by Ifeanyi Amanze
When the electoral umpire called the Abia State governorship election for Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) just before daybreak on Sunday April 26, I allowed myself a smirk of some sort. As far as anyone knows, Ikpeazu will only be Governor for a few months before he is sent packing by an election tribunal.
A Pyrrhic victory is all this is, really and the PDP can savor this for a few months while they still can. It’s after all what election riggers are due.
I have also been left disappointed by the reaction and body language from the rest of the country as the sad events from Abia have unfolded. First, we screamed about the antics of Governor T.A Orji before the election and all we got was some scant attention. Then we yelled that the inflated results from Osisioma, Isiala-ngwa and Obingwa shouldn’t be allowed to stand and the rest of the country looked the other way. We yelled and beat ourselves up over Governor Ochendo’s act of storming the INEC collation center alongside PDP bigwigs to force the hands of the electoral officers to rescind a decision with far reaching consequences, and few paid our cries any attention. We drew the attention of the world and the rest of the country to how thugs on the Governor’s payroll were beating up persons loyal to the cause of APGA, we tore our hair out and screamed that the Governor was going to rewrite the results of the Abia election and allocate figures as he deemed fit long before he did; and the rest of the country looked the other way.
Worse, we called the attention of the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega to the shenanigans, shibboleth and brazen theft of the people’s mandate that was the Abia governorship vote and Jega shrugged and paid us scant attention. Jega didn’t lift a finger even when it was clear to the watching world that the figures from Obingwa, Osisioma and several parts of Abia had been doctored and concocted.
You see, those of us who crave for good leadership and justice in the country do not want to believe that we have been left to our fate in Abia. We do not want to believe that the rest of the country doesn’t care about what happens in a corner of that same country. We will hate to think that what happens in Abia stays in Abia. We believe that the parameters of justice and fair play should apply across the country and we believe that the people of Abia shouldn’t be allowed to stand alone in their moment of need and agony.
You see, what occurred in Abia in the last fortnight has been a sad commentary on our institutions, electoral body and the fabric of our society. What happened in Abia has been the case of the people’s mandate being stolen and their rights trampled on.
As Alex Otti heads to the election petition tribunal to retrieve the people’s mandate, we’ll like the rest of the country and the rest of the world to join us. We’ll like the media to beam its searchlight on Abia more than it is presently doing. For once, let’s act like injustice done in one part of the country is injustice wrought in all parts of the country. Election thieves like the Ochendos of this world shouldn’t be allowed to get away with murder, with theft, with brigandage if only for the values we now seek to entrench in our country.
What happens in Abia shouldn’t stay in Abia.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija