If President Muhammadu Buhari wasn’t seeking a second term last year and not so desperate about it, INEC under Professor Mahmood Yakubu would have eaten its cake raw, in a paste-like pooh. A superficial cast was enough to see its leaking backside, badly malodorous. If the judiciary wasn’t also monstrously indecent, the situation would have been far worse for the election-conductors, whose buried corpse was sticking out all toes. 2019 elections were Nigeria’s most-expensive ever, costing a whopping N69 billion, in a year when the total budget of N8.92 trillion, performed only at 58%, by Zainab Ahmed, Finance minister’s rating.
Prof and his gang boasted of being compliant with their dream 5G and asked the nation to prepare for the best poll in history. After all, to whom much had been given, much, should be received, or at least, expected. Mahmood delivered as promised, just that it was the most shameful sham in history and if such a waste is considered alongside Nigeria’s slide into the record books as the poverty capital of the world, at the close of 2018, by now Prof. shouldn’t be talking of conducting another poll, he should be explaining the inconclusiveness of his spending. But he has delivered for those who disbursed monies to him and for an ever-forgetful people we are, that almost N70 billion is old history. Na who we offend sef?
Without doubt, elections in Nigeria have entered a new paradigm. The electoral body and the judiciary now contest for authority over results’ declaration. After the re-tallying of Imo State governorship results by the judiciary, while setting aside the initial tallies by INEC, election petition won’t ever remain the same, because the doctrine of stare decisis would be exploited to the ridiculous, by the criminal political class.
Despite his perpetual victim-visage, Yakubu is a damaged brand, leading a crooked agency and while the institution is allowed to remain a reflection of the rest of public corporations in Nigeria, Prof. can no longer afford to be further mired. Unfortunately, he seems to have learnt nothing; no, not from the fiasco of last year when an ordinary Server, became the merit of an election conducted in about 774 local governments, but about the people he is dealing with it; the everyday politician whose main mission, is to kill, to steal and to destroy. Now, with Senior Advocates and the Bench, in the pocket of the political class, an average INEC chairman in this clime, requires the celebrated symbolism of a lion in its prime; mental and physical strength, courage, royalty, stateliness, power, fierceness and calculated ferocity. That is when the spoon will be long enough to have a chance against the diner across the table.
I’m an apostle of don’t judge a book by its cover. The inside may be loaded. But what if the book is having no impact on its readers. That would mean the inside/content is as empty, as the cover. Mahmood might have come in well-recommended, but he has shown, lacking what the assignment requires. Now, a bigger challenge is here. Will it be sensible to trust a weakling in the time of peace, with a war-time desperate situation?
If one critically considered the wooden way, Yakubu’s INEC had been talking plans for Edo and Ondo elections in a corona season, even the best of optimist, would smirk. In fairness, the roving epidemic, has presented a new challenge to the world, to reorder its ways. Why not? Was the order before the virus, desirable? Apart from veering off the spiritual, those who think themselves the keepers of the world order were practically remaking the Godly, right before us. Demons, in suit, took over everywhere, preaching undiluted anti-Christ messages and because their acts, were sheer hypocrisy, to be politically-correct, their cup was quick to full. Imagine Barack Obama supporting gay marriage and publicly remonstrating with Malia, his teenage daughter, for doing cannabis in August 2016 at Lollapalooza. His horror would be better imagined, seeing Natasha and her sister, locking lips. Yet, he ill prides himself a leader of the free world. Well, God’s new normal is here and we should deal with it. Let them have a gay parade now and see how coro, the fearless leveller, will level the ground for them. Nonsense!
In its usual grandstanding, INEC is talking big again, but it is still missing the point and despite the new normal, Yakubu won’t be excused this time, if the two governorship elections went south. Already, the electoral umpire is enjoying a cool N40 billion appropriation and at the budget defence, Mahmood was all noise, N1 billion won’t be enough for the two elections. Hmmmm =20.
Granted, there must be COVID variation. Isn’t the whole pandemic thing becoming a scamfest, with managing authorities constantly shifting the public understanding of the virus, to suit their whims, olonga throat and ever-demanding pockets? Now the public is so confused, that deep skepticism is overshadowing the efforts of genuine front-liners. If a fish as big as Abba Kyari hadn’t been caught in the COVID net, by now, sinister mockery would be attending the daily briefings, in Abuja and state capitals. Yes, Mahmood will need extra cash, but it won’t be for all these e-this, e-that directives to the participating political parties. If he pretended not to know, what would be loading in Edo and Ondo now, is e-vote buying, cloud-based thuggery, IT-compliant rigging and telepathic ballot-snatching. Who bothers about campaign promises again? Which of the past was ever fulfilled?
Prof. doesn’t seem to get it. He boasted of his commission studying the conduct of elections in Mali and South Korea under the COVID shadow. The political class here is different sir. The new coronavirus-order is a golden opportunity for politicians to rewrite the rigging engagements. Instead of using helicopter and police van to snatch and change results as openly witnessed in Kogi election which judiciary just affirmed, yahoo boys, with dexterity on computer keyboard, will likely emerge the new sweetheart of Edo and Ondo contestants, while keeping then thugs and guns, on the sidelines for arson on opponents, when celebrating a stolen mandate. The INEC chief must first deconstruct them, to fix them.
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