Prof Jega: Hero Of Nigeria’s Democratic Innovation-Why Progressives Should Support Him By Obinna Akukwe
Prof Attahiru Jega has proven to be the hero of democratic innovations through the insistence on using card reader as means of authenticating voters in the upcoming 2015 elections, in a nation where satanic madness is raging over the transparent conduct of elections.
1n 1999, Prof Eme Awa was in charge of National Electoral Commission of Nigeria, saddled with conducting a free and fair election after God delivered Nigeria from the grip of the late dictator, General Sanni Abacha. In the 1999 elections, Chief Olu Falae was rigged out by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo through the help of then military dictator Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Military dictator, Gen Ibrahim Babangida and multi-millionaire businessmen like Former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu.
In 2003, it was the turn of Edo born Sir Abel Goubadia to conduct election and he superintended a process whereby General Muhammadu Buhari, former military dictator and flag bearer of ANPP was rigged out with the help of Vice President Atiku Abubakar who gave President Obasanjo insight into how modern day vote robbery could be executed. In that election, Obasanjo who according to security reports came a distant third with Buhari (ANPP) and Odumegwu Ojukwu(APGA) leading, became the winner of the fraudulent election .
In 2007, Professor Maurice Iwu , a friend of Atahiru Jega, was drafted from the United States by Senator Andy Uba to lead the electoral body. This professor of pharmacy promised Nigerians that he will conduct a free and fair election even if it is the last sacrifice he will make before he dies. When Obasanjo came with his do or die rigging format which must stop Atiku and Buhari at all costs, Maurice Iwu superintended over the worst election in the history of Nigeria. During Goubadia’s time, at least ballot boxes were stuffed with fake ballot papers but during Iwu’s time, ballot papers became useless and areas where elections never held produced winners and the losers are always advised to go to PDP controlled courts. In that same year, General Buhari was rigged out in favor of his kinsman late President Umoru Yar’adua and the later, while disparaging the Maurice Iwu superintended process, promised to institute electoral reforms. He never lived to fulfil his promise.
In 2011 it was the turn of another fellow comrade and unionist to conduct elections. Prof Jega helped Jonathan and the PDP a lot especially in the north where in areas that are Buhari’s strongholds, the PDP reduced Buhari’s votes and increased Jonathan’s to ensure that the mandatory 25 percent in 2/3 states were met. In the South East where Buhari refused to campaign, the PDP had a field day and inflated the votes of Jonathan and there is not much APC party agents can do. Jonathan became winner and Buhari wept back home to Katsina while Jega smiled to the banks.
In March 2014, I wrote an article titled ’ Presidency 2015: Jonathan and Ijaws to teach Hausa-Fulani Bitter Lesson – Part 1 where I stated that “The fact as I state it now will play out in 2015- APC will surely get more number of votes cast, and meet the constitutional requirement of 25% in 2/3 states of the federation to win the presidency, but Jonathan will manipulate the elections and declare himself the President of Nigeria with the help of Attahiru Jega.-and there is nothing the North can do about it” It took the entire PDP eleven months to discover that what I said on March 3rd is true and that APC is about to win the election, is why they rushed to postpone the February 14 polls. The only difference in the prediction is that a proactive north went to work on Jega and prized him out of the grip of Jonathan. I was following the transmutation of Jega from being a Jonathan boy to being an independent man, ready to give Nigeria a free election.
Curiously, following the widely circulated write-ups, especially among political circles in the north, jittery northern elites tasked Jega on his loyalty. While the PDP relaxed, believing that Jega will still play ball as expected, the northern elites, traditional and religious leaders after the revelations had series of private talks with Jega, where they demanded to know his allegiance in the forthcoming polls. In some places some persons threw stones at him and called him a betrayer. They forced Jega to become neutral with the electoral process. To this effect, Jega started putting in place measures that will eliminate rigging in Nigeria- THE MOST POTENT BEING THE USE OF CARD READER. This device will eliminate 80 percent of the electoral fraud in Nigeria and that is where Jega fell off with the ruling party.
A prominent Northerner wrote to thank me for the write-up exposing how Jega will rig the election for Jonathan. He promised that they will work on Jega and extract a neutrality pledge from him. This they did before end of August 2014. The PDP were doing newspaper, television, and billboard campaigns talking all sorts of irrelevant things until it dawned on them two months to the election that the warning I gave about a year ago that APC will win the election is just about to happen. All efforts by the ruling party to intimidate, blackmail, induce or frustrate Jega to cave in to another electoral manipulation failed. Jega had embezzled enough in INEC; he wants to leave a legacy for his family name. He also doesn’t want to face the wrath of his northern people who are not in the mood to allow a single of their vote counted for Jonathan, Thus these circumstances had forced Jega to a state of neutrality in the elections.
Jega’s neutrality and innovation of card reader technology, whichever way it came about, is the second greatest achievement of the Jonathan regime, the first being the National Conference he successfully hosted. The problem with Jega’s innovation is that if it is implemented, the PDP chieftains who scammed Jonathan of billions of naira in campaign money, transferred same to their personal overseas accounts and made few noises on the pages of newspapers are in trouble of amalgamated loss. They failed to campaign for Jonathan, They failed to distribute money or mobilize people on the grassroots until APC effectively penetrated and mobilized the grassroots, then they woke up and wanted the use of card reader jettisoned.
Jega’s neutrality and card reading technology will ensure that if Governor Willie Obiano follows the footsteps of his godfather Peter Obi in Anambra State, Anambrarians will simply wait for four years and throw him out, Jega’s card reader simply means that the people of Enugu West Senatorial District can throw away Senator Gilbert Nnaji if he continues his’ siddon look’ approach in the Senate Chambers. Jega’s neutrality means that any other governor under develops Abia State like Governor T.A. Orji he will be booted out after four years and if Labaran Maku is popular in Nasarrawa State, he does not need fear any incumbency factor before becoming governor. Jega’s card reader means that no APC, PDP, APGA OR LP politician will dare impose unpopular candidate on anybody because they know that the electorates are now in charge.
Therefore Jega’s card reader is the panacea to a rigging virus which reared up its head during the Shagari era when Awolowo was allegedly rigged out of Presidential election and probable run-off in 1979 before the infamous Supreme Court interpretation of 2/3 majority threw Awo’s presidential ambition to the dustbin.
I am a Christian, Cleric and activist with considerable influence within many political, ecclesiastical and professional circles and I am spiritual enough to know that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of the Living God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, cannot support electoral robbery, manipulation, rigging or scuttling of the people’s mandate. Therefore any Christian who justifies rigging is working for Lucifer- and I certainly will not work for Lucifer. I have told my colleague Archbishops, Bishops, Apostles, Venerable, Pastors this and most of them have agreed with me in principle, Muslim clerics should educate their colleague accordingly, if their Qur’an does not justify rigging.
Jega can be a devout Muslim, I do not give a damn. He could even marry ten wives and divorce six to balance it four, I do not care so much. Jega can make his beard to be longer than that of Osama Bin Laden and he can even do his own Sallat twenty four times daily which is his business, providing he doesn’t constitute public nuisance and disrupt public peace. Jega has proven to be a better follower of Jesus Christ than Prof Maurice Iwu, a knight of the Catholic Church . Jesus forced Zacheaus in Luke 19 vs 8 to return his loot back and the later said to the Lord (Jesus), “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” Jega is returning back the people’s mandate stolen through years of successive rigging, especially from the Shagari to the Obasanjo era back to the people. He is a hero of democracy, he should be supported and not vilified. INEC must
insist on the use the card reader or else let the military postpone the election and go on with their Interim Government option.
Certainly, God had used Jega to answer the prayer of some Nigerians (including myself) that an institutionalized way of stopping corruption should be kick started. Jega is a hero of democratic innovation who is fighting electoral corruption and Nigerians and the international community and all progressive minded persons should come to his aide before something worse becomes of Nigeria.