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APC And Surrogate Politics Of Timid Leaders



Ethnic and Religious Hatred and the Deceitful Campaigns in Nigeria By Salihu Moh. Lukman


Salihu Moh. Lukman

Events in APC require constant vigilance by all committed party members and leaders. Without doubt, the days ahead, leading to the March 26, 2022 National Convention, will define both the survival, the democratic orientation and the quality of leaders of the party. Whether APC will produce both party leaders and candidates for the 2023 elections who can justify the trust invested in them, depends a lot on how all the current leadership challenges facing the party are resolved. Beyond electing new leaders and setting the stage for the 2023 electoral contests, how APC navigate through attempts by some of its leaders, including His Excellency Mai Mala Buni and his collaborators, to block the convention from either holding as scheduled or electing new leaders who support and respect decisions taken by broad section of leaders and members of the party will be the main test.S

Since Monday, March 7, 2022, when His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello and the other ten members of the 13-member APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) announced their resolve to ensure that the March 26 APC National Convention hold, there have been deliberate attempts to question the legitimacy of decisions taken by the APC. Media reports are deliberately planted to suggest so-called confusion in the party. Some party leaders and members have declared opposition to His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello and the CECPC and are mobilising Nigerians to only recognise His Excellency Mai Mala as the only person who should preside over the affairs of the party. While some can disclose their identity in declaring their opposition, some timid leaders who are not so courageous, do so using surrogates.

Perhaps, it is important to recall that the decision to set up the CECPC with His Excellency Mai Mala as Chairman was taken by the APC NEC of June 25, 2020. With the initial tenure of six months, the NEC of December 8, 2022, extended it expectedly by another six months. From six months, it became one year, and as it turned out to be, it is now endless, with the risk of eventually terminating the political life of the party. All these happened because both President Muhammadu Buhari, other party leaders and members trusted that His Excellency Mai Mala will provide honest leadership and implement every decision taken, leading to the emergence of new leaders for the APC. Had His Excellency Mai Mala lived up to the trust invested in his leadership of the party, at the minimum APC Convention would have been history and there wouldn’t have been any debate questioning the legitimacy of any serving chairman of the party.

READ ALSO: Fresh Crisis In APC As INEC Fails To Recognise Bello As Interim Chair

The fact that His Excellency Mai Mala has consciously and deliberately led APC to the present embarrassing situation, is most unfortunate. One would have expected that both His Excellency Mai Mala, his associates of surrogate supporters and timid leaders will be more concerned about what should be done to resolve all the leadership challenges facing the APC. In fact, anyone who loves His Excellency Mai Mala should be more worried in protecting his honor as a political leader by ensuring that he doesn’t become a letdown who stand opposed to majority decisions of party leaders and members. Ideally, if His Excellency Mai Mala shared the vision of all the founding leaders of the party of making the APC truly democratic and progressive, it will be expected that he will be willing to make every personal sacrifice to demonstrate his support for the decisions of the party. That was the legacy demonstrated by Chief Bisi Akande, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Tony Momoh of blessed memory and many founding leaders of the APC.

Remarkably, that was also the legacy left by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. With all our grievances against Comrade Oshiomhole’s leadership, APC members and leaders must acknowledge that once the mood in the party tilted against his leadership, he accepted the decision of the party and made the personal sacrifice to recognise the leadership of His Excellency Mai Mala. Faced with similar rising opposition to his leadership, His Excellency Mai Mala and his associates of surrogate supporters and timid leaders are now using all manner of campaigns in the media to undermine the capacity and effectiveness of the party to initiate processes of leadership change. Although no words have been heard directly from His Excellency Mai Mala, many so-called close associates, including Sen. James John Akpanuduedehe have declared their opposition to decisions and actions taken by the APC since Monday, March 7 when His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello and all the other ten members of the CECPC resolved to provide collective leadership to organise the March 26 APC National Convention.

Painfully, APC has found itself in a situation whereby people who are once trusted with leadership are now using surrogate supporters to undermine decisions taken by, if not destroy, the party. Those of them who are leaders are timid and lacks the courage to speak openly. Instead of speaking openly, they prefer to sponsor others to do the dirty jobs for them. Part of the most important lessons which the party must learn out of all the unfolding reality are two. The first is that every trust invested in any leader must be qualified. Specific to the leadership of the party, every leader must be accountable to organs of the party. What happened to APC under the leadership of His Excellency Mai Mala was that the decision to dissolve all the organs of the party at all levels created the unfortunate gap, which was exploited by His Excellency Mai Mala and his associates to derail the process of rebuilding the party. Related to that was also the fact that members of the CECPC were not able to assert themselves early enough to ensure that both His Excellency Mai Mala and Sen. James John Akpanuduedehe are accountable to the CECPC. A combination of all these made it possible for His Excellency Mai Mala to imagine that he has the power of prerogative over decisions taken in consultation with party leaders, including President Buhari.

READ ALSO: APC Dumps Buni, Appoints Bello As Sole Administrator

The second lesson borders on issues of political leadership recruitment. The assumption that what is required to endorse, sponsor or nominate any person to emerge as a leader is being innocuous. Although, being innocuous may not have been the reason why His Excellency Mai Mala was chosen as the Chairman of the APC CECPC, it may have also been a strong consideration. Certainly, his experience as the National Secretary of the APC between 2014 and 2019 would have been the most important recommendation. In addition, his good relationship with all party leaders and President Buhari must have been the most important recommendation. Combinations of all of these must have convinced all those who nominated him that APC will be safe in his hands. No one would have ever thought that this is where his leadership will take the party to. With His Excellency Mai Mala, if anything, being innocuous is proved to be much more dangerous.

This highlights the need for thorough background checks before people are invested with leadership responsibilities. The whole essence of screening is supposed to facilitate processes of background checks. Unfortunately, this has been reduced to some lousy checks of educational qualifications of aspirants for political offices, often reduced to verifying certificates obtained. This shoddy approach to leadership screening is responsible for why there are many people occupying leadership positions who are not qualified to hold those positions expect with reference to so-called educational qualification. Experiences in managing responsibilities in previous assignments should be the reference point in terms of how much trust can be invested in any person. Perhaps, had a thorough background check been done on His Excellency Mai Mala before emerging as National Secretary of APC in 2014, the party may have been saved from its current travail long ago.

Be that as it may, however, one would have expected a humble Mai Mala to have made some efforts to measure up to the challenge of providing selfless leadership to the party. Instead, what keeps coming out is that His Excellency Mai Mala together with his associates of surrogate supporters and timid timid leaders turned the party into their personal estate. From Anambra to Ekiti, Osun and all the bye-elections whereby the party presented candidates for elections, there are endless allegations of extortion of money directly from aspirants. Similarly, there are already allegations of deals with some presidential aspirants, including someone who is yet to join the party. Part of the deal also alleged that His Excellency Mai Mala is negotiating to emerge as a running mate to the so-called would-be candidates. Other allegations, include an attempt to arm-twist first-term governors with offers of automatic tickets for second term. Innocent senators and members of the House of Representatives are also being offered automatic tickets for 2023 electoral contests.

READ ALSO: Rescuing The APC: A Task For All Party Leaders

Through all these dishonest methods, His Excellency Mai Mala was able to recruit the audacious surrogates and timid party leaders working to undermine decisions to hold the APC March 26 National Convention. As part of the plot, they are now circulating a letter from INEC, signed by Rose Oriaran-Anthony, Secretary to the Commission, in which the legality of both the March 26 APC National Convention and the March 17 APC National Executive Committee (NEC) are being questioned. From all available information, the APC CECPC led by His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello has effectively already responded to this letter from INEC through which they are able to affirm both the sanctity and legality of both the March 17 and 26 APC NEC and National Convention respectively. Both INEC, and by extension, all Nigerians must be reminded that both the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act recognise the authority of all the relevant organs of the party to manage its affairs. This was affirmed by the Supreme Court judgement with respect to Ondo State election, which further affirmed the authority of the APC CECPC to manage and direct the affairs of the party.

Therefore, INEC and all Nigerians committed to the democratic development of the country must not play into the self-serving scheming of His Excellency Mai Mala and his associates of surrogate supporters and timid leaders working to undermine decisions taken by the APC. All APC leaders and members must rise to the challenge of bringing His Excellency Mai Mala, his surrogate supporters and associated timid leaders to account for the bad name they are giving the APC today. His Excellency Mai Mala and Sen James John Akpanuduedehe should explain why they failed to initiate the implementation of decisions to hold the APC National Convention. Related to this, they should explain why they failed to bring to the notice of leaders of the party the court injunction served on the party since November 18, 2021 restraining the party from organising the national convention.

There are known collaborators of His Excellency Mai Mala who have colluded with him to ensure that all attempts to organise the APC National Convention are blocked. Three governors who are known and must also be called upon to account for their roles in undermining decisions to organise the APC National Convention are His Excellency Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, His Excellency Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and His Excellency Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State. There are other party leaders, including Sen Uzo Kalu who have actively supported His Excellency Mai Mala to undermine the decision to organise the national convention of the party. The March 17, 2022 APC NEC should initiate processes of disciplinary hearing in line with provisions of the APC Constitution to sanction all these leaders if found guilty.

READ ALSO: APC Convention: Mutiny By Yahoo Yahoo Politicians

Every step must be taken to ensure that APC emerges stronger, and no future leader of the party can attempt to undermine the decisions of the party. Unlike other parties, especially the PDP, who allowed individual leaders of their parties to undermine collective decisions, APC is working to strengthen its structures to ensure that internal democracy translates to collective leadership. All past National Chairmen of the party, notably, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Comrade Adams Oshiohmole have demonstrated capacity to make personal sacrifices to support the vision of the party to emerge as a distinctively democratic and progressive party. His Excellency Mai Mala and all his surrogate supporters and timid leaders must therefore be called to order if APC is to return to its founding vision. May Allah (SWT) guide the March 17 APC NEC to initiate all actions that will guarantee a successful March 26 APC National Convention. Amin!

Dr. Lukman is a freelance APC


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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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