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MONDAY QUARTERBACKING: Mensis Horribilis for the PDP and the President

Posted by Bolaji Aluko on 2005/01/02 | Views: 553 |

MONDAY QUARTERBACKING: Mensis Horribilis for the PDP and the President


It has actually been a terrible, horrific month of December 2004 for our Nigerian President and his PDP ruling party.








Introduction: "Oh Scary Month, Nai-ji-ri-ans Were Watching!"


http://songsofpraise.com/wma/oholynight.wma


 


It has actually been a terrible, horrific month of December 2004 for our Nigerian President and his PDP ruling party.


 


Let me explain.


 


 


December 10: Supreme Courts About LG Funds


http://nigerianmuse.com/essays/?u=Confusion_political_masterpiece_LG_funds.htm


 


The month actually began with the Supreme Court ruling in Lagos State’s favor, declaring illegal the presidential action (in April 2004) in regard to  withholding of Local Government funds from the state because it created 37 additional states and held elections in all 57 LGs without National Assembly "consequential action" of listing all the LGs in the Constitution.


Yet in characteristic stubbornness, the Federal government still wishes to return to the Supreme Court for "clarification", when the Constitution clearly states that the money – all N15 billion withheld since April 2004 – should be paid to the State Government in its Joint State Local Government Accounts fund, as the federal government had done since November 2003 when the additional states were first created. 


 


What beats me in all of this is that it is as if Lagos is asking for more money than meant for the original 20 local governments; it is as if, when Lagos State created the 37 additional states, it imported more people from  Benin and Togo, and added more land from Fernando Po that was not approved by the Federal Government !


 


I just cannot believe such vindictiveness – withholding N15 billion from people who ostensibly voted for you – a president who is supposed to have won  1,129,521 in Lagos State,  to Buhari’s 116,510.


 


And to make matters more bizarre, a certain Lagos AD Federal senator called Obanikoro is defecting to a federal ruling party that is STILL withholding so much money from his AD-majority constituents ?  And he can walk around in that state ?


 


There just is a disconnect between our leaders and their constituents, haba !


 


 


December 11, 13: Revealed - Exchange of Letters Between Ogbeh and Obasanjo dated December 6, 10 respectively


http://nigerianmuse.com/important_documents/?u=Ogbeh_letter_Obasanjo_Dec2004.htm


http://nigerianmuse.com/important_documents/?u=Obasanjo_responds_to_Ogbeh.htm


 


 


The month continued with the revelation of a pair of private letters exchanged between Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chairman of the "biggest political rally in Africa" the PDP,  and the President of the country and defacto leader of the party, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.  The central theme was the ongoing political mess on in Anambra State between godfather Chief Chris Uba and godson-governor Dr. Chris Ngige over the suspicion that the latter was "embedded" as governor by the former following a commercial arrangement sealed at midnight before  a babbling dibia at Okija, an arrangement that had since gone awry.  Ogbeh in his letter was urging the president to "do something" – else a coup might occur  or what ? – while with characteristic Owu pique, OBJ responded in a ten-page rebuttal, not only deflecting the blame to Ogbeh himself, but revealing that both his in-law Uba and Ngige had confessed to him in his bedroom that there was rigging in the Anambra gubernatorial, whereupon Obasanjo angrily asked the pair to "Kuro ni waju jo – ke de ma pada wa mo!" – leave and never come back !


 


It is inconceivable that Ogbeh and the president would not know that the contents of this letter would become public;  it is inconceivable that this pair did not know that it would cause unnecessary tension in the country.  Most alarmingly, it is inconceivable that the president of a whole Nigeria did not know that to confess that he knew about a crime committed by a pair that he analogized to two greedy armed robbers was most unwise.


 


In effect, he was an accessory after the fact of a crime.  However, he is protected by Section 308 – just like Governor Dariye is.


 


 


December 20:  Appeals Court Annuls Ogun State presidential election


http://nigerianmuse.com/nigeriawatch/electoralreform/?u=tribunal_ruling_president_obj.htm


 


There was more to come in this December.


 


In case you have forgotten, the last presidential elections in Nigeria were held on 4-19-2004, and President Obasanjo won the elections according to the numbers supplied by INEC, roundly trouncing ANPP’s Buhari by 24,456,140 to 12,710,022 nationwide.   In Ogun State, however, we had some "wonderful" results: Obasanjo won by 1,360,170 to Buhari’s 680 (total votes in presidential election: 1,365,367)  on the same day that the gubernatorial totals were only 747,296.  That was a remarkable 618,071 difference in tallies, not to talk of the suspicion that there would be more than 680 Hausa people (at least) in Shagamu who might have wished to vote for their person of prideful association.


 


Naturally, Buhari protested and filed a petition to the Elections Appeal Court: after 18 months,  it ruled in Obasanjo’s favor on December 20 in a split 3-1 decision. [Justice Sylvester Nsofor from Abia State, probably fortified by his White wife,  in his minority opinion, ruled against Obasanjo and cancelled the entire Presidential elections, with costs.]


 


But there was a shocker that nobody expected: in upholding OBJ’s national election, the Supreme in its Solomonic wisdom, unanimously ANNULLED the Ogun State results due to the criminal nature of infractions there, ranging "from violence, fingerprinting, official intimidation, bias and falsification of results" thereby sending a message.


 


Quite shocking, because there is nothing magical about the 618,071 difference:  in strict terms, even a one or two vote UNEXPLAINED difference between ALL the polling ballots of the gubernatorial and the presidential elections which were held on the same day would call the elections in ANY given state into question.  In Adamawa State the difference was 94,143; in Akwa Ibom, 68,861; in Ebonyi, 1,457; in Edo, 24,197; in Ekiti, 2,675; in Enugu, 70, 922; in Jigawa, 55, 740; in Oyo, 46, 336; and in Niger, 31, 850 – and so on.


 


The question is:  if Ogun can be unanimously annulled for 618,071, what about all of those states in which the total for PRESIDENT exceeded that of GOVERNOR ?  I mean, what HAPPENED to the balance of ballots: did the voters eat ‘em or walk away with them ?  Was that allowed by the rules of the election process ?


 


Yes, the ruling was a POLITICAL one to save the country from the chaos that would emanate from CANCELLING the entire thing (as minority Judge Nsofor did), but it still leaves a big MORAL BURDEN on the victor and beneficiary – president Olusegun Obasanjo.


 


 


December 21: Uba’s Confession Letter


http://nigerianmuse.com/important_documents/?u=Uba_confesses.htm


 


Uba’s confession letter was icing on the cake:  here was an election thief (or at least an accessory) confessing, confirming his meeting with the president along with Ngige, as well as disclosing that he told the same malfeasance to Audu Ogbeh, who urged him to "ehn, keep quiet about it in public o, don’t cause us trouble o! !"   In this case, I believe Uba over Ogbeh, a remarkable confession on my part, knowing how much I respect Ogbeh and loathe Uba’s mercantilist approach to politics. However, this Uba move may be the only salutary thing he has done all of his life – and we may not have heard the last earthquake emanating from it.


 


 


December 23: We Remember Bola Ige


http://www.nigeriavillagesquare1.com/Articles/mobolaji_aluko/2004/10/remembering-uncle-bola-ige-and-killers.html


 


Every December 23, we will remind the country of the assassinated Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Bola Ige, whose murderers have still not been found, and are out there still lying in wait for the next victim.  One cannot fail to remember that his death in 2001  cannot be UNCONNECTED with these same 2003 elections that we are writing about, since Ige was on the verge of loudly leaving government service to re-organize the opposition Alliance for Democracy in readiness for the upcoming elections.


 


One can never forget the burden of explaining how the then former Deputy Governor, Iyiola Omisore, in detention on suspicion for Ige’s murder, not only became a candidate FROM PRISON, but won his Ife senatorial seat – from prison !


 


Such a wonderful outcome remains a moral burden.


 


Epilogue:  The Moral Burden


 


So many "moral burdens" arise from this "Mensis horribillis" for the president and the PDP.  We will be happy to see the back of this December 2004, and  may the New Year 2005 be a better one for us all, particularly Nigerians.


 


Amen, and amen !

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