The New Song of The Sun Newspaper on April Elections
When the 2007 General Elections were conducted, eminent Nigerians rose
to the task of condemning the charade called election. Foreign
observers, domestic monitors and civil society groups all spoke with one
voice in condemning the election. The print media did not disappoint us
either. Several editorials were churned out by this sector of the media
and everyone was pleased that the press rose, once again, to the arduous
task of defending our young democracy. If I am not mistaken, the only
voice that was up for the election was that of Professor Maurice Iwu,
INEC and the beneficiaries of the flawed elections. Their position could
As noted, the press stood up for the truth. The Sun Newspaper was in the
forefront of fighting for justice. Editorials, not one, condemning the
election were written. If a prize was up for outstanding newspaper at
the forefront of defending our democracy, The Sun would certainly have
grabbed it. Unfortunately, this dance of steadfastness suddenly changed
and this time, it’s skewed in favour of INEC. Just over night, the many
wrongs of INEC yesterday became rights today. Some staffers of the Sun,
some of who are part of the editorial board that condemned the election
are now doing image laundering for Maurice Iwu and INEC. What an irony! We are all living witnesses to the election that took place in April. We
do not need anyone to tell us that the election was the worst in the
history of Nigeria. No matter how much effort one expends in cleaning up
a charcoal, it will always remain black. The Sun writers are now saying
that it was the politicians and not Iwu that was to blame for the flaws
in the elections. Just a few questions for your reporters to answer:
One, was it the political class that asked Iwu and Ribadu to connive
with PDP to disqualify some candidates in order to pave way for the
anointed ones? What about the results that were being announced, Abuja
interrupted the announcement midway only for the losing candidate to be
announced later as winner? Was that the handwork of politicians? Before
Iwu answered Atiku’s interrogatories, did he not tell the world that the
presidential ballot papers were printed in South Africa?
The spate of nullifications coming from the different election tribunals
across the country speaks volumes for itself. No just that, each time an
election is nullified, INEC always come under heavy criticism of the
tribunal. The Supreme Court has on several occasions rebuked INEC for
being partisan and not being an unbiased umpire as required of them.
More so, Nigerians do not even have confidence in INEC to conduct future
elections. It is as bad as that.
We all know the politicians have their fault. But that fault has not and
can not subdue Iwu’s inadequacies. If the politicians were faultless as
demanded by writers of the Sun Newspaper, we wouldn’t have needed INEC
to conduct elections. The politicians would have simply gathered
together in one day and conduct the election all by themselves hassles
free. It’s because of the hassles associated with elections that INEC is
mandated, as an unbiased umpire, to conduct elections. But Maurice Iwu
cum INEC failed the nation. He became so biased that it was difficult
see him as an umpire. He made INEC under him to become an appendix of
the PDP. In fact, the Supreme Court in giving judgment involving Alhaji
Atiku Abubakar and Olusegun Obasanjo reprimanded INEC in strong terms.
INEC and the Police told mind their business instead of meddling in
matters that do not concern them.
The Sun newspaper commands a lot of respect among its teeming readers.
As a progressive paper, it should not allow some famished writers to
destroy the reputations it has built over the years. Reputation is
difficult to build, and it is even more difficult to rebuild it once
what is already achieved is jettisoned. And it is so easy to jettison
your reputation if you don’t guide jealously.
It must be said that your teeming readers are beginning to believe that
your staffers are introducing ethnic dimension into the whole matter.
Igbo race is known to have produced outstanding journalists like Dr
Nnamdi Azikiwe, Onyema Ogochukwu, MCK Ajuluchukwu, Livingus Okoroafor,
Ogbuagu Anikwe, Emeke Izeze etc. These outstanding characters did not
play ethnic journalism to achieve what they achieved. Having made my
point, I would like to advise the likes of Robert Obioha, Amanze Obi,
Onuoha Ukeh to emulate these great sons of Igbo extraction if they want
to get to the pinnacle of their chosen profession.
Bright Adeola Coker
No 2, Badmus Street
Victoria Island Annex