My past articles and comments on the lopsided preparedness of INEC to conduct free, fair and credible general elections in April 2011 were many. I stated them very clearly and outlined the various mistakes being made by INEC towards the general elections. At a stage, I was compelled to examine the display of registered voters’ lists nationwide in greater details with the corresponding consequences. But a stubborn and impervious INEC chairman, Mr. Attahiru Jega, a rote professor of Political Science, would not yield.
But now, we know who is a professor. A professor is not the university teacher who gathers students as well as semi-illiterates together only to bamboozle them with “ill-digested theories” (apology to Mr. Audu Ogbe) but the one who is able to profess before students, academics, professionals, etc.
Almost all the national dailies today, Wednesday, April 20, 2011 carried stories of the mayhem that cuts across the northern States of Nigeria. For instance, the Leadership newspaper had:
(1) On its front page, “Post-election violence” – “121 dead”: “Kaduna 50, Kano 30, Bauchi 16, Katsina 8, Gombe 17” and Displaced “15,000”. The story continued on page 5.
(2) On its page 2, “Post-election Riots: 70 corps Members Escape Death In Minna”. The involved were all NYSC members.
(3) Still on its page 2, “Election Violence: IG Orders State Commissioners On Red-Alert”.
(4) Still on its page 2, “Post-election crisis: FG Sends Reinforcement to Kaduna”.
The AIT newspaper review this Wednesday, April 20, 2011 morning also informed of a newspaper that reported of Kano-Abuja route being a killing field. And many more!
Yesterday, Tuesday, April 19, 2011 The Nation newspaper reported on its page 6 that Mr. Namadi Sambo’s house was burnt in Zaria. That was the Vice President’s house. Thisday reported that there has been “Pandemonium as Bomb Scare, Violent ProtestsRock Abuja”. Where were the security agents promised and provided by the FG to forestall violence before, during and after the elections? I made a comment on this issue sometimes that people flee violence prone areas as experience has shown that when mass riot starts, security apparatus normally fails. It takes time to regain lost grounds and restore peace.
As I write now, reports from Kafanchan area, Kaduna State informed us that many houses, mosques and churches have been burnt. The riot has spread to other small towns like Kwai and Zankuwa. My colleague’s parents and younger ones were victims of the Kafanchan riot. As I write now, they are trapped in a police station as the means of escape down South to Ibadan or Lagos is cut off. The Kaduna – Abuja expressway and Kanfanchan – Kwai junction road have been turned to killing traps.
But is this violence unavoidable? I thing otherwise. Rote professor and chairman of INEC, Mr. Jega, should be held responsible for the wanton destruction of lives and properties in Northern Nigeria. I wrote and warned severally that the procedures adopted by INEC were faulty write from the beginning. At a time, I wrote that the presidential election should be postponed till July 2011. (See: Omotayo, J. A. – Postpone Presidential Elections. To July 2011, Parts 1-3., www.ngex.com, Mach 7, 2011).
If INEC took the Electoral Act 2007 as her guide, the election should have been postponed until the time when peace would reign. Section 27 (1) on “Procedure at Election” states and I quote:
“Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election, and there is reason to believe that a serious BREACH OF THE PEACE IS LIKELY TO OCCURIF THE ELECTION IS PROCEEDED WITH ON THAT DATE or it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the Commission may POSTPONE THE ELECTION and shall in respect of the area, or areas concerned, appoint another date for the holding of the postponed election (capitals mine)”, unquote.
At a time, I wrote again on “Before INEC Burns Nigeria” (See: www.ngex.com, April 13, 2007). But all fell on deaf ears. Impervious Mr. Jega could not “think through”. As I write, I am angry. My daughter was on NYSC in Kano and was deployed to a polling unit like others. The same occurred with my niece in Bauchi. They were lucky to escape to Akure, Ondo State unhurt. But as a parent, I am disturbed that there were other NYSC members who were killed at various locations. Those dead NYSC members had parents too. What a colossal loss to the parents as well as Nigeria?
Must we Nigerians continue to grope in darkness trusting that our “quasi-technocrats, pseudo-administrators and rote professors“ (as I used to address them) cannot make mistakes? Must we fold our arms until they destroy the country with their “ill-digested theories”?. We Nigerians bear the brunt of their actions. They must listen to and discuss with us. They cannot continue to import foreign ideas and policies without taking into consideration our peculiar circumstances: poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness, illiteracy, religious fanaticism, ethnicity sentiment, etc. After all, Nigeria belongs to all of us equally in theory and by statute – the Constitution, not just to politicians, “quasi-technocrats, pseudo-administrators and rote professors”. The oracle has spoken.
As usual, I welcome both criticism(s) and comment(s) either openly or privately or both. My email address remains jaomotayo2(at)yahoo.co.uk . However, I like to warn that those criticizing must arm themselves with facts and figures lest they become targets for another round of critical re-evaluation.
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OMOTAYO, J. A. Lagos, NIGERIA May 05, 2011
Exceptional "Dr. Mike", thanks. Two big gifts at a time: silly and sick. I accept the "silly" as my own share. The "sick" part belongs to you. Why? No one has shown such propensity for title(s) on this ngex.com like you; "Dr. Mike" instead of just "Mike"! Second, you were unable to think logically and fault my argument.
Only a "sick" man behaves as such. Third, your "Well done" to Jega &Goodluck is meaningless. Why? As a grammar, it should be limited to food whether cooked, fried or roasted. You can check your Oxford Advance Learner's Dictionary. As a jargon, the post-presidential election violence was not a desirability from Jega, INEC & or Goodluck. How come the wrong use of "well done" then? If "Dr. Mike" is medical doctor, I pity his patients, and if a Phd holder, then he should go back to school and take some courses on logic in Philosophy Dept. God bless Nigeria.
OMOTAYO, J. A. Lagos, NIGERIA April 28, 2011
It appeared that the three wisemen who left the East to pay hommage to Jesus did not return to their location. How else can one rationalise the misconstruction by and disorientation of Note and Onyiyi? A road sign was placed to warn drivers of an approaching dangerous bend. A reckless driver ignored the warning and had a crash. Lives and properties were lost. Then the wise justices Note and Onyiyi blamed the traffic officer for placing the warning sign on the road. Mediocrity is a curse not a blessing. God bless Nigeria.
Dr. Mike Lagos, Nigeria April 28, 2011
Mr. Omotayo, you are either s**** or sick. Well done Jega and Goodluck, our votes for once counted. Buhari and CPC, thumbs down. This is a wake up call for the nothern elders to educate their lot. GEJ take note, never again shld we allow the retro agents use the ignorant in the north. Time for change.
We forgive for they know not what they do. We will educate them with all we've got. Healthy opposition is good but violence, a big NO.
Mustafa Sokoto, Nigeria April 28, 2011
Jega has arranged, signed, sealed and delivered presidential victory to PDP irrespective of whoever will die. While North is burning, Jega was busy receiving and announcing the fake results of which people, even in his home town, are killing themselves. Jega could not even bring up himself, show remorse or pause to look at what the rioters are demanding.
Jega has sworn to give Nigeria a befitting election, but even the worst of human beings will attest to this election being the worst in Nigeria's history. As a professor of Political Science, Jega should have listen to and rejoice with the judgement of Nigerians over his presiding the Aprill 2011 election and not from the judgement of President Goodluck Jonathan - thet man who appointed and paid him. If Prof. Humphery Nwosu, Ovie whiskey etc. were to be here with us, they will definately have somthing to celebrate on.
note Aba, Nigeria April 24, 2011
I am really not surprised that no one has so far enobled this diatribe a comment. Omotayo is apparently one of those who do not wish Nigeria well and delight in the surfering of the Nation. Some people are just happy when thins go wrong so that they can smugly say. 'I told you so.' INEC did not set Nigeria ablaze and Nigerians know that. Whatever violence that happened in some part of the North is as a result of the desperation of failed politicians who tend to manipulate the ignorance of the illitrate. INEC and Jega have done an excellent job so far. The likes of Omotayo should go and bury the heads in shame.