The Nation newspaper reported yesterday (16th November, 2015) that President Muhammadu Buhari had warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian police to “ensure free, fair and credible governorship elections” in Bayelsa and Kogi States come December 2015.
This warning was in response to the “mischievous” interpretation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of a meeting earlier between the President and the INEC concerning the elections.
That meeting was “well-intended”: “to warn … the INEC and the police to do prepare and give the nation a credible election…”
Mr. President’s reason was that “he suffered election manipulations in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and would not like to have any Nigerian to go through that again” As the President of Nigeria, no one would read unnecessary meanings into this well-intended fatherly concern.
But in politics, 1+1 may not be equal to 2; so, the PDP feels it is not 2 but other number.
Therefore the PDP, according to The Nation issued a grave statement through its publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh to the effect that the President wants to use the INEC and police to win the elections for the All Progressives Congress (APC, the President’s party).
PDP, according to the report, “cautioned” Mr. President.
This, to me, made the matter a very serious one indeed, for a political party to caution Mr. President even on a matter PDP have not proved to be 100% sure, that the meeting in question was to win the elections using the INEC and police and by any other means possible.
Again, in politics like football, nearly anything is possible.
To me, Mr. President’s response to PDP’s unsubstantiated, heavy and indicting accusation was inadequate.
President Buhari needs a neutral platform to explain to Nigerians that he never intended nor asked the INEC and police to rig the elections as alleged by the PDP and the PDP needs an opportunity to prove to Nigerians that it is sure and have evidences that Mr. President actually instructed the INEC and police to rig the elections by all means.
The court will thereafter pass its judgment and Nigerians will know better. That is why Mr. President should as a matter of immense national importance and urgency, prosecute the PDP and Metuh in court.
At the end, Nigerians will know the truth and it will go a long way to check inflammable unsubstantiated statements that unnecessarily heat up the polity and distract our attentions.
Politicians must learn to deal and relate with truths and not rumours and hearsays, after all, they are not journalists.
Nigeria cannot continue to anchor her politics on rumours and k-leg assumptions. We must search for and use truths in our politics.
Okachikwu Dibia, Abuja
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