THE Nigerian delight for inconsequential issues is highlighted again by the indifference shown in the disruption in the Adamawa State governorship polls which can stand as the strongest attack so far on our democratic processes. We saw people denied their right to vote. We heard allegations of the security agencies aiding and abetting illegalities around the elections. Thugs had a field day; BVAS was not used, and worse still lives were lost.
We thought these were possibly the worst of the elections until Adamawa raised the bars of impunity to unimagined heights. Some called it a coup, executed by civilians to derailed the supplementary election to produce the Governor, an exercise that many experts deemed unnecessary since it was unlikely that Mrs. Aishatu Dahiru, affectionately called Binani, of the All Progressives congress, APC, could have won all the 30,000 votes at stake to over-take Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Hudu Ari, had no power to announce the winner of the election, a responsibility which by law belongs to the State Collation Officer appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Mr. Ari announced the winner while the results were being collated.
Mrs. Dahiru in her acceptance speech said her election as the first female governor in the country would encourage other women to participate actively in politics. INEC was quick to deny the declaration which it termed illegal.
“You’ve made history in electing the first female governor in our dear country, Nigeria. This will no doubt broaden political participation by encouraging our daughters, sisters, aunties, mothers and indeed the girl child,” Mrs. Dahiru told her supporters in 21-seconds clip the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, aired.
Since the incidents on 16 April 2023, nobody has been arrested, except some aides of the Adamawa State Governor, and some PDP members, who reportedly assaulted a security officer. Attention has been swinging between the ownership of the private jet that took Mr. Ari to Abuja and his disappearance. Why is Mr. Ari in hiding?
INEC summoned him to Abuja and asked the police and other security agencies to take him into custody. President Muhammadu Buhari also ordered his immediate arrest for the illegal declaration, which sparked nationwide anxiety. He is still a free man, merely suspended from his duties.
He insists that Mrs. Dahiru won the election. He had the effrontery to write the Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of the Department of State Service, DSS, National Security Adviser, NSA, and INEC Chairman, accusing two National Commissioners, Baba Bila and Abdullahi Zuru, who assisted him with the supplementary election on April 15, of working with PDP to rig the results. His letter was dated 20 April 2023.
INEC spokesman, Festus Okoye, said Mr. Ari should turn himself in to the Commission or police, who already have a file outlining the offences he committed in Adamawa.
“He should report and answer to the electoral infractions and make his allegations, and it should form part of police investigation,” Mr. Okoye said.
“The commission is not interested in his ‘fictional letters from hiding’,” Mr. Okoye added. “If he has a narration, he should make them to the police. Alternatively, he can report to the Commission and the Commission will take him to the police.”
Mr. Ari defended his actions in the drivel to the security agencies. “I want to categorically say that my action is within the responsibility vested on me and within the ambit law, particularly of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.”
Where is Mr. Ari that the security agencies cannot find him after the President’s orders? Are there no sanctions for Mrs. Dahiru, who read an acceptance speech and filed processes in court asking that she be affirmed the winner of the election? Who are protecting them?
These grievous matters would be soon forgotten as the focus shifts to the more profitable ventures of who holds what office in the emerging governments across the country. We are pretending that nothing serious happened in Adamawa to warrant a search for Mr. Ari except the “man-hunt” the police have promised.
It would not surprise many if Mr. Ari emerges a key member of the government being formed when he decides to come of hiding. The President thinks he has done his part by giving the orders. He is tired. Are his appointees also tired?
NIGERIA continues excelling in making a mess of simple things. Getting stranded Nigerians out of Sudan has set up series of scandals, including festering the insecurity and suffering of the stranded. Most of the stranded are Muslim Northerners, sustaining the point that incompetence of governments is not restrained by religion, and region. With a month to the end of the administration, it would appear that its officials have extended their absence in the affairs of Nigeria. This does not suggest any strikingly remarkable performances for good in their eight years.
IS fuel subsidy still a scam? President Buhari’s inaction appears to be the final word. Out of office he said it was a scam. For eight years the cost of subsidy kept rising. Every promise to remove subsidy was followed with its retention and higher votes for subsidy. There must be some good scams. Government knows better.
TUESDAY 2 May 2023 will be a great day at the University of Calabar, according to an official statement by Prof. Patrick Egaga, Director of SERVICOM at the university. The day marks ban of some dresses. “Specifically, short skirts or gowns, above the knee, open backs, crap tops, braless tops and gowns, spaghetti finger, sleeveless tops, handless gowns, bikinis, see through, transparent, apparels and revealing contours are no longer tolerated on campus.
“Others are handless gowns, bum short revealing laps, slit skirts, body hugs, V-necks exposing breasts, tubes, strip-less, rag jeans, shorts above the knee, sleeveless shirts, singlets, lingeries, sagged trousers and others.
“All of these will no longer be tolerated on campus with effect from Tuesday May 2, 2023.”
WE have been reading about the fatal consequences of blind religious beliefs in Kenya. Are we sure similar situations do not exist here? Or what are we doing to stop them?
HOW important is oil to Nigeria’s economy? One is not calling for a debate. When at official fora it is frequently stated that Nigerian crude is stolen in quantities that damage the economy, and government does nothing about it, there are doubts if we understand these things the same way. Nigeria has lost an opportunity to produce and sell about 65,700,000 barrels of oil in the last one year due to issues bothering on pipeline vandalism and the resultant oil theft. This translates to about N2.3tn loss in oil revenue. The Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Dr Osagie Okunbor, said at the just concluded Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja, that the 180, 000 barrels per day Trans Niger Pipeline had remained shut for more than one year – March 2022 to March 2023 due to massive oil theft on the pipeline. Last year, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company said it detected an illegal connection on the Trans Escravos pipeline looped to the four-kilometre Afremo test line. Nothing is likely to be done about the thefts, soon, with these statements that could be invitations to new thieves.
.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues