By Ayodele Fagbohun
The unguarded, reckless and inflammatory utterances and lack of remorse of Labour Party (LP) presidential flagbearer, Peter Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed over the relatively peaceful outcome of the poll which returned All Progressives’ Congress (APC)’s candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his vice, Kashim Shettima as president-elect and vice president-elect respectively having met the constitutional requirements to be declared President/Vice president, should be deplored.
Obi’s running mate, Datti Baba Ahmed borne out of presumption, utter mischief and/or feigned ignorance claimed that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), erred in declaring Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the winner and issuing him a certificate of return and that swearing him in, would mark the end of democracy.
It is unfortunate, nauseating and inauspicious that this arrogant assertion is coming at this crucial juncture when all hands must be on deck to prop Nigeria on the threshold of another democratic experiment.
It is galling to note that this is a smokescreen, revealing the surreptitious, vicious and cruel agenda of some powerful vested interests, the so called fifth columnists strenuously and hell bent on drifting the country into creeping fascism.
In the first instance, come to think about it. What is the rationale behind or essence of putting in place some national institutions like the INEC in reeling out well orchestrated programmes towards mobilization of the people in the dictates with the extant laws and constitution of the country?
The entire Nigerian citizenry and the polity were literarily and already in a frenzy on the full mobilization and participation of the national assignment. It stands to reason therefore that any attempt by dastardly satanic agents masquerading as true patriots of Nigeria throwing spanners into smooth conduct of general elections which ipso facto consolidation of democracy, would be tantamount to dropping a huge stone into a calm lake thereby causing unavoidable ripples in the process.
Without gainsaying, there was groundswell of unprovoked sinister and ominous build up and tendencies across the country to cast aspersion on the integrity of the general election with a view to foisting on the nation, an Interim Government which is alien to the constitution and faux pas.
No wonder, not fewer than 10 months to the presidential polls, there was enlightened, conservative and bourgeois around the country championed by a legal luminary and private university proprietor, Aare Afe Babalola who adroitly canvassed for Interim Government.
The chancellor of ABUAD strongly submitted :we should postpone the 2023 elections until Interim Government put in place after the expiration of Buhari’s government has in place a new truly People’s Constitution.”
Thanks to the Editorial, of the authoritative The Hope Newspaper which strongly denounced in its entirety the claim of the legal icon, as unconstitutional and tagged it “Afe Babalola Repulsive Interregnum.”
According to The Hope, Nigeria deserves a “new look constitution,” but cutting the lead is not the cure for headache. The Hope insists that the current electioneering process must not be halted and encourage the youth and upright to participate fully to ensure that the next government would reckon in such a way that necessary changes in the polity would be enacted and approved.”
Unfortunately, Buhari’s administration evinced tardiness, lukewarmness and unconcerned display, utter hypocrisy and allowed the kite to fly uncontrollably in the political sphere.
None of the government spokespersons especially the loquacious federal Minster of Justice and Attorney General Abubakar Malami (SAN) or the garrulous, Garba Shehu, Asst. Special Adviser on publicity, let alone MR. President thought if fit to halt the smearing election campaign of denigration against 2023 general election. The unchecked campaign of hate was cowardly unleashed by faceless fifth columnists through reckless abuse and mis-use of freedom of information designed to compromise the integrity of elections to which federal government had committed huge resources both in men and material.
As the electioneering gathered momentum and set to reach the climax contrary to the general expectation and state of the nation which did not give any tinge or semblance of hope and credibility to 2023, there was general confusion and bedlam in the offing which almost stretched the entire country and the populace into breaking point. There was ominous, frightening jingles of secessionist clamour for total dismemberment of Nigeria to its various component pasts. God forbid!
While Ayo Adebanjo, self imposed acting National leader of the embattled Afenifere, pan Yoruba socio-cultural and political outfit, since Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti (OFR) voluntarily relinguished its leadership, he (Pa Ayo Adebanjo) was openly canvassing for restructuring, as a pre-condition for general election, and on the same breadth clandestinely in league with the Igbo candidacy from South East for the presidency.
On the other hand, the militia IPOB has virtually turned the South East into cauldron of fierce internecine hostilities and threatre of war, with incessant raging of bloody conflicts, kidnappings, killings and malicious destruction arson of federal government infrastructure.
The herdsmen/farmers’ bloody skirmishes still rife in the Middle Belt like prairie fire in the grass land smouldering indiscriminately across the country, would only diminish any serious and credible conduct of 2023 general elections. The 2023 was therefore as good as dead, more charade and exercise in futility.
That perhaps, the erroneous misconception and warped thinking of some obtuse, purblind elite in and out of the corridor of power who are benefit of mental comprehension and spiritual depth to grasp the manifold problems facing the nation inspite of their scholastic attainment and exposure accorded them via privileged positions in the public service.
Alas! These political zealots and opportunists wrongly calling the shots in the commanding heights of the economy. They are pathological mediocre and never do well in cahoof with their business partners only proffer outlandish and incorrect panacea for the multi-dimensional and knotty problems of the nation.
It is sad commentary to note that some erstwhile Nigerian rulers both in the military and civilian attires ensconced in their private comfort like a fox cunningly deployed their privileged few business agents and nouveaux riches as forerunners to make for bombastic, unconstitutional Interim Government which is hardsell, anachronism destined to fail and crumble to the dust, even on arrival.
God being on our side, the articulate and sophisticated political class and intelligentsia in the country are daily increasing in population and stoutly reject the gratuitous insult from the rank of he bourgeoisie who in gross affront and violation of the social welfare scheme of government to benefit the lots of the masses are in concert and callousness dragon he nation into brinkmanship and grass fascism.
Like dues ex machina, man proposes; only God the providence who knows what is in store for tomorrow is there to consummate all things under the sun at the appropriate and fullness of time.
Without being sophistic, some presidential candidates in 2023 polls were neither driven nor motivated by any patriotism to serve and to further advance or deepen the cause of democracy.
Rather, they were mere participants in the open game considered as pastime to register their interests, garner whatever pecuniary awards or prerequisite as right to every registered political party that fields candidates whether on ground or not, for the election.
Some so called presidential hopefuls actually played to the gallery; and spilled the beans.
For instance, Mr Peter Obi a very funny character and late entrant into the national contest as LP presidential candidate under normal condition and constitutionally speaking going by the electoral law, is not a bonafide member of LP.
Having played pivotal role in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as running mate to Atiku Abubakar in 2019 polls and subsequently failed woefully to clinch PDP presidential nomination against his former boss in 2023, Peter Obi maneuvered his way borne out of unabashed ego and improprieties, only schemed for flagbearer of LP on hidden agenda to cause disruption and confusion in the political arena as now being witnessed.
Peter Obi and his running mate Datti Ahmed crafty exploited the abysmal weakness and alibi of president Buhari’s administration to put question mark on the integrity of the 2023 general elections?
Why should Peter Obi/Datti of LP approach election tribunal or judicial process for any redress at all having made up their mind as inveterate, sworn enemies of the President elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Vice-President elect, Kashim Shetima.
It is preposterous and silly that Peter Obi/Datti Ahmed averred in their petition that the President-elect, vice president elect should not be sworn in on the day of inauguration come may 29, 2023 suggestive of Tinubu’s presidency would bring Nigeria’ democracy to fiasco.
This is utterly irreconcilable and the drama is more than meet the eye.
Equally, reprehensible was the uncharitable broadside which the untutored duo of Obi/Datti Ahmed unleashed on Professor Wole Soyinka in finding fault with the unbecoming utterances LP dramatis personae i.e Obi/Datti Ahmed which was inimical and affront to the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
Prof Wole Soyinka, CFR, the First African winner of Nobel laureate in literature actively deployed his academic and intellectual prowess in excavating pressure on international community about danger inherent in prolonged military rule in /Nigeria, nay in Africa.
It is high time we must face bitter truth that Nigeria, a pluralistic conglomerate; a secular state by constitution, norms and tradition must be divested of ethno-religious and primordial interests to all peace, progress and prosperity take firm root in the polity.
The unbridle tirade on Wole Soyinka gives credence and alarm that something sinister, ominous and dirty is lurking under the sleeves of Obi and his pack of unruly “Obidients” on Fulani hidden agenda and other extraneous considerations not consistent with the tenets of liberal democracy.
The battle is fought and won with the pan Nigerian electoral mandate freely and fervidly given to All Progressives’ Congress (APC) flagbearers, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu/Kashim Shetima presidency.
Nigerians must rededicate themselves anew to purposeful and effective governance hinged on true fiscal federalism; empowered with visionary men and women right from the local, state and federal levels of government.
To cap it all, the nation’s security architecture must be vigorously rejigged and fine-tuned to smoke out undesirable elements no matter how highly placed that constitute threat to public peace.
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