Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
We Need Credible Candidates to Have Credible Elections:
Debunking the assertions and Claims by Buhari and Ojukwu
Professor Omo Omoruyi
LOSE ELECTION; THEY ARE ROBBED OF VICTORY
I resisted commenting on the claims by the defeated candidates at the April 19 election because such a comment would not serve any useful purpose. Instead I rushed to congratulate the winner, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo with suggestions as to how he could bring about the desired change in the quality of life of the Nigerian people in the north, south, east and west from 2003 to 2007. If General Buhari and Dim Ojukwu were credible politicians and candidates that grew out of a credible process, they would have first been examining their inadequacies instead of talking of the process.
The obvious reason why I did not comment was that in Nigeria, one expects the loser in an election to complain and cry foul. No one expects a loser in an election in Nigeria even if it is so obvious that he could not win to be a good loser and congratulate the person who defeats him or her. Why do I waste my time commenting on the false claims of losers? Nigerians don’t lose election; the opponent or the election officials rob them of victory.
My experience with managing politician in the past in Nigeria, even if the loser did not want to protest that he had been cheated, he would have to do it in order to appease his followers who would like to see him as one who fought to the end.
Sometimes the loser made the noise in order to seek appointment from the winner. Maybe this is what Buhari and Ojukwu want from Obasanjo for their nominees. Chief Obasanjo should take seriously the appointment of ANPP from Sokoto, Zamfara and maybe APGA from Nnewi in future not as a matter of right but because it is in the national interest. This would have to be in addition to the PDP from these areas.
CONFERENCE WAS A SHOW OF SHAME
This is Nigeria; otherwise, how could one win an election when one did not work for it? That was the way I saw the opponents to Chief Obasanjo from Abeokuta of the PDP, General Muhammadu Buhari from Daura of the ANPP and Dim Emeka Ojukwu from Nnewi of the APGA during the last election. I was disappointed with the show of shame by the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja and the former rebel leader, Dim Emeka Ojukwu declaring themselves the “winner of the April 19 election” on April 23, 2003. What disappointed me was that this outright lie was shown all over the world that the winner, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, cheated them out of their victory.
Buhari said that he won the presidential election in a press conference at Abuja; Ojukwu at the same time on the same day at Enugu said that he won the presidential election in a press conference at Enugu. Both had the same man who cheated them as Chief Obasanjo. Were both of them talking of the same position in the same country? Maybe one was in Arewa Republic and the other was in Biafra respectively! That further gave them away that they were engaged in a joint plot to undermine the democratic order of Nigeria.
ANNULMENT 2003, TEN
YEARS AFTER 1993
It was well known by Nigerians that these two Nigerian were plotting from beginning not to win election but to sabotage the election through their ill-digested “Stalemate Strategy”. How many times did Dim Ojukwu say that there would be no winner in the first ballot? His aides even boasted that after the first inconclusive first ballot, the three ethnic nationalities (Hausa-Buhari, Yoruba-Obasanjo and Igbo-Ojukwu) would be adequately represented in the second ballot. The other ethnic nationalities would be onlookers in Nigerian politics. Maybe Dim Ojukwu does not know that the Igbo are a “glorified majority/minority” compared with the south-south! Ojukwu was playing the politics of the tripod that some of us fought against in the Constituent Assembly in 1977, thanks to people like General TY Danjuma, Chief SD Lar, late Dr. Obi Wali, Chief MT Mbu, Brigadier George Kurubo, Chief Paul Unongo, Dr. Mudiaga Odje, Ayuba Kadzai to name a few. Ojukwu does not understand the full implication of the “geographical spread” in the Constitution as distinct from the “Federal Character”.
Having failed in their plot, they should have retired in shame and given peace a chance to reign. No; they are inciting the masses that voted against them and voted for Obasanjo to rise against the democratic order.
Did they know that they could have been arrested for their veiled threat of mass action against the elected President from May 29, 2003? Did they know that they could have been lynched by the masses whose democratic rights they are questioning? Did they know that overthrowing a democratic election call it annulment in 2003 ten years after 1993 was the implication of their declaration at two locations in Nigeria? Maybe this is the way to commemorate the event of 1993! What a shame! They definitely crossed the line. One hopes they took note of the wise counsel of eminent lawyers who volunteered advice to them in public that they were crossing the line with their utterances.
WHY I DECIDED TO
COMMENT ON BUHARI/OJUKWU FALSE CLAIMS
I started getting “hate mails” from the same persons from southeastern Nigeria who were angry with me when I endorsed Chief Obasanjo and rejected Buhari and Dim Ojukwu as their reactions to my congratulatory message to Chief Obasanjo. These same haters of mine from the southeastern Nigeria and followers of Dim Ojukwu believe I have no right to my political expression. According to them, I was too quick to congratulate Chief Obasanjo when the election was actually won by the duo of Buhari and Ojukwu. So they believed that these two eminent Nigerians were credible candidates in that election despite the mounting evidence that they were not. So they believed their lies in that press conference that they were robbed of victory, despite the mounting evidence that Nigerians did not think so. This is why I am now forced to make this comment by way of debunking the bases of their claims.
CREDIBILITY OF CANDIDATES AND PROCESS AT THE ROOT OF ELECTION
I recall, I ran a three part-essay on the 1999 election with the title “Matters Arising from the 1999 Elections” published by the News in March-April 1999. Among all other issues, I addressed the questions raised in the complaints raised about the election by one of the candidates, Chief Olu Falae. My conclusion then was that “an election could be free and fair and yet it may not be credible”. This was the problem we are having in the last Presidential election in Nigeria. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could say that it conducted a free and fair election and yet in the eyes of some Nigerians and some international observers, it was too good to be believed and hence raises question of its credibility. It is the credibility that is at the root of why some people are complaining about the process and the outcome of the election. There are some pertinent questions that should be asked.
One needs credible candidate to raise questions about credible elections. Was the duo of General Buhari and DimOjukwu credible candidates from their performances in the days leading to the election? From what I knew of them and from the reports about their campaign, they were not.
One also needs to determine on what basis are some of the observers complaining? On a one day “Safari” in different parts of the country, it was not enough to reach the kind of conclusion they reached. I shall address the two questions briefly.
SOME PERTINENT QUESTIONS
1. ON CANDIDATES
(a) Who are the credible candidates?
(b) What interests do they represent?
(c) What are they complaining about?
(d) How valid are their complaints?
(e) Does the Electoral Act provide remedy or remedies for the complaints?
(f) Why don’t they take advantage of the avenue for seeking justice under the law?
(g) What happens to the voters?
(h) Do they agree with the petitioner that they have been denied their democratic rights?
2. CONCEPT OF
(a) What is their conception of the election?
(b) Was it taken as a one-day event?
(c) Was it taken as a process with a beginning and an end?
(d) Do the candidates and the observers know and appreciate that an election has three parts: pre-Election Day activities, Election Day activities and post-Election Day activities?
(e) At what stage did irregularities set it?
(f) At what stage did the domestic monitors and international observers get involved?
(g) Do candidates and observers know that election is won and lost from the Pre-Election Day activities?
(h) Do they know that it is futile to concentrate on that one day, Election Day and reach conclusion about a process that began many months before Election Day?
3. WHAT SHOULD HAVE
BEEN DONE AND BY WHOM?
(a) Were there things that could have been done that were not done (a) in the days and events leading to the Election Day, (b) on the Election Day and (c) on the days after?
(b) If there were, who should have done them that did not do them?
(c) What did the political class do when the irregularities were noticed?
(d) Who should have done what?
(e) Did the Federal Government do its part?
(f) Did the political class including the political parties and the candidates do their part?
TACKLING THE FOREGOING QUESTIONS
To answer these questions, one would have to understand what we are talking about. I shall try to lead readers through the issues involved.
In the international treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), election is meant to determine the “will of the people” and it is to be used as the basis of government. And from international practice, its implementation has two sides to it. That it should be free and fair is one side. The other side is that it must be seen to be so. Put in another way, the electoral process and the environment of the election are meant to enhance the believability (credibility) of the outcome of the election. Both sides are to be or should be performed by different institutions. Let us review how it was done in the election of 1993 when I was involved in the process that led to the only credible election in the nation’s history to date.
HOW “CREDIBILITY” ISSUE
WAS HANDLED IN 1993.
In the advice I gave
to President Babangida in 1992 after the botched Presidential primaries and the
ensuing nomination crisis that virtually ground to a halt the transition program
in October/November 1992, I counseled that the two functions identified above
should not be performed by one institution like the National Electoral
Commission (NEC). I urged the military President and he agreed to (a) restrict
the NEC to the technical functions of guaranteeing that the
election was free and fair and (b) assign the Centre for Democratic Studies
(CDS) with the function of putting in place the modalities for ensuring
that the election was credible.
I specifically advised the military President and he agreed and later directed in the Address to the Nation on November 17, 1992 that the CDS should “put together, train and coordinate groups in civil societies” to serve as the domestic monitors and later in March 1993 he directed that the CDS should perform the function of accrediting international observers for the election. What I would like to say in this juncture was that the military President approved these two measures on his own. The measures were opposed by the military officers and some aides in the Presidency including the Chairman of the Transitional Council, Chief Ernest Shonekan. I can understand why Chief Shonekan was opposed to the funding of domestic monitors. He was asked not to allow any extra-budgetary issues to be funded.
The program was opposed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, late Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed for political reasons. He was in the leadership of those who were concerned and scared that the President would not be able to control the outcome of the election. Why did they want him to control the outcome of the election was not clear to me until we ran into the crisis later. This is well discussed in my book, The Tale of June 12.
What should be noted is that it was not the NEC’s reports which never came up till today which made the country and the world to accept the result of the election and believe that the election was the best in the nation’s history. I was even surprised that the world continued to reject the lies of the military and its aides, despite the heavy Abacha propaganda between 1993 and 1998 that there was no official election result. It was the power of the report that came from the credibility bodies-the domestic monitors and the international observers-coordinated by the CDS under my leadership. Unfortunately, these were completely absent in 1999 and again in 2003.
These credibility bodies as they should be known were involved in the process from the pre-Election Day activities and the political class knew so.
The domestic monitors were well trained and they knew what to look out for and raise alarm.
The International Observers went through some “sensitivity” program organized by my colleagues and me. This program focused on areas to concentrate on in their assignment.
The CDS provided some hints about the “rigging centers” in Nigeria and the habits of professional riggers.
The basis of my advice in 1993 was simple. The military President assured me that he wanted to have a credible election for the choice of his successor. I advised the military President that election could be likened to a soccer match where the referee is different from the match commissioner. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) was taken as the referee, which needed another agency to monitor it in many of its functions. This was how the over 200 000 strong domestic monitors drawn from civil societies trained and coordinated by CDS and funded by the Federal Military Government manned the polling booths throughout the country on June 12, 1993. This was how the international observers got involved in the election process from the nomination to the election day and came to the picture of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election.
Under the current Electoral Act, it was the responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a free and fair election as it should be. No one can question or had questioned so far that INEC did not do this within the time and technical constraints it faced. There was no doubt that the action and behavior of the members of the political class did not help the work of planning and management of the election. They never blame themselves that they were candidates with only one thing in mind, winning. Losing is never part of their lexicon. How to manage an election where all candidates believe he must win and losing is out of the question? Did all the parties in the Coalition of Nigerian Political Parties know that they were not ready for the April elections?
The political class including all the political parties and the candidates running for office should demand the credibility of the election. Did they ever raise his issue? I cannot recall when that was ever raised.
Speaking further on the Nigerian politician, why do Nigerians and the international community come to the conclusion that the Nigerians in politics would be expected to be different from the Nigerian in business? The typical Nigerian in business believes in cheating and so in politics he would not be expected to fare better and differently. At the root of these known diseases is the low level of trust among Nigerians. The protests by Buhari that was supported by the Arewa Consultative Forum that initially did not want the election. Some of them are prominent members of ANPP or while some were expelled from PDP. They had never hid how their vehement opposition to “Obasanjo Second Term Project. The action of the leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum should be seen as part of the old myth that someone loved by his people from the south should not rule Nigeria. It was the duo of Dr. Azikiwe/Chief Awolowo in the distant past and it was MKO Abiola yesterday and it is Obasanjo today. Those who saw the Buhari at his World Press Conference and the demeanor of those who were around recalled the lamentation of late Sir Ahmadu Bello about the “mistake of 1914”, which to Buhari and his backers is the “mistake of 1999”.
2003; TEN YEARS AFTER,
Nigerians are reminded of what happened to them in 1993. That ten years after in 2003, they are being told that a southerner from the southwest that has the support of his people in the southwest cannot rule Nigeria. What Nigerians should note about the behavior of Buhari and Ojukwu is that ten years after 1993, we are witnessing the behavior of the same kind of persons with identical interests. It will be unfair and uncharitable for anybody such as Buhari and Ojukwu to lay all their grievances at the doorstep of candidate Obasanjo in his official capacity as President, Commander in Chief all these known diseases in Nigeria.
ARE THERE THINGS THAT
COULD HAVE BEEN DONE?
There are some things that could have been done through many pre-Election Day activities and extending to post-Election Day activities.
If the political class including the political parties and the candidates were concerned and wanted to ensure that the election was credible not only among Nigerians, but within the international community, there were certain things that should have been done. Specifically, they should have prevailed on the National Assembly to pass a law “farming out” the monitoring of the “entire electoral process” to domestic and international bodies beginning with many pre-Election Day activities.
Their inability to understand and appreciate that there is a link between the three stages in the electoral process is at the root of the complaint by the General Buhari and Dim Ojukwu. To them the election was a one day affair, April 19. This is wrong and a betrayal of their ignorance of democratic election.
ELECTION NOT A ONE DAY
AFFAIR FOR CANDIDATES OR ONE-DAY SAFARI FOR MONITORS AND OBSERVERS
With the kind of interest generated by the “civil rule to civil rule” election and the various ethnic claims by the North that power must return to the north and the Ndigbo that Igbo Presidency Project (IPP) is irreversible, the credibility of the Nigerian election should have been approached differently.
It should not have been the kind of ONE DAY WONDER to be performed by unfunded and uncoordinated and scanty domestic monitors or the ONE DAY SAFARI or PILGRIMAGE to be performed by international observers from many international bodies with various interests.
The other issue is that the election should not have been allowed to hold without an ELECTORAL CODE known to all and agreed to by the Nigerian people. All these would have served as the “boundary” on those who were seeking to contest elections.
BELIEF IN THE
POST-ELECTION DAY ACTIVITIES
One of the post Election Day activities is the use of the tribunal to address the complaints of losers with their genuine grievances. One should not be surprised that the officially declared loser of the election, General Muhammadu Buhari, would dispute the outcome of the presidential election. This is surprising anyway that those who are backing him did not know that he did not work hard. Does Allah reward the one who did not work hard? I was told my Muslim friend that Allah would only help those who help themselves and since non-PDP candidates did not work as hard as Chief Obasanjo Allah would not reward them with victory.
One should recall what the Muslim leaders under the caliphate told MKO Abiola who was denied his mandate to leave the matter to Allah. One would have expected the same Muslim leaders to tell General Buhari, a good Muslim to take his defeat as the work of Allah. Well he now wants to exercise his right under the Electoral Act in taking his case to the Tribunal instead of waiting for the masses to rise against the constituted government or wait for the army to come to his aid as was in the past.
In doing this he advanced the catalog of irregularities amounting to fraud in the administration of the election. He is backing his position with the various reports from some domestic monitors and international observation teams from their one-day wonder or safari.
No one could charge President Obasanjo of involvement in the irregularities. It did not surprise me when the President had to exclaim recently that his government did not participate in rigging and argued that the government provided all that was necessary for the INEC to organize the election to take place as and when due. Is this the correct position? What could the government have done to prevent the alleged massive rigging of the election in some locations, which it did not do? What could the political class have done to forestall any malpractice? These are the critical questions.
PRE-ELECTION ISSUES TO THEIR PERIL.
I wish to recall my warning to the Nigerian political class in August 1998 and repeated in August 2002 in Vienna, Austria that the pre-Election Day issues were more important than the Election Day activities. I urged them to pay attention to these matters as they could determine their political fortune. But how could they pay attention when some of them joined political parties and became presidential candidates within 48 hours of membership? Who is to blame? It is the late joiner.
In the highly publicized statement, I warned the political class and the country in the past that the pre-Election Day activities should cover such activities as
(a) the registration of political parties;
(b) the formulation electoral code;
(c) the rules governing the mass media owned by the government;
(d) the role of security forces during the election period;
(e) the nomination process;
(f) the conduct of the campaign;
(g) the voters’ registration;
(h) the selection and training of electoral officials;
(i) the procurement of electoral materials etc.
See the Vanguard August 7, 1999).
BUHARI AND OJUKWU LOST
AND OBASANJO WON NOT ON APRIL 19…..
It should be noted that the election is usually lost and won not on the Election Day but in the days leading to the election. The ANPP and APGA etc lost the election weeks before the Election Day and the PDP won the election also before the Election Day. What General Buhari and Dim Ojukwu are complaining about did not happen on the Election Day of April 12 or April 19, 2003.
ATMOSPHERICS” CRITICAL TO ELECTORAL FORTUNE
What should have been obvious to the political class that they ignored to their peril was the simple fact of what a colleague of mine at CDS (late Dr. Sina Sambo of blessed memory) called the “political atmospherics” of an election. Do these Nigerian politicians calling themselves presidential candidates know the “political atmospherics” of Nigeria? Do they know which one is amenable to rigging of election in favor of one party or the other?
It is a rule of the thumb that all politicians anywhere in the world and Nigeria not excepted are involved in taking advantage of the “political atmospherics”. Consequently politicians running for office tend to maximize the political atmospherics to their advantage. Do these politicians want to be told that those who have more money, better organization and local support could benefit in the act of maximizing the political atmospherics than those with less money, rickety organization and doubtful local support? Buhari and Ojukwu did not campaign in most states of the 36 states of Nigeria and they had no agents in most of the polling stations.
Mark you Chief Obasanjo went round Nigeria. He took his campaign to the far north that is the power base of Buhari and to the southeast the power base of Dim Ojukwu. He beat them in these places except in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara for obvious reasons.
Buhari only had a zonal show in Lagos for the six southwestern states. His campaign in the south-south was a disaster. His agents if they were available were poorly paid and they were drawn from a pool of loyalists. Did he know that he did not have a pool of loyal supporters unlike Obasanjo in the south from which to draw his polling agents? Yet he could look at the BBC reporter in the eye and make the following statement:
How can a former Head of State, a General and a Muslim openly make this false claim? Is this what he is taking to the Court/Tribunal?
Did General Buhari mean seriously and want the Nigerian people to believe him that he was winning the election before INEC declared Obasanjo the winner? Winning what?
He even went on to make another assertion that “most of them (southerners) did vote for me” without naming where in the south.
I recall what a fellow from Warri told me, that General Buhari would get less votes from the south after his World Press Conference of April 23, 2003. This fellow wondered how he could virtually declare himself the winner of an election in which most Nigerians in the south-south did not see and hear from him in person and know what he stood for on a whole range of issues except what they knew of him as a religious bigot.
Was he frank with himself when he told the BBC interviewer that religious factor absolutely had nothing to do the results he got? This is not correct.
Buhari only took over the nomination process of the ANPP through the eight ANPP State Governors from the north on the platform that the north/Muslim must take their thing-the Presidency back. He knew nothing about the political party called the APP or ANPP and I am sure after this election, he would wash his hands off the party.
(For his BBC interview see the report by Rotimi Ajayi, Victor Ahiuma-Young and Charles Ozo in Vanguard of April 25, 2003).
Ojukwu was campaigning among the Ndigbo world-wide that he needed their votes to enable him take them back to Nigeria through Aso Rock. Did he think the Ndigbo believed him? Did he not know that his campaign rhetoric was offensive to the non-Igbo Nigerians? Despite this drawback he could say at a World Press Conference that
Is this not treasonable? Look at the way he uncharitably brought in the event of 1994 when MKO Abiola called on the junta to implement the “will of the Nigerian people” as a result of the June 12. I was not surprised that Ojukwu could make fun of such a national tragedy because he was one of those who brought it on the country.
For those who want to compare Obasanjo with Buhari and Ojukwu ought to read the 7-Up soft drink that told us that “the difference (between Buhari/Ojukwu and Obasanjo) is clear”.
BUHARI WAS NOT A SAINT
IN THE FAR NORTH
Looking at the results, the Buhari operatives made sure that the PDP candidates or other candidates got less than the minimum of 25% of the votes in certain states. One would expect that other parties would try in an environment favorable to them to do the same. This is what the former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari from experience called “pot calling kettle black” to characterize politicians shouting “rigging, rigging”, even before the election is concluded. This was obvious to me from the beginning.
Take the case of over registration. It is a common habit to blame the INEC or election officials. We forget that over registration is related to and supports over voting etc., which was later, reported in many locations after the election. Could this have been avoided? Yes, if the political class and not just the President or the PDP alone were interested in creating the needed environment or “political atmosphere” for a credible election. I made any suggestions in my congratulatory message to Mr. President to reform election in Nigeria and I will be ready to make more in future. We should stop pointing accusing fingers at INEC its Chairman and the President and forget that the general political class is the problem. One needs democrats to produce democracy. We need those who would play by the rules to participate in a democratic election.
BREEDS ELECTION MALPRACTICES
I discussed the issue of political pathology that is pervasive in Nigeria in particular and in Africa in general in many fora in the past. The critical element in the political pathology afflicting the Nigerian democratization is that Nigerians do not believe that there would be another election. Even Buhari and Ojukwu are 2003 wonder politicians that would fade away after May 29, 2003. They came in 2003 and would fade away after May 2003. If they stay to reform their parties they would be exceptions. Otherwise why should Buhari and Ojukwu believe that they could join political parties and within few weeks become the President through these political parties that are not on the ground outside their captive audience in the far north and in Anambra respectively?
ANPP and APGA are not on the ground; their standard bearers in the 2003 presidential race have no loyalists. Do they want to be told that the Nigerian people did not see them on April 19, 2003 as alternatives to Obasanjo in all parts of the country even in Katsina and Anambra the homes of Buhari and Ojukwu respectively. They have more negatives than positives in Nigeria. Nigerians know that they were contesting their last presidential election hence winning was the only option that they had. What qualifies them to believe that they could be president through the will of the Nigerian people without an organization and a vision for Nigeria? Do they know that the Nigerian people are upset when they make their inordinate quest for political power a matter of do or die?
If presidential candidates are 2003 wonders what about the voters? Of course, how do we expect a society that wallows in corruption to produce different human beings during election period? Obasanjo knew of the pervasive diseases called corruption. It is not something that he or government alone could solve. What we should note and appreciate is that reduction of the pervasive effect of corruption in public and private life in general would spill-over to electoral behavior. One should not be surprised that election officials looked the other way whenever the need for even-handedness was needed. This is a Nigerian disease that the political class would have to wrestle with. It is neither that of the government nor of INEC. If the politicians would create the “political atmospherics” for free and fair election, INEC would go along. All Nigerians must address this pathology.
Could these events be recreated and rectified? Is this what we want the Court or the Tribunal to deal with? To argue for this would easily be misunderstood that one is searching for an ideal setting. There is nothing so called in matters dealing with election.
The election only resolved one issue. It is only to continue the learning process that was begun in 1999; the April election would not be perfect. But certainly it was better than the 1999. We cannot create the 1993 setting where the government of the day was not a candidate.
Let me end this essay with a plea to General Buhari and Dim Ojukwu to formally announce their decision to be politicians and not just presidential candidates of 2003. They still have to convince the Nigerian people that they know what a political party means and how to organize one. Would they be willing to assume organizational functions in their respective political parties, ANPP and APGA?
The oracle of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih had spoken that the 2007 is a year of the north within the PDP. That is how a politician should behave. They start planning after the end of one election. They do not wait until the fourth year in a four-year term to announce one ethnic project or the other.
May I strongly advise that Buhari and Ojukwu should promote the fusion of the ANPP and APGA as a feasible proposition for the purpose of realizing the Igbo Presidency Project (IPP) in 2007? They should start that today.
May I use this medium to send a word of advice to the leadership of Afenifere to disengage from the affair of the AD; the AD in turn should fuse with the PDP as part of the New PDP. Promoting AD in face of the recent development in the southwest would be futile and counterproductive to the interest of the southwest.
Lest I forget, if I have time and can assemble my notes, I might be able to write an essay on “the pathology of rigging elections in Nigeria”. There are “rigging states” in Nigeria and there are “rigging professionals” just as you have “professional armed robbers” in some parts of Nigeria. If politicians want to stamp rigging out of elections in Nigeria, it can be done. Obasanjo does not know how it is done and I am sure Buhari or Ojukwu cannot testify as to how it is done.
What they are complaining about is “grassroots rigging”, which is very difficult to prove in a court of law. Buhari and Ojukwu would be shocked to find out that their agents were in collusion with some other people to rig at the polling stations. They came out with the story that they signed the result under duress. Some said that soldiers made them sign.
The development in the southwest is fascinating; this should occupy my attention. I am trying to make sense out of my notes.
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