The Ekiti Election, By Sam Nda-Isaiah
Before the election on Saturday, Governor Kayode Fayemi’s campaign director-general was arrested on orders from above. His finance commissioner was also arrested. Governors Adams Oshiomhole and Rotimi Amaechi were physically stopped from moving into Ekiti. Amaechi’s aircraft was impounded and Oshiomhole’s helicopter was disallowed take-off. Relatives of the Ekiti State deputy governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu, were arrested. In one small village alone, 22 APC workers were arrested.
Agents of Jonathan said Fayemi’s campaign director-general was arrested because he was stopped from sharing money. Is the DG of a campaign organisation not supposed to share logistics funds on campaign days? Is that not what happens all over the world? How are contestants supposed to pay party agents, pay for transportation, recharge cards and other services on election day? Did Jonathan himself not confess publicly that he gave Governor Kwankwaso money to share for the 2011 presidential election in Kano on election day? And, if I remember well, Jonathan’s 2011 election money sharing that he confessed to was done all over the country in crisp dollar notes, even though I am not sure the Americans knew this.
While Fayemi’s APC associates, especially the governors, were being denied physical access to Ekiti for the election, which for all intents and purposes is an impeachable offence for which President Jonathan must be charged by the National Assembly, Fayose’s PDP associates were escorted by armed men into Ekiti on election eve. The minister of police affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, was in Ekiti armed to the teeth and moving around the state suspiciously. The minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, was also moving suspiciously around the state with truckloads of soldiers. He had, a day earlier, held some dubious meetings in Akure, the Ondo State capital. And, quite disturbingly, Chris Uba was in the state with truckloads of armed security men moving around. Chris Uba was allowed into the state but governors were not? Is this what Jonathan wants to reduce Nigeria to?
Many of what Jonathan did in Ekiti to prevent a level playing field are what the PDP has been doing since 2003, the first election they conducted. Obasanjo did it in the elections of 2003 and 2007 and Jonathan did it in 2011, especially in the northern states during the governorship elections. And he has now done it again, even more brazenly, in Ekiti State. Meanwhile, not a single PDP chieftain was arrested.
Another very curious thing: According to INEC’s official records, out of 733,766 voter cards dispatched by INEC head office, only 369,257 were issued in Ekiti. This is equivalent to 50.3 per cent of the total voter cards issued. The logical question to ask is, what happened to the balance of 364,509 voter cards? If they claim they returned the cards to Abuja, when did they?
There’s not much to say anymore. Nigerians themselves will have to decide whether this is the kind of democracy they are prepared to live with. I cannot imagine anything remotely close to this happening in the elections of Ghana, South Africa or Senegal. But anyone who thinks that Nigeria will continue this way for four more years beyond 2015 must be a joker. We will rescue ourselves.
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