by Adeolu Oyebode
THAT YOU MAY NOT BE THE LAST PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA; AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
Permit me to share this heartfelt letter via this medium and for general public consumption. The challenge of giving & confirming the certainty of you receiving it via courier services and the bureaucracies in government has also given me a serious concern, that is why I have taken it upon myself to share it in the public and also send it across to your email and emails of those who are very close to your dear self, to be sure that you receive it (the contents of the letter if not in entirety but those that may suit the carriers of the message to share with you). Mr President, I will be modest in all my letters but with all sense of patriotism, truth and precise situation of things as it is. Not minding our political ideological differences, my choice of sharing these thoughts with you is because you are my President and one that will love to complete his constitutional tenure and leave the saddle unscathed, considering your humble background and your service to the good people of Nigeria for six (6) uninterrupted years as President of the country.
Basis: The burden of this epistle is to ensure that you do all things possible that YOU ARE NOT THE LAST PRESIDENT of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
- ON THE POSTPONED 2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS AND THE POLITICS THEREIN.
a. Unlike some youth of this great Nation, who would rather prefer to join the wagon of demeaning our collective value as Nigerians, I took pains to digest the reasons why the electoral body, INEC, took a decision to shift the general elections by six (6) weeks from 14th and 28th February 2015 to 28th March and 11th April 2015. Although it is evidently clear that there are inconsistencies in the earlier positions of the INEC before/just-immediately after the Council of State meeting on the need to shift the elections hanging on security (A position clearly regarded as political and an in-house strategy of the Presidency/PDP by the oppositions and the general public), when compared with a status report published by Vanguard. The report which cited sources revealed that training manuals for ad hoc staffs were not ready, presiding officers are also yet to be trained, 700,000 ad hoc staff not recruited yet, PVCs still being printed abroad, RECs yet to print Voter Register, Printers for Register still in Abuja, No full complement of ballot boxes, Fake printing ink sent to states from headquarters rejected, Many states yet to get balance of Card Readers.
b. It is a statement of fact that this is a sharp contradiction to the position of INEC in expression of her readiness for the general election as presented in the Council of State Meeting which was said to have an applause for positive preparedness ahead of the election, except for the uncollected Permanent Voter’s Card and the security advise/letter of Col. Dasuki, the National Security Adviser.
In quoting the words of the INEC Chairman after the CoS meeting:
“The summary of my presentation to the National Council of State meeting is that, for matters under its control, INEC is substantially ready for the general elections as scheduled, despite discernible challenges being encountered with some of its processes like the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by registered members of the public”
“In addition, INEC has been doing everything it can to facilitate the collection of the PVCs by registered members of the public. As at 5th February 2015, the total number of PVCs collected was 45, 829, 808, representing 66.58% of the total number of registered voters.”
“In the delivery and deployment of electoral materials, INEC is also at a comfort level in its readiness for the general elections as scheduled. The commission’s preparations are not yet perfect or fully accomplished. But our level of preparedness, despite a few challenges, is sufficient to conduct free, fair and credible elections as scheduled on February 14th and February 28th. Compared with 2011 when, within a short time, we conducted general elections that were universally adjudged free, fair and credible and the best in Nigeria’s recent electoral history, our processes are today better refined, more robust and therefore capable of delivering even better elections.”
“Other variables equally crucial for successful conduct of the 2015 general elections that are outside the control of INEC” had prompted the deferment of the general election. One important variable is security for the elections. While the commission has a very good working relationship with all security agencies, especially on the platform of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) since its inception in 2010, it has become pertinent for it to seriously consider the security advisory presented to it by the security and intelligence services,”.
My inference herewith is that the shift was fairly reasonable if on the basis of the uncollected voter’s card which could lead to disenfranchisement of large chunk of the electorates at the poll, but it still amounted to higher political undertone and the post-play of rationalizing the need to shift on INEC unpreparedness as stated in 3 above. Your Excellency Mr. President, will thus agree with me that assuming you aren’t a principal player in this game, you will agree that it (the shift) was highly political to favour a political dynasty. But whether it is for you, from you, or at the mercy of your camp, on whatever reason, let that date not change, or else we may encounter a political crisis beyond anyone’s imagination against the labour of our heroes past-The May 29 Handover Date Must Stand.
2. THE UNENDING CHALLENGE ON GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S CERTIFICATE:
a. I make bold to say without mincing words that the effort to challenge the academic qualifications of the candidate of the APC is not an issue, it is as good as bringing to disrepute the integrity of our Nigerian Army and the service of the late combatant soldiers of past; every effort to continue in this search is aimed at ploughing Nigeria into crisis, in case another Justice Sowemimo’s black-market injunction is gotten from any of the Federal High Courts- ‘A Political Trial’. This letter isn’t to bring disrepute into the noble judiciary; it is in the view of historians of past that the Judiciary voluntarily wrecked the First Republic in a treatise which requires a scholarly expatiation. I hope that same do not occur in the Fourth Republic.
I strongly advise that Your Excellency Mr. President via the Presidency, do not interfere on whatsoever ground in the judicial process, as a respecter of the rule of law, so that we will all be proud that we have a Nation called The Federal Republic of NIGERIA, and you were once a President, not the LAST President.
3. NIGERIA WILL BE HISTORY IF YOU DON’T WIN
Some divisive words situating Nigeria as a nation that will not last more than 2015 from prominent Nigerians, linkable to you, if you don’t return as the President, is as good as been said by you, Mr. President. This is why it is so expedient, with due respect Mr. President that you renounce that these are not from you, not in your interest and direct the Attorney General of the Federation to charge them for Treason and Felony. The threats from the militants in your geo-political region cannot be taken likely. We still have it afresh in our memoir of the botched secession of Nigeria because of power tussle, we still have it afresh in our memoir what led to the collapse of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Republics and we cannot afford this to happen in our lifetime. Mr. President, it is a statement of fact that you are aware of all of this either through petitions, newspapers, social media and also via different platforms, but you remained unfair to Nigerians with your silence on this! It is as good as they were all speaking on your behalf. This is a threat to the Nation; it is challenge on our federation!!
4. ON THE ALLEGED PROPOSED SACK OF PROF. JEGA, THE INEC CHAIRMAN
a. Once again, the good people of Nigeria will lose the sheer confidence on elections that they are enjoying presently under your leadership. The people have mixed feelings already about the shift in the poll date, any attempted attempt to sack Prof. Jega, or send him on leave before the scheduled election is a clear signal that despite the fact that he was pressurized to shift the date, the presidency sacked him because he wouldn’t compromise standard and rig elections for you and your party-It is as simple as that!
b. Even if Prof. Jega should be sent on three (3) months terminal leave, which will be on 8th April 2015. He must have to conduct the last elections (Gubernatorial and House of Assembly) fixed for 11th April 2015. I advise that the rumour of Prof. Femi Mimiko to replace the erudite Electoral umpire should be kept in the dustbin of irrelevance permanently (or after the May 29 Presidential Inauguration), or the presidency deliberately set the nation ablaze.
5. I write to join my voice with men of goodwill who have spoken to you in private and public on the 2015 election and other issues associated with it. I make bold to say that this is in the interest of the Nigerian youth and people at large.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.