APC. They have continued to defend the indefensible, placing the right to free choice in jeopardy.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu gave very ridiculous reasons for the manipulation. The long and short of his funny essay was that Fayose had to be sent out irrespective of the voting pattern by Ekiti people.
But the worst of this senseless justification is that of the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed on Television Continental (TVC) on Tuesday morning.
According to Lai , the battle was between President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Fayose. He told TVC that Fayose had to be defeated by all means possible because it was important for the image of the President.
The Information Minister stressed that had the PDP been declared winners, Nigerians would have thought that President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer popular.
Whatever the manipulation, Buhari is not popular. Popularity in governance comes with performance. It can never be attained through rigging.
From the declaration of Lai on TVC, it is safe to infer that the President gave an express directive to the Military, Police and INEC to deliver APC, inspite of the votes of Ekiti people.
Lai has confirmed what we already know. He has confirmed the position of the coalition of election observers and has confirmed the position of protesters all across the country. The Ekiti Governorship Election was rigged to protect the battered image of a failed APC Federal Government.
Neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor Governor Ayo Fayose appeared on the ballot last Saturday. Why then would the failed APC Federal Government imagine that the election was about the two of them?
If you ask me, my response would be that the Failed APC Federal Government is of the opinion that governance starts and ends with lies and propaganda. This is the reason why they have refused to use Nigerian resources to improve the lives of the people.
As we discuss the Ekiti shame, the security architecture of Nigeria is in tatters. Foreign media agencies have reported that hundreds of Nigerian Soldiers and several military hardware were hijacked by Boko Haram terrorists in Yobe State. Though the Military offered a watery denial, the truth is that the North East zone is now in a mess. However, the APC Federal Government wants us to believe that a Pyrrhic victory in Ekiti State is tantamount to good governance.
To Lai, destroying the very foundation of the electoral process, discrediting INEC and belittling the security architecture before right thinking Nigerians remain the best, as long as Buhari is happy after rigging out the PDP.
But very importantly, the Ekiti Governorship Robbery is an eye-opener. It is a revelation of the plot by the APC Federal Government to rig the 2019 elections using the Security Agencies and INEC as executing agencies.
Having failed to deliver quality projects and good governance, the only option open to the APC Federal Government is to rig. With their disastrous display in Ekiti State, the APC Federal Government shows that this option has been embraced.
Dictatorship can only blossom when right-thinking members of the society refuse to defend their rights. In Nigeria, that is not the case. The people have the courage and presence of mind to defend their interest.
Ahead of the 2019 General Election, protection of votes by the citizens is key to electoral credibility. The Security Agencies as an interested political group cannot do this.
In addition, other political parties (APC Excluded) and credible civil society organisations (not the Femi Falana type) must monitor all the processes leading to 2019. They must pay specific attention to the serial numbers of relevant electoral forms , ballot papers and documents which will be handed over to APC by INEC.
This conspiracy by the Police, INEC and APC Federal Government against the electoral process started in Rivers State. INEC handed over result sheet serial numbers to the Rivers APC Official Printer ahead of the Rivers Legislative Rerun Elections. Even when intelligence led to the arrest of the Rivers APC Official Printer, Atonyesia Peterside (Cousin of Defeated 2015 Rivers APC Governorship Candidate), the Police High Command on the orders of the Presidency swept the matter under the carpet.
The Police transferred the matter to Calabar and thereafter buried it. INEC refused to demand the prosecution of the APC criminals.
During the legislative rerun, Rivers people voted and defended their votes in majority of the constituencies. At the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre, an attempt by the Rivers SARS Commander to hijack collated results was checked by the people. The result was declared at the PDP candidate, Senator George Sekibo won.
Wait for it. The Police went to the tribunal and produced a different result with same serial number with that declared by INEC Returning Officer at the Collation Centre. INEC offered no resistance and the Court admitted the Police result. Today, a SENATOR nobody voted is representing Rivers East. INEC is yet to launch any inquiry on the matter.
The truth is that Police/INEC and the APC Federal Government have already experimented the Ekiti model in Rivers State and failed. Their threat that they will use it again in 2019 is expected. Governor Wike has told Nigerians of this expectation severally.
But the case of Rivers State is different. Here, nobody allows an armed robber to rob unchallenged. If you doubt, ask Akin Fakorede. If you doubt, ask the Nigerian Army and other security agencies. They tried during the legislative rerun, but failed woefully.
It was Governor Wike that stopped the reckless abduction of Judges. The DSS had free days unleashing that illegality until they strayed into Rivers State. Here, criminals are tracked down and disgraced.
Permit me to say that whatever has a disadvantage, equally has an advantage. We are sad that they robbed Ekiti. But as residents of same apartment, we are now under higher obligation to strengthen our security platforms. We have a responsibility to heighten the criminal response mechanisms on all fronts.
This is an unpopular APC Federal Government desperate to retain power. It will do anything, irrespective of the depth of its illegality.
There is no begging the bully. The bully understands just one language. Confrontation. All across Nigeria, we must rise to confront the political monster. We must take BACK our country. Even as we lament Ekiti, let’s see the brighter side. The sunny side.
Things have to go bad before they get better. As the Bible says: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”-Psalm 30:5.
This is Nigeria’s darkest night. Tyranny and bloodbath have seized the country, but we must take it back. A Government that justifies banditry and herdmen genocide on countless communities, will see nothing wrong in using the security forces to rob the mandate of the people. First it was EDO, then ONDO, now EKITI. We must work for our own MORNING.
BUHARI must go. We reject him and all his devilish cheerleaders. This country is bigger than anybody’s ambition. Thank God for Wike at a time like this. He will lead God’s people to victory.