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With the emergence of radical political science professor as INEC chairman, an attempt has been made by the former ASUU chairman and Bayero University Vice Chancellor Prof Attahiru Jega to reform Nigerian electoral system by recognising perceived credible people as electoral umpire. And that necessitated the involvement of tertiary institutions lecturers and NYSC Corps members as INEC Adhoc staffs. The duo are regarded as those that will never compromise on anything that has to do with fairness and justice, even if it’s at a gunpoint. But do they still have that integrity up to now?
The forthcoming election is going to be hurly-burly for this country, seeing how almost every section of the country used a conditional statement to talk about INEC’s readiness, independence and how they were willy-nilly engaged by the military to postpone the election in order to reduce the insecurity that rocked the country for some times. All these and other related issues cast doubt on the citizen’s mind over the possible outcome of the election. With the revelation of Ekiti rigging pattern and the possibility of imploring the same or similar strategy in the election to come, would INEC Adhoc staffs be of any relevance in terms of stopping rigging?
Dollars are being shared by vested interest to anybody that will dance to their tunes, while opposition has warned against short changing the mandate of the people. Therefore it is pertinent for every Adhoc staff to know that the no amount of money is worth his integrity, future or live. History will always remember the slain Corps members that were killed during the previous election by village hoodlums who perceived that their election result was changed. Let’s every corps member have this at the back of his mind that rigging will not provide him with equal opportunity in labour market, those s/he help through rigging will ensure favouritism and nepotism. If you really live in Nigeria, the immigration stampedes where graduates were killed mercilessly in the name job recruitment exercise should be a lesson. Provide a level playing ground now as electoral umpire by exercising your duty punctilious and that will save you from the action of hooligans and subsequently, fairness and justice will have it way.
For lecturers that promise to graduate students based on character and learning, what kind of character would they display if they will rig election for money? What morality do they have if they can’t stand a single day trial? Have they forgotten the conditions of our institutions of learning? Have they forgotten the frequent strikes they have embarked on intermittently because government fails to honour the agreement they have reached?
It is well known that a boil on one’s nose is more painful to the afflicted than earthquake which happens thousand miles away. The victim of immigration stampede are Ex Corps members, the segregated ASUP members are lecturers too and the lingering promise between ASUU and government is not completely materialised, then what else does the INEC Adhoc staffs need to experience about bad leadership? They may threaten you of ending with Hob-son’s choice if you reject their rigging offer but accepting it, is a treachery. Be bold to stand the test of time.
The hope that Nigerians have on lecturers and students is largely because of their activist nature which has gradually declined. If our intellectuals really care about their past glory, lost prestige and are anxious to redeem their image. Then, they should make sure that the election is transparent, free, fair and credible which will inevitably brighting the future of Nigeria.
Let the majority have their way and certainly violence will never erupt. Anybody that may win through rigging have nothing like human development or capital project in his dictionary All they know is corruption and as the popular saying goes among serious Nigerian citizens ” Unless Nigeria kills corruption, Corruption will kills Nigeria”. You choose.
Written by Sabiu Zaranda
@Binzaranda on twitter