Former military dictator and Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has warned that the 2011 elections must not be rigged except the nation is prepared for a popular revolt as witnessed in Egypt and Tunisia recently.
Egyptians, through sustained mass protest that lasted 18 days, recently forced their president of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, out of power.
Buhari was quoted by Reuters to have cautioned in an interview that politicians, especially members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, to either be prepared to conduct free and credible poll or risk the ordinary people taking over.
He said, “With what is happening in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf states, I think the message is getting across to politicians, especially the ruling party, (PDP) that they either behave or the ordinary people will take over.
“Elections must be free and fair, that is the bottom line. If people chose bad legislators, let them freely change them. But if they can’t, what is happening in some parts of Africa and the Middle East is bound to happen.”
The ex-military dictator was a presidential candidate in both the 2003 and 2007 elections, botht of which were won by the PDP amid widespread condemnations that the polls were massively rigged and fell short of acceptable democratic standard.
Buhari in the past two elections contested on the platform of the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party and was defeated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, also a one-time military dictator, in 2003, and late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007.
Yar’Adua at his inauguration on May 29, 2007 publicly admitted that the election that brought him to power was flawed.
Till date, judicial contests over the election that held almost four years ago are still raging while the results of the poll in several states had been upturned by the courts.
The courts, for instance, had sacked the PDP governors enthroned in Ondo, Ekiti, Osun and Edo states, while the victory of many erstwhile members of national and state assemblies had been equally upturned.
In the April 9, 2011 poll, Buhari will be squaring up with incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP and a former Chairman of the nation’s anti-corruption agency, Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria, among other candidates.
However, Jonathan, at his campaign rally in Makurdi, Benue State, last week, warned that nobody should rig for him.
“Nobody should rig for me. I am assuring Nigerians that though I am contesting, nobody must manipulate vote in my favour. Our vote must count.
“We must vote the people we want. We no longer want the situation where people imposed candidates on us. Anybody that is not good enough, you vote out the person. That is democracy,” he told the crowd at the PDP presidential campaign rally in Makurdi.
The president said it was the cardinal objective of his government to deliver a credible poll.
Buhari, who ruled the country between December 31, 1983 and August 17, 1985, as a military dictator, said he was riled by the 12 years of PDP incompetence in government.
He said, “There is a problem about the PDP accounting for the 12 years it has been in power, the resources that were available to it, and the collapse of infrastructure and social services.
“To all intents and purposes, education has collapsed, healthcare has collapsed. Coupled with that, there is so much insecurity, so much abductions and assassinations, tribal and religious clashes, which can be traced to real government incompetence.”
Efforts by THE PUNCH to get the PDP for its reaction did not succeed. The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof Alkali Rufai, did not pick calls to his mobile nor did he respond to our correspondent’s text, asking for his response.
Meanwhile the Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday in Abuja said there was no cause for alarm, assuring that any voter card purchased for the purpose of election rigging would be useless.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, Mr. Kayode Idowu, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the process of accreditation nationwide was designed to frustrate any attempt to rig the election.
He said that in spite of the fact that there would be no use of electronic device for accreditation processes as the law provided, “holders of cards other than theirs will not be allowed to vote’’.
Idowu added that the quality images captured during the voter registration was clear enough to detect any impersonation during the accreditation, which, he said, would be simultaneous across the country.
Idowu said , “I don’t know what the alarm is all about, since there is no provision for electronic voting, people will take their voter card to polling units where their names should be checked in the register to make sure they are correct.
“So what stops a person from using the purchased card is, when you present the card and you will be seen as not being the rightful owner, then you will be arrested.
“Your picture is already in the card and you can’t take a card that has my own picture to another polling unit, you will not be allowed to vote,” Idowu said.
Source: Punch Newspaper – www.punchng.com
Femi Otedola Reacts To Lekki Tollgate Shooting
Nigerian businessman, Femi Otedola has finally reacted to the shooting that took place at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos on Tuesday.
Information Nigeria recalls men dressed in military wears opened fire on unarmed #EndSARS protesters, who convened at the area.
Otedola took to his Instagram page on Sunday to commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident.
Sharing a photo of the Nigerian flag, he wrote;
“The horrors that have been unfolding in our country have left me filled with sadness. I deeply commiserate with those who have lost their loved ones and as a father, I share the sentiment of my three daughters who protested in Lagos and London. As a young boy of 16, I participated in the ‘Ali Must Go Protest’ of 1978, so I understand the determination of our youths who rightly want our country to be better. We must all do our part to make Nigeria great! I will continue to do my own quota in providing for those who are most in need of support in our country in these tough times .…F.Ote💲”
See his post below:
“Oke Wasn’t Killed By Stray Bullet, He Was Stabbed By Thugs” – Brother Claims
Information Nigeria recalls a graphics designer identified as Oke, was killed hours after tweeting “Nigeria will not kill me” on Wednesday.
It was reported that the young man had passed away after he was hit by a stray bullet.
The deceased’s younger brother, Daniel has come out to clear the air regarding the circumstances leading to his death.
Daniel revealed his brother was stabbed on the neck by thugs who infiltrated and ransacked their home.
In his words;
“Good day, My name is Obi-Enadhuze Daniel younger brother of the now deceased Okechukwu Obi-Enadhuze @O_Okee . I, my brother and mother lived at makinde police barracks, mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos State.
Today at about 11 o’clock in the morning the police station at makinde was attacked by thugs who wanted to destroy the station, I my mom and brother were holed up in our house.
The attack went on for hours before the thugs eventually breached the police and proceeded to set the station on fire, after accomplishing this they set their sights to the barracks and began the assault, they proceeded to destroy every car in the barracks, my mom’s 2 cars where destroyed and set on fire and then they infiltrated our house by breaking the door they then proceeded to ransack the house and carted away with everything we own.
my brother on trying to get them to take everything but spare us was pushed to my mom’s room and stabbed on the neck, the attacker then proceeded to attack me but missed my neck but got my chin instead, after this my mom and I carried my brothers body to the entrance of the station soliciting for help from the thugs still ravaging the barracks, we were finally able to put him in a wheelbarrow and took him to a hospital where he was rejected because “he was already dead” unfazed we moved him to another hospital where he met the same treatment this was where he bled his last drops of blood and died, his body has now been moved to a morgue
we have lost every single thing we own, as our house was completely ransacked and set on fire the only thing left is my brothers phone and at about 8 o’clock this evening the barracks was still on fire but Okechukwu has paid with the ultimate price
I and my mother are homeless with nothing now but we’re safe for now, we thank everyone that has been able to reach out to us, and were able to share consoling words with us in these trying times, God bless you
While we were holed up in the house the three of us said these words together and we say it again ” THREE OF US ARE HERE, THREE OF US ARE TOGETHER, THREE OF US ARE SAFE”
Let it be known that my brother @O_Okee was NOT killed by a police bullet but died a hero protecting my mother and I.
If you see this please retweet, let the world know how Okechukwu died. He was NOT killed by a police bullet but thugs in his home!”
See his post below:
Youths Burn Down Sanwo-Olu’s Mother’s House In Lagos (VIDEO)
Lagos youths have set the family house of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on fire.
This was after the Governor said that no nobody was killed during the shooting by soldiers at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Sanwo-Olu had debunked claims that the soldiers opened fire and killed some peaceful protesters.
Recall that men of the Nigerian Army reportedly opened fire on protesters following the declaration of 24 hours curfew by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu.
Bullets fired by security operatives hit some persons and at least two persons have been confirmed killed by the police and many injured
Voices in viral footage blamed the shootings on soldiers.
However, the angry youth attacked several important places such as Nigeria Port Authority, TVC News, and the family house of the Governor where his mother resides.
After Governor @jidesanwoolu said the "soldiers shot in the air to disperse the peaceful protesters." And thar their's no fatalities
Lagos youths set Governor's Mother's House on FIRE!! #PRAYFORNIGERIA#EndSARS #Lekkitollgate #LekkiGenocide #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeraNOW pic.twitter.com/QaOvSHwXdk
— Nwachukwu John Owen (@johnowen99) October 21, 2020
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