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Re-Buhari's Electoral Travails

May 24, 2011

Dear Professor Akinnaso: I read your write-up titled “Buhari’s Electoral Travails” on Punch Newspapers, May 24, 2011, back page,  with interest and expectations. Your write up was mainly aimed at discrediting the validity of Buhari’s legal contests of held elections while supposing that Goodluck Jonathan had “credible victory”.

Dear Professor Akinnaso: I read your write-up titled “Buhari’s Electoral Travails” on Punch Newspapers, May 24, 2011, back page,  with interest and expectations. Your write up was mainly aimed at discrediting the validity of Buhari’s legal contests of held elections while supposing that Goodluck Jonathan had “credible victory”.

Through your first paragraph, I hoped and expected that somewhere along your argument you would want to pay a minuscule homage to some proven realities that have been acknowledged by many. This was not as I mused through your article somewhere fascinated by the level of bias and unawareness, more of unawareness than bias anyway, proven on your write-up.

With due respect to you and your profession and not to mention the ill-fated list you might inspire, I hope to, with this opinion, offer light to your judgment in the faith that you truly are in pursuit of truth and might be somewhere along the line, interested in lasting peace in Nigeria.

Before you quickly judge my descent, let my notify you that I am Nigerian, Igbo, above 30, fluent in Yoruba and Igbo, with interest in the Biafran hope, living in Lagos, schooled in Igbo land, Christian, and a university graduate. I put this thus so as to give you some clearer perspective to who I am. You cannot be more sympathetic to the southern Nigeria than I am, I am not a jihadist or even a Muslim, I have also travelled outside my region of Nigeria and have met peoples of all types. Now you can imagine how your sense of judgment happens to put me on the line of having to give you my bio-data just to aid your discernment.

Now back to where we were heading. Your main contention is that Buhari is not popular and has no reason to complain. Right?  It would be worthwhile now to enquire if you were in Nigeria during the days of the presidential campaigns. Were you around during the PDP primaries? Did you read alternative source of news like Sahara Reporters, etcetera?  Did you ever see Buhari’s campaign in all the states he visited? Do you know that those crowd were never paid unlike those that attended Jonathan’s rallies? Did you also see how scanty most of Jonathan’s state–wide campaigns were? Do you also know that at every rally of Jonathan’s, people were paid to appear? Prof, I am certain you are unaware of these.

My perspective on this last election might not help you am sure, but you want to hear Festus Keyamo speaking on the figures that were allotted to PDP presidential candidates during the past presidential elections: “In 2007, this was the same trend of unjustifiable figures that did not match normal voting patterns that discredited the election. What, then, is the fundamental difference between both elections? Yet we are told one was the worst and the other the freest and fairest. This is nothing but a joke.”. This statement was made in the midst of Niger-Deltans, militants and ex-militants, the most staunch supporters of Goodluck Jonathan, in an arena where people had been killed in sporadic violence and no one paid . This statement was made on the last Adaka Boro day, in the heart of Niger –Delta, Sir. And somewhere in the middle, Keyamo added that he cannot accept that black is white and white is black simply because he wants his brother to be president at all cost. Prof are you following?

You may also search for EU’s remark on the last presidential election. You can search also for Professor Itse Sagay’s interview excepts on the election. You may also know Barrister Bamidele Atturu, a renowned human right activist who publicly averred that Nigerian leaders should own up that the elections were flawed with irregularities and begin to think of working out ways to make other elections better. These are people that are educated and most interestingly, they are even not supporting CPC to get to power. Now how does your opinion fair before these people.

Now on more personal levels, Prof, you may call up friends in Eastern and South-Southern Nigeria and ask them to give you friendly accounts on how the elections were held in those regions. A former school-mate of mine pointedly told me that in his locality in  Awo Idemili in Imo State (am sure you never saw this town on any map), he and his friends took it upon themselves to thump-print massively for PDP, in the presidential election. He maintained that this was done boot to boot because though people would want Jonathan to win, they were detached from the voting and did not come out. I got similar facts also from Akwa Ibom, Delta and Enugu states.
In addition to this prof, Asaba market was reported open on the day of the last presidential election as a pure evidence of voter-apathy in the South East and South South Nigeria. These people and others in the country know the level of manipulation that went on and when they read your comment, Prof, you sound somewhat deracinated from facts and truth and lost in some form of phantastic utopia that never was or better still, you are immersed in some form of illusionary bigotry which produces the illiterate jihadists we have killing Christians in the North of Nigeria.

Now on ambassador Campell, I would want to request that you search carefully through Nigerian history and violence through the Gideon Orkar coup and the killing of Igbos in the North. The anti-southern violence in the north was re-energized again after a southerner, Gideon Orkar tried to seize power from IBB, a northerner. Then walk slowly through the annulment of June 12 election to Obasanjo’s emergence, his betrayal of the North by turning to support that Jonathan should continue in power.

Study these side by side with the level of violence that went up in the north of Nigeria whenever there was any. Then come back to the PDP primaries. Am sure you never knew that after Atiku lost in the primaries, the Ulamas on the next Jumhat service in the North of Nigeria preached that those who voted for Jonathan were enemies of Islam and did not deserve to live. After that sermon, security was tightened around some northern Nigeria governors for fear of mob attack. Am certain Prof you never read this. So what was left? You still needed am American to tell you that there was a dangerous leaning in the system and that dark clouds were hanging in the air. Prof are you still there?

Now I am certain you would wonder what my interest is. Sir, “Sometime in April” in Rwanda, in a matter of days, over one million people were hacked to death in a spark of rage that was fired by age-long hatred, fear, animosity and lack of trust . There the Balkans looked like a holiday resort. What happened in Rwanda was inspired by long years of projection of deceit, lies, broken accords, falsehood and perceived marginalization which was maintained by a set of systems averse to reality and justice, as has been created by the ruling PDP.

Prof, where the tragedy of your opinion lies is that though I am Igbo, many of my people and I know that the elections you defend with impunity were rigged. The worst of it, the very root of concern and danger is that, Southern Nigerian has a high proliferation of arms and while the northern masses know that the elections were rigged, your cover-up whether born out of ignorance or bias, sends a message to them saying: “Whether we have cheated you or not, you can go to hell and take your leaders along for company; we don’t care”. Prof, I won’t take this from anyone, neither would southern Nigeria in  the face of arms proliferation and agitations for cessation, and neither would the melee of illiterate frustrated red-eyed almajiris that number over 15 million by popular estimations. Further and ironically too, the Nigerian army is dominated by Northern Nigeria. If you put these together, you will get my point Sir, and quintessentially the danger in covering up the truth.

Having mentioned few notable points of contemplation Sir, I hope I have done your ignorance some good by sending this to you and I hope you will be kind enough to send me a reply and forward this to other friends of yours.

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