Mr. Abati, to say that leadership failure is the reason for the post-election crisis might not be far from the truth but to omit the awakening of a down trodden people who have long been victims of their faith will make any thesis fail in the court of conscience.
Yes, there have been commendations of which I have read that from the US and I am sure I read strong wordings asking INEC to investigate the allegations of irregularities. I have also read some comments from local observers raising several questions about the conduct of the elections. For Dr. Abati to arrive at a resolution that all observers considered the election successful without any conditioning raises questions of objectivity. Yes, I would agree that history beckons on GMB at this moment but in greater measure to Mr. GEJ and co; GEJ being the sitting president and the purported elected president for the next term.
It’s really unfortunate that a Dr. Abati would descend into the dictionary of the PDP to find words to characterize the angry youths as being “united by the anger that a Southern Christian, an unbeliever in their reckoning, and a product/promoter of Western education is now president-elect “. Dr. Abati, this is shameful; I am drawn to tears as I write this because you are one public commentator I have held in very high esteem. This is not only a lie in the first instance but a clear indication that you have surrendered your conscience to serve the course of lesser mortals. The youths protesting in the north were the same who protected the election of Shekarau, Yuguda etc from being stolen by PDP in 2007 and are now revolting the same characters for trying to subvert their will in favour of the PDP.
This is the first time in my life time that the North will rise against their so called leaders, even before the elections, Sambo was booed in public as he rightly deserves. Such a leader would get nothing better from any civilized society. It is unfortunate that the protests took a different turn with regrettable results and many commentators have fingered the PDP in that outturn.
In my opinion, the outturn is in part a result of the fact that these folks had never known another way to demonstrate their grievance in any situation. The so called leaders (most of them members of the PDP) had over the years sponsored religious and ethnic crisis to seek political ends and now we have a citizenry in the north; men of my generation who do have any idea of better way to express disapproval. This is the failure of leadership that has led to the unfortunate incidents in the North. In the southwest they burn houses; in recent times maybe tires, in the south south, they throw bombs and kidnap children and the elderly, In the north they draw the sword. Nothing in GMB’s history and style of leadership has supported these but since the unfortunate advent of the PDP it been madness and mayhem in the land. To summarily condemn men for carrying out acts to which their facilitated civilization and the castration of their better passions disposes them without a choice is in itself an injustice; not in a country where others get amnesty and government largesse.
Dr. Abati is so concerned about the North, but has failed to propose a solution to the unending carnage in Plateau state under Mr. GEJ and the PDP government in the state. Is he really concerned about the people or just trying to put in a word for some sponsors to blackmail GMB into accepting injustice?
Dr. Abati appears to be so sure of the validity of the election results as reflecting the wishes of the people that it is worrisome. Why will there be crisis in Kaduna for instance where the PDP purportedly made a decent showing, has the VP and the sitting governor. Where are all the PDP supporters? Dr. Abati rightly alludes to “Section 134 of the Nigerian Constitution to the effect that whoever wants to be President of the country must receive the people’s votes across the country” so if in indeed GEJ received the peoples vote in the north there should be no crisis, but where the votes are stolen and the will of the people subverted we come to the situation where the people revolt.
It was clear that the CPC had an uphill task winning at the first ballot but pushing the process into a run-off was surely not off target in the absence of PDP’s trademark rigging. We must not discountenance here how long it took the INEC to register CPC which in itself was a subversion of the process to give undue advantage to the PDP. Dr. Abati, did you listen to the NTA in the days leading to the elections, did you observe how the government used the national broadcaster as a vehicle for brewing the venom of ethnic division in a bid to sell GEJ as the candidate of the Old eastern region? Guess you didn’t; PHCN must have been holding power. NTA has scored very low in the past, but I think this time they scored even lower than the days of Abacha. While GMB made efforts to distance himself from the zoning issue, the government used NTA to wage a war against the strivings of the people for social cohesion but I didn’t see you raising the yellow card at least. All of a sudden even Lagos was divided into association of Igbos leaving in Agege, Ijaws leaving in AJ city and all sorts and that in your opinion was not a pointer to the crisis to come.
DOCTOR ABATI…, pls help me here; I am not sure how the Hausa you quoted here “mu ke so, ba muso hanni” translates literally to “It is Buhari we want, we don’t want an unbeliever”. I do not speak Hausa, but I clearly cannot see “Buhari” in the Hausa text you are translating, taking such liberty in translating quoted text by an intellectual of your calibre is disturbing if one does not take into account malicious intent to defame. In any case, let us thank the people’s General who in spite of all and for love of country rallied himself to make several calls for peace. What about your principal dear Dr and his Vice who speaks the local lingua, how many times has he gone on BBC hausa or VON to speak to the conscience of the people? Does this not suggest to you that these men – left to themselves, do not consider themselves to be the leaders of the people? How do you consider the spirit of section 134 in this light?
Dr. Abati, we have heard this lame argument for “national interest” since the advent of the PDP and it’s obvious what it has produced except it seems the veil of ethnic bigotry seems to have beclouded the vision of some. We cannot continue to have leaders that elect themselves and plunder the people and call that peace. Is there peace when women die violently because the funds that should provide health care have been plundered? Is there peace when the young of the nation go to school but return as ignorant illiterate with no future aspiration but to be area boys? Is there peace when every night robbers slaughter hardworking decent citizen to take their widows’ mite? Is there peace when the roads across the nation have become weapons of mass destruction?
Dr. Abati claims that the CPC judged the April 9 elections as “free and fair” but I recall watching a live TV programme on Channels just before the presidential (I must emphasize the reason I stopped to watch was that I caught a glimpse of you) where Mr. Odumakin took time to correct that impression in saying some party members might have commented but the CPC had withheld judgement and was studying the situation. Why will Doctor Abati discountenance that and still go on asserting his false position; does he mean to inform or to misinform?
Dr. Abati made suggestions on what needed to be done and I thank him for affirming the credibility of the people’s General in placing the burden for direction on him. However, as the good Dr. unavoidably discountenanced the responsibility of the sitting government I will try to set that right.
What should be done?
1. Mr. President (Saint) Jonathan should live up to the spirit of his promises to the nation and sponsor steps to dispel the clouds surrounding the elections as follows (I am assuming as Dr. Abati seems to believe that he won the popular vote in spite of irregularities):
a. INEC to immediately commence investigation into all allegations of malpractices with support from all agencies of government
b. Step should be taken to immediately commence forensic verification of the votes cast in the elections
c. Mr. Jonathan to state unequivocally his commitment to abide by the outcome of the investigations
2. Mr. Jonathan to address the nation and distance himself from all activities to stir up ethnic divisions in the run-up to the elections, including;
a. Institute independent investigation into the activities of the NTA and Ministers with a commitment to take action against any abuse
b. Mr. Jonathan to come out publicly and distance himself from any illegalities perpetrated by PDP governors or leaders in the north and assure the public of redress
3. Mr. Jonathan to commit to initiate a TRUTH and RESTITUTION commission if finally declared rightful winner to address the years of misrule with the following terms amongst others:
a. Declare willingness to offer GMB or Dr. TB the chairmanship of such commission with autonomy
b. Commit to submitting himself to the commission
c. To empower the commission to use government agency to ensure restitution with the power to offer forgiveness on behalf for the people.
I could say more, but I bet you Mr. Abati, if Mr. Jonathan would take my advice or at least make an honest attempt to, you will see the crisis replaced by jubilation on the street of Nigeria, not only in the north but from coast to coast.
It is unfair Mr. Abati, to take the most sacred duty of government away from them and place on a fellow citizen who is suffering the scourge of injustice.
Mr. Jonathan is the President and he needs to man-up and be presidential for once at least. In spite of all, history still beckons to GEj and I hope he will rise up and etch his name in the minds of the people. If GEJ stands up for the people, I am sure he will get the vote of GMB and TB.
If the President can stop the crisis and usher in a new dawn if he will open his arms, embrace and serve the people.