The recent decisions of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding the Delta State governorship re-run election demonstrate to the whole world that, President Goodluck Jonathan, INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) political machinery are not ready for change that Nigerian people want.
If President Jonathan is interested in change and a free and fair election without blood shed, he should exercise his powers by asking the legislators to change the January 6, date.
It is ludicrous for a country such as Nigeria not known to do anything right to serve ONLY two weeks notice for a State Governor’s re-run election. Even in civilized countries with a well governed system and sophisticated technology with ample experts in information technology, such a task would have been impossible without compromising the outcome.
It has been reported over and over again that the INEC 2007, voter register, to quote Henry Umoru “was so fraught with discrepancies that the court of Appeal annulled the register in 14 out of the 25 local governments.” This should be enough evidence for INEC to insist on new voters register that is verified and certified as credible before setting a date for the Delta re-run since the 90 day period ordered by the court has over 30 days to expire.
Good Luck Jonathan and INEC should recognize that failure to exercise restraint and postpone the Delta re-run election may have dire consequences and reaction from many innocent citizens that will be excluded from exercising their rights to a free and fair election.
The recent pronouncement of the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, in Vanguard, stating that “the PDP wishes to dissociate itself fully from these dubious and mischievous ranting of later day democrats. We wish to call on all our members of PDP supporters in Delta State to mobilize massively to ensure that His Excellency , Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, is voted back to the Government House in Asaba.” showed how arrogant, insensitive and out of touch with the peoples feelings, the PDP political machine is. Deltans may be quiet and peace loving people but PDP must not take the emotions of the people for granted. A Nigerian old adage states, that when you push the obedient goat against the wall, it will come charging against you.
Prof. Alkali and PDP will probably deny that Ibori did anything wrong and may even encourage him to run for the Nigerian Presidency, if he has the chance to return to Nigeria. PDP needs to wake up because NIGERIA IS CHANGING AND NIGERIANS NEED TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR OWN DESTINIES.
The PDP political machinery is ignoring the rule of law and taking Nigerian people for a ride. With Prof. Alkali’s views, it leaves one to wonder, what type of ethical, moral and civic responsibility values he was instilling into his students while in the classroom, if he is saying that we ignore all the atrocities of the Nigerian leaders in looting our treasuries and vote them back into office. Many of these political leaders should have been in jail with their assets returned to the State. The atrocities of Ibori and Uduaghan are well documented in EFCC and London Courts records. And Alkali says, Deltans should ignore all of that and vote Uduaghan back into office.
President Goodluck Jonathan, INEC, PDP and the legislators need to feel the PULSE of the people. President Goodluck needs to listen to the voice of men and the elders. Nigeria is changing and still very bitter from the 2007 elections. If peace and progress must prevail in Nigeria, if the black man wants to demonstrate that we are capable of ruling ourselves, Mr. President, we need at least one free and fair election for a real change we can believe in.
Do not make a mockery of the democratic process. Do not disenfranchise our people. They have the right as citizens to exercise their rights to vote. Nigerians are going to say one day that enough is enough. Deltans are going to say enough is enough and the time may be now.
If President Jonathan, PDP and INEC and our legislators fail to postpone the Delta re-run election and emphasize the use of a new voter register, we may be heading for trouble in the Delta and possibly another failed republic. Jonathan and INEC need to listen to the voice of the people they govern for “the voice of men is the voice of God.”
There is nothing glorifying to be labeled as the most corrupt nation in the world. Nigerian streets should be paved with gold by now since we started producing the BLACK GOLD, when WELL No 1 Olobiri (Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State) was discovered on Sunday January 15, 1956 and we have nothing to show for it.
African leaders have made a mockery of democracy, erased the black man’s pride and damaged the black man’s image in the world in spite of our enormous wealth with God given natural resources. Jonathan the time for change is now. Do not miss the opportunity, postpone the Delta re-run election. May God help you.
-Dr. Johnson Ojo