by Alexander O. Onukwue
The 2019 elections are going to commence in less than 20 months time. Politicians and political parties have began their scheming and in the months that lead up to the election days, no other Nigerian becomes as important as the Chairman of INEC.
But for Prof Mahmoud, the moment of focus has come early, with the hugely important recall process that has been initiated against Senator Dino Melaye.
In acknowledging receipt of the petition of the people of Kogi West, INEC has kicked off the procedure according to the Constitution which could lead to Melaye becoming the first ever member of parliament to ever get the boot from constituents.
2015 was the year Nigeria dumped a sitting Government for the first time in its democracy. At the centre of the sometimes raucous process was a calm hand of control in the person of Prof Attahiru Jega. That moment with Elder Orubebe remains a TV and political moment for the ages.
Going by what we know about Senator Melaye, it can be expected that he could contrive some spectacle similar to that of the unfortunate Orubebe in 2015. Prof Mahmoud will need to channel his inner ‘Jega’ in such situation.
Of course there’s the chance that nothing will happen in the end and Melaye still continues till 2019.
However, Nigerians would see this as the litmus test, the preview to the impending drama as we look towards electiontide.