The United States of America has berated top Nigerian politicians including the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for making threat comments ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States.
While the governorship election in Ekiti State is expected to hold on June 21, that of Osun has been slated for August 9.
Recall that during his investiture as Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, last month, Tinubu had threatened that it would be “rig and roast” in the forthcoming elections as the party would no longer go to the court to reclaim its mandate.
The ex-governor of Lagos State was quoted as saying: “No government that wants people’s votes will be doing what they are doing. They are already planning to rig the elections but be ready to protect your votes; nobody serves you freedom a la carte. It is going to be rig and roast.
“We are prepared not to go to court but to drive you out. We will not take it anymore. If you mess up in Ekiti and Osun states, you will see our reactions. For every action, there must be a reaction”.
But, the US in a statement entitled, ‘Countering the crisis of credibility’, by its Consul General, Jeff Hawkins, wondered why politicians keep making elections incredible in Nigeria.
Hawkins, who said the US had been watching the Nigeria political scene closely for about two years, warned Nigerian politicians not to incite violence and break the law.
The diplomat said, “The sponsorship of violence and intimidation, and the rhetorical threat thereof, are utterly unacceptable in a democratic society, and need to be expunged once and for all from the Nigerian polity and discourse. The US has been deeply troubled by some of the rhetoric that has been thrown around in recent weeks and months as these elections have drawn closer. It is perfectly acceptable, and even praiseworthy, to seek to defend your vote and that of your fellow citizens who share your support for a particular candidate.
“It is not, however, productive or reasonable to threaten violence, even when you perceive others have been guilty of misconduct. We were deeply troubled by the threat of “rig and roast” issued multiple times by a major political figure in recent weeks. Who benefits from that type of violent rhetoric, we wondered? And why would any ordinary Nigerian accept such provocative language, especially considering the history of post-election violence in Nigeria, and the truly horrific carnage that this country has been suffering at the hands of Boko Haram?
“If a candidate believes an election is threatened, then that candidate should be doing everything possible to see that the rules of the game are enforced properly – by having party agents in the numerous locations where they are permitted, for example, to bear witness to what happens – or doesn’t happen. That is part of the painstaking work of participating in, and building, a democracy. Drawing on or threatening violence is an attempt to short-circuit that process for the benefit of a few, but to the detriment of many”.
The US Consul General lamented that no election had been generally accepted to be credible in the country with the exception of the 1993 elections, which the late Moshood Abiola won but was annulled.
While urging Nigerian politicians to emulate their US counterparts, Hawkins added, “It is undoubtedly important and interesting to see who the winners and losers in Ekiti and Osun will be, and how the outcomes will affect the national political picture in advance of next February’s elections.
“Nigerians have fought long and hard to earn the democratic rights they now possess, and Nigerians want – and deserve – peaceful, credible elections in Ekiti on June 21, in Osun on August 9, and across this great country in February 2015. That’s why these elections are a critical juncture. Every Nigerian – from the party leaders and candidates to average citizens – should do everything in his/her power to help meet those expectations, and thereby counter this crisis of credibility”.
Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.
This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.
Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.
Focus On Reducing Poverty, Not 2023 Elections – Peter Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has called on his fellow politicians to put issues of 2023 aside and focus on how to rescue the country from the current economic crisis.
Obi said that solving the economic problems of Nigeria was more important than political permutations geared towards the next general elections.
The former Anambra State Governor stated during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He expressed that the next election has no impact on people’s current livelihoods.
Obi also blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for not adequately preparing Nigerians for the impact of COVID-19, stating the monies borrowed by this government were not properly put to use.
“Every other country is discussing the recession and how to pull their people out of poverty.
“So what we should do now is to concentrate on the monetary and fiscal policies to start pulling people out of poverty,” Obi said.
Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku
Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has expressed that the Federal Government should reconsider the 2021 budget owing to the recession.
Nigeria officially entered into its worst economic recession in 33 years after the nation recorded a GDP contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
He stated that Nigeria is broke and cannot afford the luxurious items in the N13.08 trillion budget proposal.
Atiku in a Twitter thread on Sunday stated that COVID-19 only complicated an existing economic problem.
Atiu went on to express that had President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration listened to advice, the recession could have been avoided.
“We could have avoided this fate by a disciplined and prudent management of our economy.”
“This could have been avoided had this administration taken heed to the patriotic counsel given by myself and other well-meaning Nigerians on cutting the cost of governance, saving for a rainy day, and avoiding profligate borrowing,” Atiku said.
He further said that now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation and called on Buhari’s government to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is.”
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