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An Interview Summary With Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, The President Of The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU)



Professor Ademola Dasylva At 70: A Labourer In The Vineyard


Toyin Falola

This occasion of the Toyin Falola interviews featured the president of the ASUU, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, fielding questions—from comrades and other stakeholders—on the union’s activities, its objectives, past experiences, and recent engagements with the government. The aim is to intimate the public about the union’s handling of issues bedeviling tertiary education in Nigeria. Hence, the session covered the history of ASUU’s engagement with the government, the content and efficacy of the union’s modus operandi, the conduct of its members, and the possibility of devising and implementing less harmful measures for securing the future of (public) tertiary education in Nigeria.

The question and answer session started without delay with questions posed by the student representative, Eworo Daniel. These included questions on the ASUU’s achievements, its experiences dealing with civilian and military governments, its commitment to student’s welfare, and the possibility of adopting a different pressure tactic outside striking. Responding, Prof. Ogunyemi stated the critical role universities are meant to play in national development, contributing to the development of every sector of national life, especially in underdeveloped Africa. He lamented the sorry state of tertiary education in Nigeria, explaining that the union’s agenda is to ensure that the university is well equipped to deliver its mandate.

According to Prof. Ogunyemi, ASUU identifies with the needs of the suffering masses, unlike its predecessor, the National Association of University Teachers (NAUT). The challenges to the union’s objective lay in the elite’s attitude as there is hardly any difference between civilian dispensations and their military counterparts in their commitment to developing tertiary education in Nigeria, especially as the civilian ruling class is yet largely made up of the same military elements. The union’s experience with both governments was ridden with various instances of draconian displays, including serial banning and the imposition of unfavorable and faulty policies such as the IPPIS payment scheme.

To further bolster his point, the ASUU President recalled a one-time civilian president who called the ASUU “the problem of Nigeria” and likened the union to a snake that can only be effectively handled by dismembering it and stowing its different parts at different locations across the country. In other instances, the union has also been labeled as political and unpatriotic.

Concerning the ASUU’s commitment to student welfare, Prof. Ogunyemi mentioned that the union is committed to ensuring that students get not only a conducive learning environment but also that the teachers whose job it is to educate have the required equipment and are well compensated to ensure that they deliver on their mandate. This way, both students’ and teachers’ interests, which are intertwined, are served simultaneously. He further pointed out that the union has never embarked on strike for the sole aim of teachers’ welfare.

Regarding the issue of finding an alternative to strike actions, which has rippling effects on students’ education and career opportunities and is also damaging the reputation of Nigerian universities, the ASUU president pointed out that it is the only language the Nigerian government seems to understand, and that the union only embarks on strikes when other avenues have failed. These industrial actions, he claimed, have produced some results like the TETFUND, which has aided in refurbishing and equipping some Nigerian universities with dearly required facilities. He, however, suggested that if anyone had a better alternative to striking, the union is willing to consider it.

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The interview proceeded with more questions from the prolific media personality, Tosin Alagbe. Her questions covered what ASUU is doing to prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist, why it seems like the union’s voice is not loud enough when holding the Nigerian government accountable, what ASUU’s position on sexual harassment is, and what the union is doing to prepare universities for another pandemic. In response, Prof. Ogunyemi explains that there is a curriculum review committee in every university and the union’s members participate effectively in curriculum review.

ASUU members collaborate with the NUC by collating feedback from other members across universities. Teachers, he also said, have used their connection and interactions with colleagues in more advanced climes to keep abreast of international trends and have applied the innovative information gained from such interactions in their classrooms. Reacting also to my expansion on preparing students for the new jobs and opportunities, Prof. Ogunyemi lamented the infrastructural deficit in Nigerian universities and poor government commitment to developing these infrastructures asserted limits the possibility for any such preparation.

In response to the suggestion that the union has not been very vocal in holding the government accountable, the ASUU President said such assertion is not correct. ASUU members have been tried for insubordination and sometimes kicked out for exposing corrupt practices in their universities. The union, according to him, has just not been regular enough because the IPPIS and other human factors have bogged it down. Nonetheless, it has always raised objections to corrupt practices, with the IPPIS as one of such schemes flagged as an avenue for corruption. Furthermore, it still issues statements on the deplorable situation of national affairs after NEC (National Executive Council) meetings and through newspaper publications to notify the public on such issues and when specific cases arise.

On the union’s position on sexual harassment in universities, Prof. Ogunyemi said the union condemns it in all its entirety and that there is a committee that investigates such cases. The committee then reports its findings at NEC meetings, maintaining steady connections and keeping the union abreast with developments. However, the union will not condone/allow any government agency to paint all its members with one brush on account of some bad eggs, as some teachers are known to have excellent and familial relationships with their students. He asserted that there is a need to reinforce existing structures, as some of the notorious elements come into the university system through questionable means and abuse the privilege. He also mentioned a need to properly analyze the problem and work together to situate the solution.

Coming down to being prepared for eventualities such as the Covid-19 pandemic, Prof. Ogunyemi mentioned that the union is not averse to technological innovation and that ASUU had always advocated that universities be well-positioned to respond to calamities even before the present pandemic became an issue. The union has proactively engaged the government to improve, leading to a 2013 funding agreement that the government has failed to meet. Therefore, embracing the change to a digital model of engagement in teaching is not an option for ASUU but a necessity.

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The next in line with questions was Prof. Labode Popoola, the Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University (UNIOSUN). His questions covered areas such as the union’s position on education funding at the tertiary level; financial transparency and service delivery at universities; finding an alternative to strike actions, unionism as a replacement for hard work; and the authoritarian tendencies within the union.

The ASUU President, Prof. Ogunyemi, replied by saying that funding is an ideological issue. He went on to say that the union is not against private funding from alumni associations, nor does it insist that other stakeholders cannot contribute until it comes up with a fixed amount for fees. He maintained that if the government gets its priorities right, it can adequately fund education in Nigeria with some assistance from parents. However, parents are already doing a lot, sharing about half of the burden with the government.

Therefore, increasing fees will generally make education inaccessible to many people. Reacting to further assertions by Prof. Labode that the government cannot, on its own, fund education and that Nigerian parents are willing to do more, Prof. Ogunyemi said the issue is in the percentage, also recalling that governments in other parts of the (western) world still fund tertiary education.

Prof. Labode pointed out that corruption transcends political circles, contrary to popular perception, and that the corruption in the education sector is “legendary,” to which Prof. Ogunyemi conceded that the union is aware of such “leakages.” However, attempts by ASUU members to confront these issues by exposing corrupt elements have resulted in their victimization—suspensions, withheld pay, and layoffs. The union, he said, has taken up some cases even to the EFCC, and yet nothing happens. The challenge is that the union is up against formidable forces from within and without academia. ASUU, he also said, has put mechanisms like the Pension Fund Custodians (PFC) in place. If the union is not satisfied with the use of funds disbursed, it will not release more from the TETFUND.

Reacting to strikes as an instrument of Nigerian unionism that further aggravates an already bad situation, Prof. Ogunyemi started from the assertion that Nigerian universities are not the worst in terms of funding, to which he said we must not wait until we become the worst, but we should consider that we were once amongst the best. He explained that we should not blame the bad reputation of Nigerian education on strikes alone. Rather, we should look at the dilapidated university facilities and unreliable processes that ASUU objects to by striking.

On the allegation that union members have used activism to replace hard work, Prof. Ogunyemi pointed out that, unfortunately, this is obtainable in almost every organization and that it is up to university administrators to resist attempts by political elements to impose unqualified personnel on the universities. This contributes to the problem because when such people come in, they strive to perpetuate the system that brought them in. He also raised the issue of corrupt administrators worsening the situation.

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The final interviewer Prof. Tunde Babawale, a distinguished scholar and administrator, posed questions on what the union is doing to encourage the payment of education tax; ASUU’s involvement with university authorities in ensuring teachers do their jobs; ASUU’s strategy for ensuring accountability among university authorities; the distinctiveness of Prof. Ogunyemi’s leadership; and how gains made under the present ASUU leadership can be sustained irrespective of changing governments. Responding, the ASUU president used the FIRS as a case in point to demonstrate the challenges the union faces on education tax. According to him, the revenue collecting agency has resisted attempts to gain information on such company tax payments, and as such, ASUU has not been able to keep track of the funds collected, and that the union has visited its lawyers to address the issue. Hence ASUU cannot vouch for monies collected and also cannot track projects. Student unions, he says, can play more active roles in this regard. He, however, added that they are engaging with the TETFUND to ensure that the agency delivers.

Coming to members’ work ethics, Prof. Ogunyemi conceded that there are infractions and that some of their colleagues are performing below expectation. He, nonetheless, pointed out that it is important to situate the problem by asking questions such as the percentage of students per a lecturer. Departments now have a higher number of students, and that translates to heavier workloads. This, he said, is not a defense of derelicts, but that with such conditions, enforcement becomes difficult and trying to appear like an insult. He said this also brings up recruitment and how transparent the processes are to ensure that unqualified people are not admitted. ASUU, he said, in any case, is doing its best. It is conscious of its role and responsibility.

On ensuring accountability in universities, the ASUU president said the issue speaks to the role of the Budget Monitoring Committee (BMC), which was set up to prioritize projects. He explained that before a university can access revitalization funds, the BMC must meet and investigate the areas where the funds are needed, then the BMC takes part in contract pricing and awarding. However, the BMC has been rendered moribund in over ten universities. In some cases, the Vice-Chancellor heads the BMC, which is an infraction. If adverse results are gotten from BMCs, the erring university must defend its expenditure before any other funds are released. This way, ASUU has tried to put in checks and balances, despite several victimizations.

Concerning ASUU’s achievements and how they can be sustained, Prof. Ogunyemi pointed out that branches have grown from twenty to seventy in his tenure. However, every president works within a different context, just like both military and civilian governments have their peculiar challenges. He said he could not claim any of the achievements as they are collective and cumulative. Each leader builds on the other’s gain, and this way, the gains can and have been sustained.

The next section of the interview had questions and comments coming in from the audience, after which the host closed the interview session with a vote of thanks and announcement on subsequent interviews.

This is the third and final report on the interview conducted with Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi on April 25, 2021). For its entire recording, see Facebook:


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The 2023  Elections And The Newness Of Nigeria



The Futility Of A Marital Chase
Dr. Hope Nwawolo

By Hope Nwawolo   

Despite the hues and cries that greeted the results of the 2023 elections, what if the court’s pendulum stays or swings otherwise in the expected litigations?

What will it teach our inquisitive young children?

What will it do to the hopes and dreams of the youths?

What will it do to the mind set of those in diaspora, waiting and hoping to return?

How will it affect our heroes still alive and yearning for the good old times?

One basic fact is that no matter where the pendulum swings, something new has started in the political sphere of Nigeria. And because it was unexpected, it has become almost impossible to strangulate it.  

In every competition, there is an expectation that the best man will win. That may not always be in politics, particularly, in Nigeria…where the winner may not be the best man or even the better man. And when it is said that politics is a game of numbers, sometimes, the actual numbers may not be visible to determine the end result. It becomes a case of the more you look the less you see; until interpreted by respected learned men with high integrity.

Politics, they say is a dirty game, where money speaks and promises made are broken without an iota of guilt. Where the gullible minds of the masses are deceived, with as little as a box of indomie. Where some vibrant but jobless youths are brainwashed to risk their lives to snatch ballot boxes for the politicians who do not know them beyond giving them stipends through some third parties. Where market women are forced to come out for rallies and campaigns because they cannot afford the fine that will be imposed on them if they failed to participate. They also do not want the harassment of the market leaders. 

In politics, fear is palpable in the air, before, during and after elections. The 2023 elections recently carried out, depicted these more than expected in both the politicians and electorate. What started like the usual political pattern took a drastic turn about nine months to the first elections and though it was said to be only a social media affair, it got everyone sitting upright and tightening his seat belt, particularly after the first elections.

Now, there is a generational shift, a new awakening, a new dawn and a new political birth, waiting to happen. To wherever the pendulum turns; where the court stands, it will make a turnaround in Nigeria. It may be turbulent at the beginning, it may be emotionally draining and psychologically traumatizing, but it will point to light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a new hope backed by a high spirit of determination. An unexplainable faith in many people for that newness of existence and purpose. An unprecedented emotional and psychological strength in the youths not to give up on their dreams. An unquenchable desire to keep praying. Soon a newness will break forth to calm all nerves and dry all tears.

A newness that will permeate conflicts and hatred,

A newness that will dissipate unnecessary anger,

A newness that will usher in unquestionable and transparent political systems in future elections,

A newness of freedom to choose a candidate without coercion or molestation

A newness of jubilation after the announcement of election results.

This is the new Nigeria that is awaiting delivery…

Nwawolo, PhD, writes from Lagos.




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Overcoming Policy Execution Trap As Nigeria’s Development Challenge



Prof. Tunji Olaopa

By Tunji Olaopa

If I am asked to give a succinct and apt summary of the entire challenge faced by the Nigerian state in terms of her policy architecture and development management, in spite of contestation in the development literature, I will not hesitate in stating clearly and unambiguously that it is the challenge of policy implementation; the whole dynamics of getting things done. By elimination, the implication is that the challenge cannot be located as that of the dearth of development ideas, insights, models and paradigms. Right from her independence, Nigeria has been inundated with several ideas, both local and global, about development policy and frameworks. And yet, policy outcomes keep getting bogged down in the murky waters of political shenanigans. This means that the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has its challenge mapped out, in red, for it.

There is no shying away from this postcolonial predicament that has limited and kept limiting Nigeria’s capacity to honour the terms of her social contract with Nigerians. Hence, the Tinubu government will soon be inundated with the impatient agitations of Nigerians for a quick and tangible fix that will address their sufferings. And they are justified since they have not been given any real deal for the past sixty-three years of sovereign independence. And the new administration is obligated because that is the reason for seeking office in the first place.

Prof. Olaopa’s new book on public policy and development challenges

How then can we begin to understand this policy execution challenge? It is simple: how can an administration in Nigeria transition from governance vision and policy intention to policy outcomes that elevate and transform the quality of life of its citizens? Failure to understand and give critical and political attention to this question lies at the heart of the governance failures of successive Nigerian administrations. The new Tinubu administration cannot afford such a glaring mistake. And so, a fundamental case must be made out of the question of how policy intentions get circumscribed in the dynamics of policy execution that occasions policy failures in past administrations.

Modern states all across the world are distinguished by the traditional four functions they discharge as part of their administrative responsibilities—security i.e. securing the sovereign territory against lawlessness, policy formulation and implementation, governance regulation and service delivery.The capacity to perform each and all of these functions very well within an integrated framework in the governance context is what delivers the dividends of democratic governance to the citizens, and it enhances the state’s competitive and human development rating in global reckoning. With these functions, we have the metrics to differentiate between high-performing states like China, India, the United States,Botswana, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirate, Germany, Rwanda and the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea), and low- or even under-performing countries like Nigeria that is still cluelessly stuck within a dysfunctional vicious cycle within her arrested development.

From the perspective of governance, there must be something these states are getting right in the connection between leadership, politics, and policy articulation. For instance, there is a trajectory of relationship that links elite bargains to development bargains. In other words, development is a
function of elite nationalism and the extent to which the political class of a state can commit elite suicide and gamble on development on behalf of the people they are leading. In Nigeria, low
manifestation of elite nationalism has made it really difficult for the political class to set aside their personal and egoistic class interests in ways that enable them to clearly and ideologically discern and navigate the deadly developmental landmines strewn all over our governance landscape by the
neoliberal implication of ideological apparatuses and frameworks to which Nigeria is beholden. And here, the factor of development gamble of the Asian Tigers’ elites comes into bold relief. From within the ideological ambit of the developmental state, the leadership of the Asian Tigers were able to define a policy space that consciously and critically weighed the benefits and shortfalls of external influences, especially the type that came from the World Bank, IMF and the other cohorts of the neoliberal policy dynamics. Their developmental circumspection paid off!

Since we cannot argue that Nigeria has been stumped by the lack of vision documents, development plans and blueprints, or even policy expertise, the locus of the new administration’s focus  must be directed at the possibility of mustering the political will to undermine the mystified Nigerian Factor, and face the global neoliberal consensus in order to begin the crafting of an enabling policy architecture to drive development. And to achieve this translates to creating the delicate balance between ‘doing the right things’ (a function of decision making quotient) and ‘doing it right’(project and change management effectiveness), and overcoming the various political, cultural, structural and systemic constraints that trapped past well-meaning policies and intentions of Nigerian leaders in the dynamics of implementation.

There is first the conspiracy of elitist interest that ensures there is a poor resource allocation that focuses on elite bargain than development calculations and taking care of the national interest. Other constraints follow: (a) the disconnect between policy design and implementation due to  weak  implementation planning, risk assessment and incompetent change management strategies; (b) unstable and poorly managed macroeconomic policies; (c) policy and project discontinuity; (d) public service low capability readiness; (e) political interference; and finally (f) deep-seated political and bureaucratic corruption. In essence, development has failed not because Nigeria lacks the blueprint or paradigms to make it happen, but due to the dynamics of the politics that the political elite plays with Nigeria’s development potential.

Let me outline what we can regard as the “politics of policy implementation” that Nigeria has played for many years, a politics the new administration must take into serious consideration if it
does not want to fall into the category of failed administration right before it commences. This politics throws Nigeria’s development and policy non-performance right into the frame of the 2005 World Bank review findings about policy and development projects in Africa. According to the finding, 29% of development projects ever get completed, 45% of on-going projects are rated as satisfactory, while 26% of such projects invariably get cancelled. Such a review can never backstop a solid development project of a developmental state.

The politics of policy implementation in
Nigeria is founded on the following assumptions and practices. One: there is that dangerous presumption, that the new administration must resist, that once policies and development plan are designed, they are automatically implemented by the public service. And such a presumption is against the background of a scant investment in implementation analysis and planning, as well as the failure to facilitate the capability review, determine public
administration system’s capability readiness, and strengthening of the MDAs as the powerhouse of government administrative functionality. The MDAs, that is, are not working according to any
specific theories or praxis of change that can guide the functional integration of blueprints or paradigms. This kind of policy inattention draws attention to the policy contradiction: launching a
national development plan and strategy that are not implementation- ready in terms of adequate capability review of the MDAs integral to ensuring implementation success. Two: this
presumption is compounded by the uncritical reliance of past governments on policy experts and consulting firms who are tasked with designing high-end policies that are then dumped on MDAs whose capability reviews and implementation readiness have been neglected in the first place. The
extroversion of the policy design is then compromised by poor functional integration. The truth is that most of these consulting firms lack the appropriate deep content and solution frameworks that are in tandem with the context of policy dysfunction they are supposed to work with. Three: governance policy or project are hardly subjected to feasibility test determined in terms of scope and expectation that are captured by their framework of time, cost and risk assessments before
they are pushed into implementation. This makes it very difficult to benchmark funding projections for these policies and projects against revenue estimations, as well as facilitating in-built flexibilities that enable the policies and projects to adjust to volatilities and contingencies.

All the issues raised above constitute binding constraint that will undermine any governance possibilities the new administration requires to make a success of democratic governance. Undermining the binding constraints demands returning to the fundamentals. The first and most significant is that the new administration needs to interrogate the framework of how government business is currently being conducted. Governance successes are necessarily a function of how government business engages the complexities of the policy design and execution processes within a results-oriented frame. And that entails undermining the structural gaps between policy objectives, development strategies and policy outcomes. This demands second, setting the public service on a performance curve with the institution of a performance management system. This means that the public service must, for example, unfailingly now deploy KPI-based metrics to replace the cumbersome annual performance evaluation report (APER). And at the backend, it becomes imperative to have a monitoring and evaluation system supported by databases that enable staff and program continuous assessment, human resource development rooted in iterativep performance gap identification, supervisors-staff dialogue and multisource feedback mechanismsf for overall national development policy tracking and reporting.

The governance mantra must be on getting the balance between doing the right things and doing it right. And this cannot be achieved through the wanton multiplication or even duplication of
governance plans, programs and blueprints. What is needed is sequencing the blueprints into a coherent and feasible implementation programme, with the right amount of political will behind it. This gives the success of democratic governance a 95% chance of succeeding. The new administration  needs that fighting chance!

. Olaopa, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and Professor of Public Administration .

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Rigged Elections And The Moral Burden Of Illegitimacy



Prof. Hope Eghagha

By  Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Adamu: A man who rigs his way to power carries a moral burden!

Orezime: A moral what?

Adamu: You heard me, didn’t you?

Orezime: I’m not sure I heard you right. Moral what you said?

Adamu: A moral burden, I said!

Orezime: Hahahahahahaha! You make me laugh! Are you from the moon?

Gani: Or Mars?

Emeka: In which country? In Nigeria? That principle does not apply in Nigeria! There is no moral burden on anybody in this country! The election which produced Bubu in 2015 was rigged. Where are the two million voters from Kano State who voted in 2015? Was an INEC official not burnt alive after that election? The one which brought Obj to power was also rigged by the forces which wanted him to ease the tension of the Abiola tragedy on the Yoruba people. Yet those men had the temerity to preach against corruption!

Orezime: The international community winked at the whole exercise.

Gani: Yes! That’s why those two could only preach; they couldn’t really act decisively. A moral burden? They spoke from both sides of their mouths on the issue of corruption. The late President Yar Adua confessed that the election which produced him was compromised. An honest man, he didn’t live long enough to right the wrong of the period!

Orezime: That’s why I laughed when Adamu talked about a moral burden arising from rigged elections.

Bankole: In the ideal world, any power that is stolen and acquired through a dubious means imposes a moral burden on the power holder. No matter what the person does, that power remains stained.

Orezime: What does that amount to in our country? Even the brigands who shot their way to power in the notorious days of military misadventure in Nigeria soon became legitimate.

Emeka: You are going too far in our history. See what happened in Lagos State in the governorship elections of March 18. Ethnic jingoists went about preaching hatred against Igbo people and warned them against coming out to exercise their constitutional rights. Security officials looked the other way when ballot boxes were snatched in broad daylight in places where the opposition was leading.

Gani: A serving state governor personally went about snatching ballot boxes and threatened to shoot whoever got in his way. The same governor declared somebody wanted without recourse to the Inspector General of Police! He worked against the party on which platform he won the seat to spite the party hierarchy!

Adamu: And to think that this is the President-elect’s state. He kept mute through the horrendous attacks on Igbo people in Lagos State just the way the incumbent president has looked the other way when herdsmen went on the loose!

Bankole: Rigged elections are so familiar yet notorious in our land. It was the main trigger to the crisis in the Western Region in the First Republic because the people reacted when they saw a rape of their rights and wishes! It soon snowballed into a conflagration that consumed the nation in the late 1960s. Already, the youths are talking about a protest in the ENDSARSNOW# manner. I hope it doesn’t result in disaster. We have lost too many lives already!

Orezime: What I fear is the rise of ethnic profiling in a supposedly democratic society. To be sure, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the party hierarchy did not single out any ethnic group for verbal attacks. They even courted them. Yet they didn’t caution their followers to stop the degeneration into ethnic hatred. It is a dangerous curve what is happening in Lagos. I don’t subscribe to the Lagos is no man’s land nonsense which some misguided fellows are spewing, but threatening anybody not to vote their candidate is a new low! Can a Sanwo-Olu victory be said to be legitimate if a significant percentage of the electorate is disenfranchised?

Emeka: Good question. They did not stop there. They rolled out the culturally dreaded Oro rituals on election night. Come on! Who is fooling who? The Oro festival was designed to drive fear into non-Yoruba in Lagos. In the 21st Century?

Gani: I am sure the reports from election observers will be damning.

Bankole: I don’t care about those biased observers.

Adamu: Where are we headed in this country?

Orezime: We are on the road to Kigali!

Bankole: May we not travel that route!

Orezime: It’s a good prayer. But what are we doing to avoid the descent into anarchy? Nothing. Those monkeys are simply interested in acquiring power.

Gani: The Obedient Movement seems to have lost steam once it was misbranded as an ethnic agenda to grab power at the national level. Peter Obi needs to tread carefully so he doesn’t become another June 12! Some people are egging him on to challenge INEC through protests.

Orezime: If he decides to lead a protest, it would be within his constitutional right to do so, especially as INEC is stalling on the issue of inspecting elections materials despite an order from the courts. Peaceful protests are guaranteed by the Constitution.

Adamu: No one can be sure whether a peaceful protest will remain peaceful after it starts. That’s the experience the ENDSARS people had.

Gani: It’s not enough to stop people from taking to the streets. Protests are fundamental to democracy.

Adamu: We do not want dead heroes! Mark my words.

Bankole: That’s ominous!

Emeka: It means nothing. Nigeria must change. We cannot go on like this forever! Things are just going down. No cash. No fuel. No power supply. No security. No nothing.  Peter Obi gave a glimmer of hope. Now that has been dashed to the ground.

Adamu: Rigging will remain a moral burden each time our President-elect travels outside the country, each time he meets foreign observers, especially those ones who have a dossier on him. History will also judge him and assess how he came to power. This applies to all the states as well where some politicians have turned themselves into demigods and have compromised poor INEC officials with mouthwatering sums. This is not how to build a democracy. The votes must be counted and must count. Seventeen people have their lives during the governorship and House of Assembly elections. We are supposed to count ballot papers, not bodies. Sad!

Bankole: The moral burden of rigged elections is on all of us. Without our connivance there would be no rigging. We can only hope that this will end some day!

Emeka: Tough luck!


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