Date Published: 06/06/11
2011 Elections: Scales fall off some eyes? by Fredrick Efosa
The sincere voices are increasing by the day. Revelations are increasing by the day. Our minds are having other ideas by the day. Some false figures are showing faces by the day. All this describing the outcome of the concluded 2011 elections hitherto designed to be free, fair, transparent and credible.
Though there were international and local observers; some of them say that the elections were fair, free and credible, yet there were few that said otherwise. How many numerically were the international and local observers to suggest that the elections were or were free, fair and transparent? What percentage of the voting venues were they able to observe? A report by the ECOWAS election monitoring team headed by the former head of Liberian national government, Dr. Amos Sawyer, said that their movements were restricted in Delta and Akwa Ibom states where they covered and believed that some election results or voting were done in secrecy but added that those may not suggest that the rest areas were the same. Most local observers were reportedly quartered by incumbent governors as was reported in places like Abia, Delta, Benue, Katsina and Akwa Ibom. Yet there were some local observers who tried to observe more than necessary but got bruised and hospitalized as reported of (at) Ibiono Ibom and Eket of Akwa Ibom state. The INEC Head of Public Affairs and Political Party Liaison in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Edwin Enabor, was quoted by the DAILY TRUST of April 29, 2011 that “They (three local observers) were badly injured. There was blood all over them, but the matter is a criminal case that only Police and not INEC should handle”; but Police seem in league there.
The strong pointer that the election may after all not be all that free, fair and credible or better than the Professor Iwu’s era is the avalanche of litigations (in tribunals and courts). Take for instane Speaker Bankole and others who had congratulated their opponents that won now have rethinks and gone to the tribunal to challenge the outcome. Furtheremore, submissions of notable Nigerians including those from the south-south like Barrister Kayemo, Professor Itsey Sagay, Professor Awuzie (national President of ASUU) are yet few that say the elections were not fair, free, transparent and credible.
Another expose came from the amount of huge figures recorded in south-south and south-east states especially during the presidential election; but those if adjusted may not turn Jonathan a loser. What do we do at this stage? The onus is on the Election Petition Tribunals and Courts to ensure that justice is done where necessary in order to bring back the confidence of the electorate.
Chief Fredrick Efosa, Ikpoba Slope, BENIN CITY