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The gains of election postponement

Evidently, the Buhari presidency is in the air and all sorts of fraudulent characters are in panic mode and frantically looking for ways to prevent…

Evidently, the Buhari presidency is in the air and all sorts of fraudulent characters are in panic mode and frantically looking for ways to prevent his ascension to power in order to escape punishment for their misdeeds.
Little by little, the ruling cabal is pushing back on the aspirations of Nigerians for a democratic change in this election circle. The national security adviser, Muhammadu Sambo Dasuki, weeks ago at Chatham House in London, the United Kingdom, made an astonishing call for the postponement of the general elections scheduled for February 14 and 28, citing what he called the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to avail voters of their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC). Predictably, INEC rejected this gross interference with its duties; but Dasuki has not relented. He devised another means; relying on a letter purportedly written by the service chiefs to say that they were embarking on a war with Boko Haram and would therefore not be available for duty on the dates of the elections, Dasuki procured a six-week lifeline for President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to re-set their doomed campaign to retain power notwithstanding the party’s broken promises stretching back 16 years.
For these security architects, six weeks would give them ample opportunity to “defeat” Boko Haram in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe as well as justify their huge expenditure from the limitless security votes. The social media is awash with stories of how government appointees are criss-crossing Northern Nigeria with huge amount of money to bribe traditional, religious and opinion leaders on the need to support Jonathan or accept an interim government or something like that.
After raising the spectre of Buhari as a sick, old and unschooled dictator, all of which has been severely brushed aside by multitude of Nigerians, anti-democratic elements are now calling for the handing of power to an interim government. At the moment, there is no rationale for an interim government but since this administration works its sums from the answers to the problems, it may well be that they are angling for a stalemate in the elections. Indeed, Nigerians are waiting with bated breath to see whether they will canvass this on resumption of the national assembly.
It’s clear then that the only reason why they don’t want Buhari presidency is because they’ve committed too many crimes from which they don’t want to be exposed. Since those who have been ruling us say they are patriotic and have been exercising power with utmost love for the country and fear of God, they ought to be on the same page with Buhari. But it appears that they actually fear Buhari more than they fear God.
One needs to repeat an earlier suggestion; our statesmen and foreign friends need to broker a meeting between Jonathan and Buhari in order to negotiate the exit of the President and his band. If Goodluck Jonathan has any legitimate concerns about his freedom or safety, firm assurances from Buhari may be required to address that. Even if Buhari doesn’t jail them, he will have to disgorge their loot; they’ve taken much more than Nigerians can allow.
Presently, there is apprehension by Nigerians that the PDP doesn’t want elections and everything it does is calculated to thwart them. This needless postponement of elections will give room for some anti-democratic elements to seize the political space and plunge the country into chaos. They have now begun smear campaigns against Professor Attahiru Jega, the chairman of INEC who they’ve accused of holding meetings with some Northern elders, though they’ve not provided any evidence. Did Jega meet anyone ahead of 2011 elections which Jonathan won? Is Jega responsible for the decamping of PDP stalwarts into other parties? Is Jega liable to the sour relationship between Jonathan and some of his former God fathers?  Did Jega conduct the Nigerian Governors’ Forum election where 16 triumphed over 19?
Please tell President Jonathan that there is the Mo Ibrahim multi-million dollar prize to be won by African leaders who peacefully relinquish power. Obasanjo has also pointed out that the world is in search of leaders who have preserved the integrity of their countries through constitutional transfer of power to their successors. So, there is whole lot of an exciting life for Jonathan outside Aso Villa.
Already, the armed forces’ first week of war against Boko Haram has gone awry. Gombe State which they startlingly added as a theatre of the battle against Boko Haram has come under attack like never before. Reports say people using about 31 Hilux vehicles and countless motor cycles launched massive attack on the town, overrunning military checkpoints, police stations and burning down the Quarter Guards of the 301Artillery Regiment. From the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states known to have seen significant Boko Haram activities, Gombe has now been added. From cases of bombing here and there, Gombe is now experiencing full-scale shooting spree from Boko Haram. Are we on the brink of a wider Boko Haram war? Are we going to contain the insurgents in the three original states constituting the theatre or are we actually allowing this insurgency to spread ahead of the elections?
Our best bet is to organise free and fair elections and hand over power to the winner. The six-week space will give INEC itself plenty time to perfect its act. However, if we tinker with our constitutional provisions, we may lose control and play into the hands of extra-constitutional forces that could lead us to a bloody end. Buhari cannot wait; his fanatical supporters are impatient and our country needs change.

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