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Birthing the New Nigeria in Blood—Anatomy and Implications of Jonathan’s Victory at the Polls

--Cutting-Edge Analytics--


By: Franklin Otorofani
 Published May 2nd, 2011

The ongoing 2011 general elections now winding down with the gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections held on April 26, 2011, had meant different things to different people across the nation, particularly the presidential election held on April 16, 2011. The elections came at a time when ruling parties were being thrown overboard, and old dynasties crumbling fast and furious in different parts of the globe, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. All eyes were therefore glued on Nigeria to see how she would fare in the face of these global political eruptions and upheavals juxtaposed with, and magnified by her own internal ethno-religious rivalries amongst the over 250 ethnic nationalities comprised in it, with each going into the election battlefields with different expectations of their outcomes.

In fairness to Nigeria though, such differing expectations by different segments of society are by no means peculiar to Nigeria but present in all democracies the world over depending on the individual societies in question. After all, elections are about making choices in the competition for political power. That said, it could be posited with abundant justification that Nigeria presents her own peculiarities of troubled elections amid a poisonous climate of intractable ethno-religious strife actively promoted by the political class to serve its selfish political ends that have combined to humble her nationhood. 

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To the opposition political parties, therefore, it was an opportunity to get rid of the ruling party, (PDP), and capture power at the center for the first time; ostensibly to enable it showcase its leadership qualities and development agenda that it claimed the ruling party badly lacked, and worse still, totally incapable of acquiring. Problem was, it had seemingly found it extremely difficult to showcase those same leadership qualities and development agenda internally to itself within its jurisdictions before externalizing it nationally and even internationally. Politically sophisticated Nigerians therefore refused to buy into that claim hook, line, and sinker, and were understandably a little skeptical about its true intentions for wanting to get to the center by all means necessary. That is because the leading parties in the opposition the AD transformed to ACN after its collapse, and ANPP had been in power respectively in the South/West and North/West before for four solid years from 1999-2003 and still do today in some states with nothing substantial to showcase to their constituents that could be replicated at the federal level.  

Besides that, although it wanted the PDP out of power so bad, yet it had for some reasons been unable to convince smart Nigerians that it had the means to do so with its badly fractured ranks, which was worsened with its collapsed eleventh hour alliance talks. These two factors conspired to rob the opposition of the presidency, which, as before, will now be operating from the periphery of the national power configuration at least for four more years. It has, by choice, voluntarily excluded itself from the center of Nigeria’s political universe and confined itself to the fringes from where it would be barking at the PDP like a toothless bulldog and taking pot shots at the ruling party.

To the ruling party itself that had been bearing the brunt of relentless attacks from the opposition parties and Nigerians in general, it was a chance to renew its mandate by shedding its extremely discomforting image of a serial election rigger and make perfect its seemingly unearned electoral mandate that had called to serious question the legitimacy of its government, both locally and globally over the years. And not to be outdone by the opposition in the field of bragging rights, it was also an opportunity for the party to showcase its achievements, which it claimed were overflowing and running over, but had proved particularly difficult for ordinary Nigerians to find, because they appeared to be hidden in some dark corners at its sprawling Wadata headquarters or somewhere else and therefore hard to find except perhaps with floodlights in both hands.

That notwithstanding, the PDP was quick to bank on the famed and tested goodluck of its presidential candidate, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who was more than visible for Nigerians to see and assess in his own right unencumbered by the party’s seeming albatrosses. Thus the hated and reviled PDP found it tactically prudent to hide itself in the background like its purported achievements and projected Jonathan to the front page as the new PDP face-book in the hope that Nigerians would see only the innocent, smiling face of Jonathan and forget their sorrows rather than that of the snarling but cunning masquerade underneath it. And with the benefit of hindsight the party couldn’t have made a better choice, for had it run the race on the back of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, the PDP would have been dead meat for the political vultures to feast on it carcass and the opposition parties would have been popping Champagne bottles like drunken sailors. 

However, the opposition saw the trick that the PDP was up to and swiftly moved to counter it. In a bid to counter the Jonathan youthful phenomenon the opposition rolled out the faces of its electoral warriors both old and new to do battle with Jonathan at the polls, all wearing forbidding looks on their faces perhaps to underline the fact that they were in no mood for smiles when Nigerians were dying of hunger and diseases under PDP’s watch. Smiling was therefore out of place for them even during the campaigns. And one of them who had projected himself as a hardcore army general not given to emotions like ordinary mortals even had to tear up publicly in Abuja to the amusement of Nigerians when rounding up his sectional, ethno-centric campaign. He had discovered from Mrs. Rodham Clinton’s victory in New Hampshire against Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic Party primaries, that crying was a good campaign strategy at crunch time when all else had failed. And having rehearsed his act all weeklong he choked himself up on stage with tears cascading down his cheeks like a bereaved grandfather.

Wow! That was as good as Nollywood act gets. When next Nollywood is shopping for an actor to play a highly emotional script in a new movie, it now knows where to look if it can afford the price tag. Buhari is it! He would weep his eyeballs out until his tears fill up river Kaduna and overflows its banks. But wait a minute: his gratuitous tears pose more questions than answers. Was he weeping for Nigerians because he loved them so much or for his impending defeat which was a foregone conclusion in the light of the performance of his CPC in the NASS election? If so, how come he didn’t shed a single tear for the young and innocent Nigerians callously murdered in cold blood by his agents in the north, who had answered to their nation’s call to serve their fatherland? As William Shakespeare once wrote, there is no art to find the mind’s construction on the faces of men, because the depths of the hearts of men are unfathomable and their outward appearances offer very little if any, or no clues at all. Technology could probe into every tissue in the body and identify its state or condition at any given time. But alas, it has failed to read the hearts of men!   

To some in certain parts of the country, however, it was yet another opportunity to regain power at the center having grown so used to power that they couldn’t imagine how they could survive without it for four more years when they’re not on a class suicide mission. Didn’t they say self-preservation is the first law of nature? That’s right. Even so, I’m yet to see where it was written that one must take the lives of the innocent to preserve his own. So what did they do? Well, gang up against Jonathan in the PDP in the name of “consensus candidate”. And when that fails, mobilize ex-generals to an AREWA meeting in Kaduna the northern political headquarters to “review the security situation in the north and proffer solutions”! Yes indeed! And we saw the results of their great efforts in the fate that befell the Youth Corp members and other innocent Nigerians in parts of the north. Yes, indeed. That was solution to security situation in the north at its best ever. AREWA and the northern ex-military generals have implemented their security recommendations in the north and that’s reason the elections were so free of violence in the north but terribly violent in other parts of the nation that failed to get their ex-generals together to design similar measures for their zones. Isn’t that wonderful? Why doesn’t President Jonathan just outsource the nation’s security to AREWA then since it has done such a great job than what all the security agencies in the nation combined could do?

Does anyone have a problem with the above recommendation? AREWA has set the ball rolling, and I’m sure Ohaneze, Afenifere, OPC, and the SSPA, have taken notice of what AREWA has been able to pull off in the north because one bad turn deserves another in accordance with the Mosaic law of eye for an eye. Shouldn’t Ohaneze, Afenifere/OPC and SSPA invite their retired general to discuss the security situation in their respective zones and find solution to it the way AREWA has so successfully done it in the north? Many would say they should because what is good for the goose should equally be good for the gander, or shouldn’t it? But that is if the Federal Government fails to act decisively and comprehensively in the name of national sacrifice. No one deserves to be offered as sacrificial lambs for our democracy whether in the north or in the south. And while it is tempting to resort to tit-for-tat in the south, that would be tantamount to reducing themselves to the level of the animals who did this and their sponsors. And that’s why the Federal Government must not present a situation where people would feel that justice is being delayed or not been done or seen to have been done in this case and in consequence thereof resort to self help for the loss of their loved ones. I’m not here to incite or promote violence but it behooves the federal government to bring the culprits to book and fast too without any perception of delay.

Therefore, under no circumstances whatsoever known and unknown shall the dregs of humanity be allowed to get away with taking the lives of the hope and lights of the nation. The lives of a million Almajiris is not worth the life of a single Youth Corp member deployed to the north and cut down in cold blood. The government must, therefore, as matter of national duty make examples of these worthless tarts. And this shall henceforth form the basis or template of my assessment of the incoming Jonathan administration, for nothing is greater than the lives of Nigerians. And no other achievements can replace bringing to swift and certain justice all those who had a hand in the brutal termination of the lives of Nigerian youths in the north during the last presidential election. That is the litmus test of the Jonathan administration. And we will not be satisfied with the police parading a few individuals before the cameras purporting them to the suspects and charging them to magistrate courts when the sponsors are covered up or left off the hook. We want to know the big names behind these killings. I will say more about this later to underline the importance of these brutalities that have shaken the conscience of the world. Hardly a day passes without notable individuals including even world leaders condemning these acts and yet no notable politician has been arrested so far. Well, it may take some time before the security agencies unearth their connections to the slaughter in the north. But it cannot be business as usual this time around because a crime not punished invites another or worse of its likeness. And that’s’ reason why the nation has been having rolling harvests of mini-pogroms in parts of the north as though human lives count for nothing in Nigeria. This must be stopped.  

However, to others in other parts of the country it was an opportunity to taste power at the federal level that had been denied them since independence. Before now they had no idea how power tastes and they felt that they would not be complete citizens in their own country unless and until they’re allowed to taste power like others. They desired to feel it in their own taste buds, and find out for themselves rather than through proxies whether the taste is sweet, sour, bitter, or tasteless, for that matter, and were therefore salivating when the aroma of power wafted through the air to tantalize their sense of taste. And when the whistle blew they fanned out like swarms of bees and ants on a building project and overwhelmed the polling units with their sheer numbers, recording over 98% voter turnouts in several electoral zones to the complete disbelief of some elements in the opposition, who, in the absence of any evidence, saw such huge voter turnouts as somewhat unnatural and, therefore, ipso facto evidence of rigging. But someone has got to ask, since when have large voter turnouts become evidence of electoral malpractice in Nigeria or elsewhere on the globe? I have to double, indeed triple-check the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act just to be sure I have not missed out on anything legal, because ignorance of the law is no excuse even to lawyers.

However, the victory dance has begun in earnest in the marshy creeks; in the mangrove swamps; in the gullied eastern terrain; in the grassy plains of the middle belt and the uplands; in the rocky and hilly western flanks and; in the arid northern fringes, drowning out the accursed din of death and destruction, all bearing eloquent testimonies to the oneness of a great nation destined to become even greater still in the comity of nations in accordance with her manifest destiny. Permit me therefore, dear reader, to put out these prophetic words in acknowledgement and clear recognition of the fact that despite predictions in the past to the contrary the Nigerian nation is set on an irreversible path of national renaissance and currently on the throes of national rebirth that will inexorably place her at the summit of regional, continental, and global leadership to the pride of the black race. Believe it in your guts that a new nation star has been born in the universe in whose place there will be no other in the global political firmament for a long while because it takes the right leadership to turn things around and test the very heights of growth and development.

So here we are with the presidential election, and I might add the gubernatorial/houses of assembly elections, already behind us and going into the history books for sure as electoral landmarks of historical proportions. The 2011 presidential election in particular has inaugurated an era of enlightened and purposeful leadership across the board and done away with business as usual in all spheres of national affairs. This is because, believe it or not, the power of the Nigerian presidency is far greater, for example, than the power of the US presidency with regards to domestic affairs. It might sound improbable and counter-intuitive but that is the position. I’ll explain what I mean by that. While the Nigerian president can pretty much push through whatever he wants for the good of the nation, an American president simply cannot due to the power of the US Congress, and the states, which are almost like mini-nations of their own; complete with their own police, banking laws, constitution, electoral bodies, National Guard etc, etc. And it is reason why President Obama has been totally ineffective in implementing his agenda because he has been blocked all the way, and even parts of his signature healthcare law have been blocked by the states and currently facing wholesale revision in Congress which he has threatened to veto. The same is true of his renewable energy, immigration, and a host of other initiatives that have been killed by Congress. A helpless Obama is heard every weekend on his weekly radio address pleading with Republicans, who have torpedoed his agenda, to yield grounds, but all to no avail. And guess what, there is nothing he can do about it. The United States president is not as powerful on the inside as he is on the outside to the outside world thereby sending conflicting signals to the outside world that does not understand his limitations on the domestic front. For example, the Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming signed on to by major powers under President Clinton was rejected out of hand by Republican controlled Congress, which also almost killed the START II Treaty negotiated with the Russian president by President Obama. Had Obama not brought in former Republican Secretaries of State, namely, Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, and Colin L. Powell, to appeal to the Republicans, START II would have been long dead and buried. Fortunately for Obama in this case these foreign affairs and military gurus’ wise counsel prevailed because they succeeded in demolishing the fake arguments put forward by Republicans to undo Obama even in foreign policy area.

Thus the domestic agenda of a US president without absolute majority in Congress is dead on arrival (DOA) with a sharply divided Congress in a sharply divided nation along ideological line that would not be crossed or crossed at great peril to lawmakers. Didn’t the US Midterm elections just teach us that lesson with Republicans who dared to compromise swept out of power by their maddening constituents? It is that cut and dried in the United States and that puts a president without majority control in Congress out in the cold operating and limping on pretty much as a  figure head, i.e., lame duck. Only in international affairs does a US president have some leeway to act independently and that explains why US presidents are always getting themselves involved in the international arena to make up for this debilitating weakness on the domestic front.

On the contrary, a Nigerian president has much greater leverage to use to get things done both domestically and globally due in part to the weak status of the states relatively speaking plus the overwhelming powers of the federal government. Thus a Nigerian president of a progressive and visionary hue like President Barrack Obama, for example, who is presently being constrained and/or utterly castrated in the United States, could wield almost godlike powers to move the nation on the path of total transformation as promised by candidate Jonathan. And this will form the backdrop of the positive transformation that is about to take place in Nigeria going forward after the inauguration on May 29, 2011. It’s a period when the presidency is perfectly synced with the times. But it may not seem so at first because everything will not change overnight. However, it is the beginning of a profound transformation that is already underway, unleashed through the ballot box by the Nigerian people themselves in a peaceful and bloodless manner. The beginnings will be tough as old habits die hard even as a new culture of service and accountability gradually takes hold in the polity. This of course will be generated from the nation’s presidency from where it will filter down to the local levels.

Jonathan: Be Ready for Good Governance” screams the headline of a THISDAY LIVE report stating that “President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday asked Nigerians to brace up for good governance and development after conducting a credible election that has gone a long way to repair the country's image before the international community.” This report which I got when this work was already done was nevertheless incorporated here to underline what I had written above and below. And it speaks for itself. I feel vindicated. At the risk of being immodest, it only goes to show that this writer has a good grasp of the dynamics at play in Nigeria as presented herein and it further reaffirms his abiding faith in the dawn of the New Nigeria about which more is written below particularly in the concluding paragraphs. 

It is true that all presidential elections are equal in a given country but some are more equal than others. This one was the Mother of all presidential elections in Nigeria! Why so? How else would anyone explain a situation where Nigerians abandoned their own opposition parties and set aside primordial ethnic sentiments to vote in a minority candidate as president and then went back to their own opposition parties after the presidential election? It’s the first time in the history of this great nation that a minority candidate even tried to and actually contested election under the platform of a major political party and prevailed across all the geo-political zone of the country. That is a first, and firsts always bear historical significance. It is also the first time a presidential candidate would glide seamlessly from the position of a deputy governor to governor and then to vice president and then to acting president and then again to president, and finally to an elected president in his own right as indicated by the arrows in the following figure: deputy governor >>> governor >>> vice president >>> acting president >>> president >>> president-elect—all within four years! If you are like me and believe in miracles, this has got to be the miracle of our time. That has been the breathtaking political trajectory of Dr. Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe Jonathan, Nigeria’s president-elect. And to imagine that all that is without a definite purpose divinely ordained is to wallow in denial and in abject spiritual poverty.

When many of us alluded to the hand of God in Jonathan’s political ascendancy at the very beginning, some atheists and agnostics or those who had political reasons to think otherwise scoffed at the idea. But they should know better now or never and remain eternal victims of spiritual poverty. It’s not altogether a very smart idea to promote politics over the dictates of divinity when clear signs are there even for the spiritually deaf and dumb to comprehend and interpret. Jonathan’s famed luck may after all be attributable to a divine plan that is greater than him. He is, therefore, no more than the vessel of God to be used in accomplishing His aim in Nigeria unarguably the most troubled, serially plundered nation on the face of planet earth. And because this writer believes that to be the case the question of possible failure of his presidency is totally and completely out of place. He is indeed incapable of failure because higher powers will be ruling through him guiding his hand and every move to attain the pre-ordained end.

And you ask, why God, and why Jonathan of all people who did not even bring God or religion into his campaign? Why not the Buhari/Bakare ticket made up of two religious fundamentalists who wear God on the sleeves of their shirts and in whose names the blood of their fellow citizens is flowing in the north? The answer to the first part would be: It’s because God looks at the hearts of men, not their outward appearances and false pretences like the Biblical Pharisees, and goes for unassuming men with pure hearts and simplicity of carriage. That’s why He picked on David from the House of Jesse to lead Israel. And the answer to the second part of the question is, why not? Haven’t Nigerians cried out enough to God to deliver them from the hands of corrupt and violent politicians as the Jews of old did under King Saul? And didn’t you think that He would harken to their cries at some point? Well, He has, and the whole setup since 2007 has been unfolding seamlessly to that end even in the midst of the stiffest opposition yet mounted against the candidacy of any presidential aspirant known to history. Could you detect that from the way and manner all ganging up propositions crumbled and blew up in the faces of their proponents right from the beginning?

So what does Jonathan’s victory mean in particular terms beyond its historicity within its divinity? The answer to this poser can be gleaned from the preceding paragraphs—a somewhat divided nation roughly along the lines indicated above. As such, his victory could not but mean different things to different people as could be gleaned from their reactions. To those minorities long denied access to power at the center, it is a dream come true reminiscent of the rapturous feelings of African-Americans in the aftermath of the election of Barrack Hussein Obama as the first black president in the United States in 2008. It is, therefore, understandably a moment of political liberation for them and their well wishers. No one who is not in their shoes would understand that type of feeling of liberation.

And you might want to ask: liberation from what or whom? The answer is liberation from second class citizenship in their own country founded by their own ancestors, who had toiled to liberate the whole nation from colonial rule but systemically reduced to the status of aliens or at best second class citizens who could not dare to touch her heights of political leadership. Fine, you say, but does it bring any special material benefits to them? The answer is, not really, because that is secondary. The real benefits are not material but social and spiritual and therefore not quantifiable in material terms. Of what use are social and spiritual benefits? You further ask. The answer is that human dignity is not measured in dollars and cents or naira and kobo but in due respect and recognition accorded one by his peers and the rest of humanity. For that reason, I see many parents naming their male babies “Goodluck” in those parts of the country if they have not already done so in the best African tradition. In Africa names are not just meaningless sound bites as they are in the Western world, but historical reference points. And Jonathan’s full name has that feature too in his middle name “Azikiwe” after the great “Zik of Africa” late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who once bestrode Nigeria’s political landscape like a colossus.

To the opposition it means an opportunity lost once again and politics as usual even though their supporters ignored their foolish tantrums and self-serving platitudes and voted massively for Jonathan. They seem to enjoy their opposition status that they don’t want to let go off it. They knew nothing other than politics of opposition which is their forte and therefore find it hard to move out of their comfort zone to the other side of the divide. The ACN as the present doyen of opposition in Nigeria has just confirmed its position by sweeping the governorship and houses of assembly election in the South/West thus solidifying its traditional role as Nigeria’s doyen of opposition. That, however, is not my wish for the opposition in Nigeria. I would rather the ACN moved into the mainstream of Nigerian politics just like the PDP. Too bad it is unwilling or incapable of doing  that.  

For those in the northern parts of the country who wanted power back so bad that they have resorted to death and destruction, it is a nightmare that would not go away. And Jonathan’s victory has to them become a president danger to their only known means of survival, which is access to and control of federal power. It therefore becomes a life and death situation for them. How do people who feel threatened with economic extinction react to such development that threatens their very existence? Well, do not ask me, because the answer is unfolding as you read this in Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna states. Why, they react with death and destruction; killing, burning, and the maiming of those perceived to be responsible or complicit in denying them access to federal power at the very summit of national leadership on which they live and die.

It seems that the battle for the control of the federal government had to be moved from the polling units to the battlefields in the streets; in other words from ballot box democracy to military or militant hostilities. That was Buhari’s coded message to his ignorant followers to “defend” their votes. Why would a politician ask his supporters to “defend” their votes and take the laws into their hands when law enforcement agents are there instead of asking them to be observant and record any occurrence of electoral malpractice to use in nullifying such results at the tribunal? What is the meaning of “defend your votes” if not open incitement of his supporters to violence? Too bad a party and its government whose legitimacy had been questioned on account of alleged electoral malpractices in the past were too timid to decode the open incitement to violence being preached by Buhari sometimes reportedly using the Hausa language do so instead of the official English language during the campaigns. All of it was naively taken as part of the electioneering campaigns of a bitter and implacable opponent. No, incitement of a candidate’s supporters to violence is not part of electioneering campaign and it can never be in any country that has an effective government. Buhari should have been warned long ago about the implications of his inflammatory rhetoric, and promptly held responsible for what is happening in the north.   

Although the opposition parties represented in the main by the ACN and CPC in this election were on each other’s throat on the eve of the presidential election as part of the fallouts of their botched alliance talks, they have managed to come together to condemn the presidential election overwhelmingly adjudged free and fair by the whole world by attempting to demonize INEC and Jega as they in fact did in previous elections. What does that tell you? It shows that the leopards would not change their dark stripes no matter what. It doesn’t matter that both local and international election observers and Nigerians themselves have judged the elections to be free and fair on the whole. It doesn’t matter that they themselves had passed similar judgments on the election before the full results dashed their hopes on the rocks of incompetence and naivety and then turned around to condemn the results.

While ACN sees the large voter turnouts in the South/East and South/South as evidence of electoral malpractices, Buhari and his CPC have issues with the vote tallies in the same zones and also in parts of his base in the north. And he is screaming, “Robbery, please help”! And he is crying about alleged “stolen mandate” that he never had in the first place. I don’t know how anyone could talk about his stolen mandate when he never had one in the first place. For one to lose something, he must have had it in his custody to begin with, and to the best of my knowledge and understanding of the law and the facts, and commonsense too, Buhari was never given any mandate by anybody at anytime unless he sees the Almajiri votes in the sharia states as somehow equivalent to a national mandate that was capable of being stolen. But no one stole those votes from him. He couldn’t have and he dared not claim he won the votes in the South/South and South/East even with his complaints. So where then could the alleged stolen mandate have come from? Was it from the Almajiris? Well, their bloodstained votes are there in his column on forms EC-8D from those states and they remain his. But unfortunately for him those votes bearing the blood of Nigerian youths on their faces do not and cannot approximate to a national mandate to put him in the presidency.

It is natural that a farmer will only reap what he sowed and nothing more. If he planted sugar canes he would reap sugar in return. And if he planted bitter leaves he would reap bitterness in return and no more. And given the positive nature of Jonathan’s campaign in contradistinction to the Buhari’s it can be said without equivocation that Jonathan sowed sugarcanes and therefore could be expected to reap nothing but sugar in return and that’s what he got. But Buhari sowed bitter leaves and he reaped nothing else but bile and bitterness. Naturally, he is not enjoying the taste of it and he’s pointing accusing fingers at INEC’s official for allegedly serving him nothing but hemlock for a drink. I will not speak for INEC and Jega. That is not my call but theirs and theirs alone and they would have to deal with it one way or another. True or false, serious charges have been levied against them and they would have to respond to the charges and clear the air. And sure enough Jega has vehemently denied those accusations with detailed and convincing explanations to go with. He has in a manner of speech consequently asked Buhari to go find his man elsewhere to make his fall guy because he is the wrong man.

Jega is pushing back at Buhari in this manner because he is no Maurice Iwu his predecessor in office. You know something: The business of INEC goes beyond conducting free and fair elections to the management of public relations. And the success or failure of the head of INEC and by extension INEC itself may very well depend on how well or how badly he handles this critical element of his duties. Unlike Iwu, Jega appears to understand this deal breaker enough and was therefore out and about early enough reaching out to the people and proselytizing about free and fair election in the public lecture circuits. He said all the things that were music to the ears of the members of the opposition and succeeded in putting them to sleep by calming their restless nerves. And before you could cry, Jack Robinson, all the pillars of the opposition were singing Kumbayo for Attahiru Jega and INEC to the extent that ACN came out strongly to warn the government against any attempt to fire him over the botched NASS election of April 2, 2011.

But Jega did not stop there at preaching about free and fair election. He made sure that someone else took the rap when things went wrong. So even before things began to go terribly wrong he had proactively laid the blame on the doorsteps of other governmental agencies including the police and the NASS until he eventually ran out the list of scapegoats he had drawn up, and finally manned up to accept full responsibility for the botched NASS election. Even so ACN still came out to tell us to back off from Jega and lectured the nation about Jega’s virtues in doing what he did. Rather than condemn him Jega needed to be commended, ACN’s loud mouth, Lai Mohammed, raved. Yes, ACN saw virtues in Jega’s failures and demonstrated incompetence back then. And not to be outdone by the ACN in the defense of Jega, CPC’s Buhari absolved him of all blame in the botched NASS election. But at the same time Buhari found it too irresistible to blame Jega’s failures on Jonathan of all people and the federal government that had provided him with everything he asked for including time and a cash cow he could milk anytime.

Suddenly both of them are now singing a different tune that Jega himself is not at all in the mood to listen to. Jega understands this game much better than Iwu and it has served him well too. Therefore, even though he was the darling of the opposition from whose camp he had emerged as INEC chairman he would not allow them to rubbish his name as they did to Iwu. He knew them as grand masters of the art of propaganda and also grandmasters of Pull-Him-Down (PHD) syndrome. He knew they would tear him down in no time if he did not do their bidding in  the elections. As a matter of fact that process of Jega demolition has already begun. The ACN that until a few days ago was Jega’s cheerleader has suddenly turned the guns on him, describing the 2011 presidential election “as the most rigged” in the nation’s history. That means that in ACN’s judgment the 2011 presidential election conducted by Jega was much worse than the 2007 presidential election conducted by Iwu. Hmm! Abracadabra! That is one of the wonders of Nigeria. Anyway, Iwu must be chuckling in his recliner in his country home where he is watching this national movie rolling out, chapter after chapter.

The parting of ways has therefore begun and this will be made more manifest if the results of the gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections do not favor the opposition particularly in their perceived strongholds. Fortunately for him they did go well for them at least for the ACN. But Jega should have known that as far as the opposition in Nigeria is concerned, only elections won by its parties are considered “free and fair” and those won by the ruling party are, ipso facto, automatically deemed to be “rigged”. Nigerians have been conditioned to believe this total illogicality through the power of its propaganda machine which has however failed to fly this time around in the face of the overwhelming verdict of free and fair election as has now been publicly admitted even by ACN leader himself, Bola Tinubu thus contradicting the wild claims of his loudspeaker, Lai Mohammed.

Tinubu was reported to have declared that Jonathan won “fair and square” because he “worked hard” and “deserved” victory. Coming from Tinubu that was until recently Jonathan’s arch enemy, who had been calling him names, it speaks volumes. Why then was Lai Mohammed claiming that the 2011 presidential election was the “most rigged” in the history of Nigeria’s elections? We will leave him to his conscience. But does that give us a window into the game the opposition had been playing all along in the past in alleging massive rigging which it used so effectively to discredit previous elections including those conducted under Iwu? True, there may have been irregularities in the 2007 elections as we indeed witnessed in the present elections, but were they so irredeemably bad as they were painted by the opposition to discredit INEC and Iwu as Lai Mohammed had in fact set out to do yet again with Jega and INEC? But trust ACN to again reverse itself as it sweeps the South/West in the gubernatorial/houses of assembly elections. Believe you me, Jega will bounce back again as their darling! When they win the elections are the best conducted in the world. When they lose, oops, they become the “most rigged elections in the history of Nigeria”! That is the sing song.

Don’t Nigerians know their tactics by now? That has been their modus operandi. And it works! Discredit! Discredit! Discredit! Until no one believes in the results of the election, for a lie repeated a million times assumes the character of truth when it is not. That is the professional propagandist’s playbook. But I don’t know where propaganda alone wins elections. As far as the opposition is concerned in their warped and delusional thinking the PDP is supposed to be an empty barrel with no support anywhere in the country and therefore cannot be expected to win any election whatsoever even though they were first to go into alliance talks to enable them confront a party that supposedly had no support anywhere in the country. What a contradiction and self deceit! It’s indeed amazing what people could believe. But that is the product of delusions that Jega had not reckoned with in handling this assignment. And as one of them if he could not pass such a damning verdict on PDP victories, he had, in effect, become an apostate to be marked down for demolition. In fact, ACN was beginning to see Jega as a potential threat to its hold on the South/West. It must therefore bare its fangs at Jega before the governorship and house elections taking were taking place at the time of preparing this piece.

Unknown to him he was expected to take the same position as the opposition that the PDP is persona non grata everywhere in Nigeria, including all its candidates. Therefore, their electoral victories must be attributed to nothing else but rigging. Their reasoning which is totally based on superficialities goes like this: How could a party so viscerally hated by Nigerians win any elections at all when Nigerians are supposed to be itching to get rid of it once and for all? It sounded illogical and counter-intuitive to them. They imagine that PDP’s alleged non performance at the center was enough to uproot it from power without more and they just sat back on their butts waiting for the electorate to do their job for them and take out the PDP on their behalf all on their own.

Naivety is the word! It’s sheer wishful thinking that no serious opposition should ever have to contemplate at all. But they did just that and crashed out in total disarray like Lilliputians faced up with the PDP Goliath. However, with nothing else to blame the opposition will hopefully be compelled to put its house in order by facing up to realities on the ground rather than running away from them or pretending that they do not exist. That mindset is ultimately self-destructive and leads inexorably into political wilderness.

In that frame of mind they forgot that their own members were defecting to the same PDP in droves including opposition governors. They forgot that the seeming public angst against the PDP in the press was mainly coming from the press that is beholden to the opposition and not PDP members or from ordinary Nigerians who do not belong to any parties. And while they may not have been satisfied with the performance of the party at the center they may not have seen the opposition as credible alternative either. It’s like the case in the US presently in which recent public opinion polls indicate that while the public is not satisfied with the performance of the Democrats in power at the center they are even more dissatisfied with the Republicans in opposition. And I make bold to say that that is the situation in Nigeria too which the opposition had either glossed over or chosen not to recognize to its peril, leaving the PDP in power at the center and making do with electoral crumbs at the peripheries. And they also forgot that all politics is local and in the end people do not necessarily vote for parties all of the time but rather vote their candidates. Therefore, party fortunes would to a great extent depend on the performance of its public office holders.

All of that is lost on the clueless opposition and they imagine that PDP could only win through rigging. And that is why they are always screaming out about alleged rigging plots by the PDP on the pages of newspapers without offering any proofs whatsoever as if they themselves are the angels which they are clearly not. Or haven’t we been hearing reports of massive under-aged voting for Buhari in the northern states he won? Was he not confronted by the BBC Hausa service reporter and all he did was to dismiss it with a wave of the hand? Is under-aged voting no longer rigging and in fact criminal in Nigeria? Why is the PDP not complaining about that and has kept mum while Buhari is making his wild claims about the South/South and South/East that have gone unanswered? Why wouldn’t the PDP contest the results of the election in the states purportedly won by Buhari, which many have estimated to comprise of up to 30% under-aged voting for Buhari?

Jonathan and the PDP are keeping mum just because they have won overall. But that is tantamount to condoning rigging and allowing a crime to go unpunished. It’s not whether the PDP won overall or not regardless of the under-aged voting for Buhari. It’s about setting the records straight by crediting him only with lawful votes and punishing the under-aged voters and their collaborators. Therefore, what Buhari wants done in the South/South and South/East, i.e., subjecting the ballot papers to biometric examination should equally be carried out in the northern states where massive under-aged voting has been reported or alleged in the presidential election. Would the PDP insist on that? I don’t see the party doing that. 

You see, that is the thing with the PDP and Jonathan. They hardly fight back and easily intimidated by opposition propaganda. PDP is a sitting duck just like Iwu, absorbing all the body blows without pushing back at its accusers. But Jega is no sitting duck for hostile fireworks. In sharp contrast to the laid back approach Iwu who was viciously attacked by the failed candidates including Buhari and Atiku in the 2007 election, Jega had seen this cannon coming his way and had prepared himself to deflect it. He was upfront and pushed back hard and fast rather than allowing Buhari and Tinubu to mess up his image as they did to Iwu. Jega is a fighter and public relations practitioner which Iwu was not, perhaps to his regrets. Nothing could be worse than allowing the enemy to define you. Trust me, you will not recognize yourself by the time the enemy is done defining you. And that was what they did to Maurice Iwu who just sat there like a duck absorbing all the body blows aimed at his head by Tinubu, Falana, and Lai Mohammed and the whole Lagos crowd.

And by the time Iwu looked at his public image he was looking more like Lucifer himself than the Professor Maurice Iwu otherwise known to himself, his friends, colleagues, and others as a credible, dutiful, trustworthy, and honest gentleman. He had been changed, transformed into a monster literarily overnight. He could hardly believe what hit his face that made him look so awfully bad. Well, the character assassins had been working overtime on his public image while he was ensconced in his office attending to urgent national duties totally oblivious of the image demolition squad working on him outside his office. Fair enough he made some feeble attempts publicly to fight back but it was no use fighting back when the damage had already been done and so his efforts only amounted to medicine after death at best.

To be sure Jega has received a lot of flaks from Nigerians including this author but he has equally received a lot of credits too. Iwu got nothing but condemnation even for things done right even with his own funds at his own expense while Jega had a cash cow at his disposal. And that must be quite some harrowing experience for a patriot. I personally do not think that Jega performed a whole lot better than Iwu taking into account the huge disparities in the resources made available to each of them in the conduct of the elections. At the end of the day both of them achieved the same results of returning the same PDP to power at the center. But that could hardly be blamed on them. It was the will of the Nigerian people. Why they chose to blame that on Iwu is attributable to the power of propaganda made possible by Iwu’s laid back approach to public relations management. Yes the same Lagos crowd that had viciously attacked Iwu for “imposing” the PDP on the nation couldn’t wait to vote the same PDP and its candidate back into power at the center, and Tinubu, the Lagos Emperor declared PDP’s victory “well deserved”! How times change!

Jega probably has learnt a lesson or two from the Iwu experience and wasted no time in joining issues with Buhari and the ACN at a go. He told them point blank that their own party agents were at the collation centers to observe the exercise and they duly signed the form EC-8D which contained the collated results at the states’ collation centers that Buhari had turned around to denounce as cooked up. Jega equally dismissed as sheer lunacy Buhari’s claim that the Microsoft Excel application was doctored to subtract votes from him and add them to Jonathan’s column. He explained that the Excel Spreadsheets were not the primary but secondary storage of the results used only to cross check what was already manually imputed into the Form EC-8D at the state collation centers signed by all party agents and therefore in their custody as well.

Save for more substantial proofs it would appear therefore that Buhari was crying wolf where there was none. And in an abrupt u-turn Buhari is headed for the Presidential Tribunal, for a record third time in a row since 2003. He had better grab and take something more substantial than those hollow accusations otherwise he will suffer similar fate at the Tribunal as he did in 2003 and 2007. Already his party men in the South/East have described the presidential election as the “freest” and disowned Buhari’s claim of rigging in the South/East as sheer bunkum.  And these are the people who were on the ground that he would ordinarily have to rely upon to provide materials to prove his case at the Tribunal. I see this man chasing his own shadows at the Tribunal just as he did during the time of Iwu. He probably thinks there are Almajiri Justices at the Tribunal and Supreme Court that would lynch and behead his opponents in the courts. Well you can’t blame a man for fighting for what he believes in even if his belief is a product of grand delusions. It is better to allow the courts to handle and sort him out.

Well I can’t say more on that lest I run foul of the law since the matter might have landed on the tainted desk of President of the Court of Appeal, the very Honorable (?) and Dishonorable (?) Justice Ayo Salami, by the time this piece hits the streets or the blogs. The embattled PCA might not be in any mood to tolerate any appearance of outside interference with a matter this important before him.  I’ll therefore stick with my political analysis of what Jonathan’s victory means for the nation in general rather than its individual components as indicated above. To get an indication of that, we can look no further than the mandate itself, which spreads from the sandy fringes of the desert in the north, to the swamped creeks of the Niger Delta in the south. This means large swathes of the northern populations bought into the mandate as well just like their southern counterparts. And that makes it a Pan-Nigerian Mandate. Violent protests by Buhari’s Almajiris and Islamic fundamentalists in parts of the north do not in any way, shape, or form, detract from the national status of the Jonathan mandate. On the contrary they enhance it in that it has brought out widespread condemnations from prominent Nigerians from both north and south putting Buhari, who was trying to position himself as the victim of unsubstantiated electoral robbery, on the hot seat and in defense mode. He has maneuvered himself into the position of being the spokesman for the killers and terrorists in the north by calling their actions “spontaneous” reactions to their “stolen mandate”. And at least potentially he will now be the target of the judicial inquiry as well as the UN probe into the killings. While he could wriggle his way out of the hands of timid Nigerian authorities who always bend the law to suit geo-political concerns, he might have to contend with the UN that does not bend its will to accommodate political expediencies. And if in doubt, he should ask Charles Taylor of Liberia, Slobodan Milosevic, and many others who were targets of UN inquiries in the past.

All things put together point to the fact that the nation is getting a new start. A revolution has just been accomplished by the Nigerian people through the ballot. Nigerians have re-invented Nigeria and a New Nigeria long dreamt of has been born on April 16, 2011. Of course most revolutions are bloody, for those who stand to lose would not give up without a fight and it would be naïve not to expect what has happened in parts of the north and nowhere else. And this one could be said to be bloody too in the sense that innocent people lost their lives in the process of executing it. The inflammatory utterances and sundry acts of desperation of a segment of the northern political class left no one in doubt that it would go down fighting bloody. And it kept its words.

Shame on the nation’s security agencies for not correctly reading what even the ordinary man in the streets knew was going to happen. Shame on them and Nigerians must demand the heads of these agencies before they demand the heads of the perpetrators. I don’t how anyone who had so abysmally failed the nation should be allowed to still keep his or her job if we are not out to promote incompetence and dereliction of duty on the part of public office holders. The firing of the Interior Minister should be the beginning, not the end. The National Security Adviser and the DG of the SSS must explain to us why their agencies were caught flat footed when hoodlums were cutting down fellow citizen unchallenged for days not hours all over the north with obvious sadistic relish. Was their apparent negligence part of counter revolutionary plot or just sheer incompetence?

Now if we describe the events of April 16, 2011 that unfolded in over 120, 000 polling units across the nation as birthing a revolution, what sort of revolution was it? Is because it was overwhelming adjudged peaceful, free and fair by both local and international observers unlike the previous ones? No, not necessarily although that was a welcome improvement, but that alone was hardly revolutionary all by itself. Does it consist in Jonathan’s promise of “a purposeful, thoroughly focused and dynamic post-May 29 administration that will continue to give priority attention to the critical developmental challenges facing the nation, particularly the rehabilitation and expansion of national infrastructure as well as the improvement of public services such as education and healthcare” as contained in his Easter message to the nation as reported by the Nigerian Tribune 042511 edition? Again not necessarily, although that would be a most welcome development, but that alone would be hardly revolutionary all by itself. What is it then? Is it about his pledge of leading a government that “will herald a new era of transformation of our country” as contained in his Abuja Declaration Speech of September 18, 2010, when he launched his candidacy? There we go! We’re getting really close to it now but still skirting the fringes of it. Alright, does it then lie in making Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020 assuming it to be doable and probable? Now, we are stepping into the heart of the revolution but not quite there yet.

Now, enough of the run around—let’s get down to it: The characteristics and features of this revolution are indicated in the articulation and practical implementation of the doctrine of equal opportunities for all Nigerian citizens irrespective of their places of birth, gender, or religious faith? Now we are into the heart of the matter. That is the overarching premise and if you like the philosophical infrastructure of this revolution on which all other things developmental are erected as its superstructure. Whatever physical developments that may be accomplished by this and other administrations coming behind it are to be laid on the foundations of social equality and equal opportunities for all Nigerians regardless of religion, ethnicity, and gender of the individuals in all facets of our public life. These ideals are contained and poignantly laid out in Jonathan’s Abuja Declaration Speech, which is excerpted below:

“I was not born rich, and in my youth, I never imagined that I would be where I am today, but not once did I ever give up. Not once did I imagine that a child from Otuoke, a small village in the Niger Delta, will one day rise to the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I was raised by my mother and father with just enough money to meet our daily needs.

“In my early days in school, I had no shoes, no school bags. I carried my books in my hands but never despaired; no car to take me to school but I never despaired. There were days I had only one meal but I never despaired. I walked miles and crossed rivers to school every day but I never despaired. Didn't have power, didn’t have generators, studied with lanterns but I never despaired.

 

“My story symbolizes my dream for Nigeria. The dream that any Nigerian child from Kaura- Namoda to Duke town; from Potiskum to Nsukka, from Isale-Eko to Gboko will be able to realize his God-given potentials, unhindered by tribe or religion and unrestricted by improvised political inhibitions. My story holds out the promise of a new Nigeria. A Nigeria built on the virtues of love and respect for one another, on unity, on industry, on hardwork and on good governance.”

This theme was reiterated in his Easter message when he affirmed that “every section of the country would be carried along in the implementation of his agenda for national transformation and that the equitable distribution of developmental projects to all parts of the country would remain a cardinal principle of his administration,” again as further contained in the Tribune report cited above.

That was what animated the South/East, South/South, the North Central, and the South/West to vote massively for Jonathan. It’s a no brainer because disadvantaged groups had been yearning for that for ages! And here comes Jonathan mouthing such a promise made not only to others but to himself and his own people as well. Nothing could be more sincere and believable than a promise coming from the heart as it did from one who had suffered discrimination on account of his birthplace time and again. And that too was what motivated progressives in the North/East and North/West to hand Jonathan over 25% of the total votes cast in those states to push him well beyond the constitutional threshold of two thirds win in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to carry the day with over 57% of the total votes cast in the election.

These are the powerful ideals that had driven the elections and birthing a New Nigeria, which has no place for ethnic jingoism associated with the old brigade of politicians.

And as the results of the gubernatorial/state houses of assembly elections begin to trickle in we see defeated candidates congratulating the winners especially in the South/West that is the bastion of opposition politics in Nigeria in the spirit of the emerging New Nigeria rather than deaths and destructions—evidence that these ideals are already taking roots slowly but surely, though it is for now coming more from the PDP. There is no question that despite the misguided violence in parts of the North that is associated with only one particular candidate, Buhari, Nigerian politicians are on the whole beginning to grow up and act responsibly in accordance with democratic tenets. Here is a sampling of their reactions to their defeat in the gubernatorial election that point to the direction Nigeria is headed.

Sample: (1) “the elections have come and gone and with every endeavour, positions have been taken, allegations have been made and several representations made concerning alot of issues. My conviction and position on these matters, however, is that in every situation, the will of the Almighty would always prevail. This gives me the strength to move on.” ---Dr. Ade Dosummu, PDP gubernatorial candidate in his statement congratulating Lagos State governor-elect, Governor Babatunde Fashola, adding philosophically that “it is God that appoints whoever He wishes into positions,” as reported by Vanguard 042911.

Oh, how gracious and large hearted even in defeat! Buhari could do with a bit of that good stuff too if he believed himself a born-again democrat as he claimed. The question however is this: Would the ACN and its candidates do that to anybody anywhere it lost election? They seem incapable of doing so and Nigerians would like to be proved wrong before they run away with that impression about the ACN, and I might add, the CPC too, until another four years.

Sample: (2) "I strongly urge members of PDP not to lose hope or resort to blaming one another for the loss of the elections to another party, Rather they should correct some obvious mistakes made during this exercise."---Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in a statement issued after the ACN candidate was declared winner in Ogun State, adding that “the people of Ogun state had spoken with their votes to reject Governor Daniel’s style of governance and not Olurin,” as reported by THISDAYLIVE 042811 edition.

It would be recalled that Governor Gbenga Daniel, and defeated candidate Adetunji Olurin and Gboyega Isiaka respectively of the PDP and PPN, had congratulated the winner, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. And guess what, Oyo state governor, Adebayo Alao- Akala and his predecessor, ex-governor Rasidi Ladoja who both contested the election have also congratulated the ACN winner of the gubernatorial election in Oyo state, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi. What we’re witnessing now is nothing short of a revolution—a complete 180% turnaround in the post election defeat reactions of defeated candidates in Nigeria. This newfound attitude might not be as widespread as one might have hoped for, but it has started somewhere and will grow with time as others begin to emulate the same spirit of losing gracefully. As one of New York’s MTA jingle puts it, “Courtesy is contagious and it begins with you!” This time it has begun with the PDP in the South/West, but let its contagion spread to the other five zones in the country in the true spirit of democracy and sportsmanship in the New Nigeria as a breath of fresh air.

It is indeed unfortunate that Buhari and the ACN have continued in their old style of rejecting results of elections wherever their parties lost out with bogus claims of rigging. This man Buhari continues to pose a big threat to our nascent democracy that ought to be nurtured by true democrats rather than sore losers like him. Thank goodness this will be Buhari’s last outing in the field of play as age catches up with him. It’s good riddance to bad rubbish. The man has outlived his usefulness. IBB has proved himself a whole lot better than Buhari, democratically speaking. But Buhari has set himself against the current of history as these budding ideals will not be squelched by his machinations. 

Taken together, these are the ideals that will come to define the New Nigeria and they are worth dying for. The National Youth Corp members who laid down their lives in the north died so that their fellow citizens might be free to attain their God given potentials, in Jonathan’s words, “unrestricted by improvised political inhibitions”. Yes, they died for a cause greater than themselves—justice and equality, and by so doing became Martyrs of the Revolution!  We owe it to ourselves to build for their memories a befitting monument and memorial at the Federal Capital City, Abuja. Democracy has its heroes and heroines and these young men and women have earned their places in history posthumously. Therefore, go out, Nigerian youths. Go, get the funds from wherever and do it for them to immortalize their names in the halls of fame so that generations yet unborn might know their ultimate sacrifices and likewise honor them as well. Their death is no less important than the death of MKO Abiola, who also died for democracy. It is not enough to compensate the families of the victims. That is important but not nearly enough, because it goes not to the victims but to their relatives mourning their losses.

The victims themselves deserve our honor, appreciation, and remembrance. The names of the victims must therefore be made known and appropriately honored. And their stories told in full. Let those in Nigeria who are reading this set out to probe these deaths and tell the stories of the fallen heroes and heroines to the nation they loved and died for. That will send a message to their killers that the victims are better than they that killed them even in death. There can be no better evidence of our appreciation for their sacrifices than doing what has been outlined here.

Nigerian youths, I call on you to do it for them and your country, and shame those who took their lives but not the ideals for which they laid down their precious lives. And they should be joined in this honorable work by the NGOs and other well wishers. Here is an opportunity to demonstrate their true relevance to their nation and to democracy. Officially the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and INEC must be at the vanguard in spearheading these efforts on behalf of the government. Both were responsible for the welfare and safety of the Youth Corp members jointly under their care. It’s shame enough that they had let their guards down with disastrous consequences. Therefore it would be criminal that they would not honor the lives of these heroes and heroines with a monument. 

“We underline that the lives and livelihoods of Nigeria’s people must be respected, and that those responsible for violence must face due process and be brought to justice,” said the Envoys of the US and the EU.

It, therefore, behooves the incoming Jonathan administration to honor them with the actualization of these ideals and bring to book ALL those implicated in the dastardly acts visited on these innocent citizens. That is how the British, French, U.S, Indian, South African, German, Italian, Canadian, or any other government in the civilized world would do in similar circumstances under the rule of law. And that is what the Jonathan administration must do because it is the only way to build the New Nigeria, not through forgiveness of cold blooded murders or some compromise, but through punishment of criminality, for no one should be made to feel that he could get away with murder in Nigeria.

Therefore it is not enough for the president to be “extremely worried and saddened” about the killing of Youth Corp members in the north as reported. He should be “extremely mad” and boiling over with angst and demand the heads of the perpetrators. Once he was one of them as University of Port-Harcourt graduate, who equally answered the call and did his National Youth Service elsewhere outside his safety zone in the South/South, and could have suffered similar fate in the hands of lunatic fringe groups. And he has children in the university or relatives who have children in the university, who will one day also answer the call and serve outside their safety zone in the South/South, perhaps somewhere in Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Adamawa, Gombe, or any other state in the north, who could be exposed to such danger of not making it home alive but in body bags. As reported by THISDAY LIVE of 042911 edition, he has appropriately described them as “martyrs of democracy” who laid down their lives “to save this country and open a new vista of political evolution in this country”. Well, that is what this piece has been all about and I’m pleased with this report just coming out as I was about sending this piece out for publication. That is a good start. The next is to immortalize them. And for the killers, there can be no tarrying, nor mercy. The time to make examples of these cold blooded killers is today, because tomorrow may be too late.

Thank God, they’re no longer faceless. Their names are out, and I’m honored to recall this piece and incorporate their blessed names for the benefit of the readers and also for the records.

Below are the names of the fallen heroes and probably heroines too as released by the NYSC, which has now come out to promise them national burial as reported by the media (THISDAY). That is a step in the right direction along the line recommended above. However, it is not enough. That should be followed with a national monument to immortalize their names. 

“The names of the deceased are: Teidi Tosin Olawale (from Osun State, BSc Computer Science); Nkwazema Anslem Chukwunonyerem (Imo State, HND Electrical Electronic Engineering), Okpokiri Obinna Michael (Abia State, BSc Environmental Management), Adowei Elliot (Bayelsa State, BSc Computer Science) and Adewunmi Seun Paul (Ekiti State, BSc, Social Sciences).

“Others are Adeniji Kehinde Jehleel (Osun State, BSc Banking & Finance), Gbenjo Ebenezer Ayotunde (Osun State, BSc, Education Economics), Ukeoma Ikechukwu Chibuzor (Imo State, BSc Medical Microbiology) and Akonyi Ibrahim Sule (Kogi State, HND Business Administration)”.--(THISDAY LIVE)

May God bless their Souls!

This is wishing the New Nigeria God’s speed.            

From the stable of –Cutting-Edge Analytics--More than a Blog, It’s a Learning Experience!

Franklin Otorofani is an Attorney and Public Affairs Analyst. Contacts: mudiagaone@yahoo.com, http://franklinotorofani.wordpress.com/




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