Viewing the 10pm news telecast on Silverbird Television on Tuesday November 26, 2013 produced its own amusing attraction in comments made by Gov Peter Obi of Anambra State, regarding Anambra’s putrid elections of November 16, 2013. November 26 is somewhat significant because about the same day two years ago, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu -Ojukwu gave up the ghost and the news came to me at the burial of a bosom friend in Udi area. The coincidence that Obi’s words that dissemble what the man Ojukwu stood for did not go way easily and it built up into an inspiration to write.
‘There was no rigging in Anambra State elections of November 16, 2013’, Obi volunteered in his usually effeminate voice of deception ‘What happened was that those who tried to rig elections were prevented, and they are crying’.
Obi was saying this of an event that took place ten days before, on another significant day that should relive the good memories on the birthday of another great Igbo icon and African Nationalist, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obi did not say how those who wanted to rig were prevented by him, and the reporter, if he did ask any questions in that regard did not bring the answers into the new report.
The first thing that occurred to me was the handicap of institutions not working seamlessly and smoothly in our clime. A system where everyone does everything and defends everything certainly must be chaotic
The last I checked it was not the duty of Gov Obi to prevent rigging of elections by those he perceived to have rigged, rather it was within his obligation to ensure that his party did not field an electoral offender who could not score votes on the fields, but got them from smuggled results sheets that failed to arrive where they were needed by a design supported by Gov Obi.
It was also not the duty of Gov Obi to use the Anambra State resources to fund what could have passed for a campaign but by benefit of hindsight a rigging plan in which the campaign was only a creating a smoke screen to mask the real intention on a high-wire plan forged with Abuja to keep Anambra State outside the freedom to choose their governors.
Secondly it is shameful that an election that has been acknowledged by all accredited observers without exception, all practitioners in the media who were on ground to cover it, and even the umpire itself is adjudged by Obi to be clean, simply because his party has been awarded some figures that give then the false impression that victory is around the corner.
In 2003, the South West states then governed by the Alliance for Democracy was lured into a partnership plan with PDP. The plan in the main embodied voting PDP in the presidency and voting AD in the governorship poll, which turned out to be simultaneous. At the end of the day, PDP produced the governors and the president, and the deal was skewed leaving bitterness on its trail; a bitterness that lasted four years in the mind of determined South West, but seven years average in reality and a decimated AD.
The only man who stood against that deal amongst the governors at the onset; the only one who was called names and the only one who shouted on top of his voice survived that deal as the last man standing. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, then Governor of Lagos State, current leader in APC and survived to tell that tale. I hope Obi and his co-travellers from business platform of a party would survive their current political hibernation to tell the story of their evil alliance, outside the law, when the heat begins to get hotter, patcularly from the east that still lacks the sophistication of the South West in matters political.
For, try as one may to hide it, someone somewhere knows the details of why Gov Obi will support a plan that throws in fake policemen into the electoral process, or students in place of NYSC members, or barge into matters as extraneous to his duty as determining the deployment of the exaggerated number of policemen brought to Anambra State.
When Gov Obi made a statement on a live programme on AIT on the day of the election asking that a particular man from particular political party should leave Anambra State ,a statement which coincided with the house arrest of the same man by security operatives, someone would be interested in knowing what information that detained man has relating to the devious plans Obi had to migrate results sheets to local governments different from where they were deployed in order to hurriedly dealer his appointee as governor-elect the same day. So what was el-Rufai’s persecution the lack of integrity in the November 16 elections?
But that is not the only thing that will catch prime interest, the sheer volume of cash –N60.5m-just for one local government caught with the ADC to Goveneror Peter Obi on Election Day in a cashless state, and the use to which it was put will re-surface in the horizon adducing pieces of evidence enough to shut the governors’ mouth when clean elections are being discussed. But then what is the federal Police, the only such police here doing with that beat of information while Obi’s mouth hangs open?
It was not the duty of Governor Obi to defend the thumb-printing of ballot papers outside the designated polling unit, by police officers in favour of APGA, even when they are on tape and circulating. Yet Obi says, ‘if the election are organised ten times these people will not win’. The hypothesis is pedestrian and unimportant. What is Germaine is that Anambra State, like the rest of Nigeria has opted for democracy and all qualified adults registered to vote in Anambra State should be allowed to vote and the votes should count. Whoever wins after that can claim victory with honour and win the support of the losers, I bet.
It is not part of Obi’s duty and certainly not an election rigging preventing mechanism to tactfully collude with INEC to eliminate names beginning with O ,U and in some cases C from the voter register in Anambra State in, or the deliberate the bastardisation of the voter register from November 13, 2013,three days to the gubernatorial elections. Otherwise, is it not part of leadership to show sympathy and compassion to Anambra State citizens who could not vote? Has Gov Obi done that, or has he lost all elements of his responsibility as a governor, to the blind, desperate and feverish pursuit of someone to watch his back? Would he still be talking about free and fair election?
It is outside Obi’s duty to claim that an election in which materials where not delivered to Idemili North and South , Awka North and South and yet results were put together, many times on cardboards or exercise book leaves, were in order. It does nothing to his reputation except to return it to the days as an illicit business, long before he began the malapropic journey to governorship of Anambra State, without public service records, which effect everyone feels now.
It is certainly neither a way to prevent rigging, nor part of Gov Obi’s brief, along with Chef Victor Umeh, National Chairman of the thieving APGA to throw up defences that for INEC where Prof Attahiru Jega would rather sound apologetic, though Jega believes in justice without remedy.
It is not the duty of Gov Obi to defend the fact that 80 percent of the people who needed to vote in Awka did not find their names in the register and the minority that did, were not immediately identifiable by the idle, and anger majority.
The only reason why Gov Obi has that effrontery is that Anambra State watched him rig elections in 2010 and get away with it. Obi now cites 25 % of votes scored in 14 local government areas in Anambra State, which he failed to make in 2010, and which matter is still in court. He is correct in the citation. The law does not change because he once flouted it, or tried to use his surrogates suing him to redefine in a corrupt judicial environment. It remains the law, but when once anyone leaves the turf of counted votes entered in proper results sheets to all sorts of makeshift figures, no emerging figure can be relied on anymore. It is as simple as loathing one candidate enough to deny him victory on paper for any local government at all or awarding him the fifth position.
And finally, if Obi brokered any deal with President Goodluck Jonathan prior to the APGA decision not to field a presidential candidate in the 2011 presidential elections, but support the Ijaw-born president, in exchange for an Anambra State that bypasses the crucible of credible elections, it must remain a private deal between them that has nothing to do with the inalienable democratic rights of Anambra State people. Or is that not the nucleus of the Anambra Challenge, as it was the Nigerian challenge in May this year when Obi showed in his undemocratic character that 1 should rule over 19.One used the course of that event to project the November 16 election, six months ago. How accurate!
‘On arrival he took away our rights to self actualisation by ordering that our people should be shot at sight for demonstrating, at the end he took away our democratic rights to choose our leader after withholding our rights to have local governments all through the tenure, In between he defended the rights of 16 to be majority over 19 in an election of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, moments after colluding with outsiders to kill and dump us into Ezu River. In all of these, he never for one day fought for our people, because he dare not-defending our people does not form part of the agreement that displaced our great defender to bring him in from Abuja’. That is Obi’s profile from a mystery voice.
As the days run into weeks and the weeks into months, Obi may be miffed to find out that he would have been caught up in an unexpected paradigm shift, and may soon perforate his calculations for covering up some undercover arrangements that has diminished the rights of Anambra State citizens to lively freely and choose heir leaders freely, just so that some underground government activities will remain away from the gaze of sunlight.
So where do we go from here?