Only Six Days To Nigeria’s General Election, The Needful That Should Be Done:
By Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP, Okwubunka of Asa,
Member, Media & Publicity Committee,
PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
10th February, 2019.
How time flies! The much-talked about Nigeria’s General Election is here. It will commence next Saturday; 16th February, 2019, only six days from now, starting with the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and followed and concluded by the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections on Saturday 2nd March, 2019.
Typical of what the time demands, Political Parties and their Candidates have been criss-crossing their respective constituencies, either presenting their score cards for the candidates seeking re-election or presenting their programmes, for fresh candidates, upon which they hope to secure the electirate’s mandate.
It has been an engaging period for the political class. There has been no dull moment within Nigeria’s political space.
In Abia State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has been meaningfully busy; leading the Central Campaign Council of the Party he leads in the State, Peoples Democratic Party, to the electoral nooks and crannies of the State. He has been campaigning for all the strata of his Party’s Candidacy; Atiku Abubakar/Peter Obi, National Assembly Candidates, himself for Governorship and Candidates for House of Assembly.
Encouragingly, his campaign has been completely issue-based. He has never devoted even a second to discuss any opposition candidate, not to cast aspersion on any. Even those who try, though in vain, to give him names, he has statesmanly and respectably ignored.
Rather, what Governor Ikpeazu has been doing is to state what he has been able to do in his first tenure, despite the enormous challenges that unwarrantedly and avoidably confronted him and what he intends doing when re-elected.
Guided by Freudian psychology, one would rightly assert that the huge crowd of cheerful Party faithful, supporters and admirers that have, so far, thronged out to welcome and listen to the Governor in each of the local government areas his campaign train has moved to is indicative of a holistic electoral victory that is only waiting for the D-Day.
Right from the first day of the campaign in the State, which started at Arochukwu to Isuikwuato, Ukwa-West, Ugwunagbo, Umuahia-North, Isialangwa-North, Isialangwa-South, Ohafia, Ikwuano, Umuahia-South, Bende and, yesterday, at Umunneochi, it has been obviously confirmatory that Abia State is the Home of PDP. This assertion is devoid of sentiments.
In addition to what the Governor and PDP Central Campaign Council has been doing, the delectable wife of the Governor; a taciturn yet result-oriented political Amazon, Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu, who, as at present, has built about fifty houses for indigent widows across the State, has been paying hospital bills of less-privileged patients stranded in some hospitals in the State and has been touching the lives of many Abians, especially the female folk, has been traversing the State doing almost exactly what her husband has been doing.
The results of elections of the 16th February and 2nd March will, by God’s grace, attest to this reality.
At the national level, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, his running-mate, Mr Peter Obi, the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, Director-General of PDP Presidential Campaign Council and President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and Members of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council have been unrelenting in their campaigns. They have been moving from one State to another. At times, they campaign in two States a day.
The message of Atiku Abubakar is apt and on time. In a country where the present APC government, headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, has made nepotism an unhidden enabler of his government policy, a liberal and detribalized nationalist like Atiku Abubakar is most needed at this time in order to re-unite Nigeria and make it work again.
At a period when the government at the federal level has remained tacitly in support of or, at best, insensitive to mass killing of Christian farmers in the Middle-Belt and other parts of the country, there is no gainsaying that a cosmopolitan Nigerian as in the person of Atiku is the man of the moment.
Where retrenchment, unemployment, poverty and hunger are characteristic features of Buhari-led APC government, the antecedents of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who are proven economic managers and creators of wealth and employment, automatically demand their midas’ touch.
Current revelation in the affairs of Nigeria has opened the eyes of Nigerians to realize that President Buhari’s fight against corruption is a ruse. He has openly and remorselessly harboured more corrupt Nigerians than ever known in Nigeria’s history. No wonder his hero is the late General Sani Abacha.
Without being sentimental, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will, by God’s grace, beat President Buhari in Saturday’s Presidential election.
However, PDP, the Media, Civil Society Organizations, the Nigerian Masses and the International Community ought to be, not only vigilant but equally pro-active.
President Buhari and his cabal are desperately determined to retain power at all cost.
Unlike former President Goodluck Jonathan, who thought his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian, experience showed that the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Kano State that conducted the Presidential election of 2015 in that State was set ablaze, together with his wife and children, immediately after the election and nothing came out of it. Rather, the Commissioner of Police that was in charge of Kano State was promoted ahead of many senior officers to become Inspector-General of Police. Mikaila Abdulahis’ blood was merely worth the ambition of Buhari.
President Buhari will stop at nothing to try to retain power. He is banking on the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Security Agencies. While PDP would pay more attention to Votes, President Buhari and his APC will only be after figures. To them, what would win the elections is figure and not vote. APC is only out for brutal massive rigging.
In every polling unit, ward collation centre, local government area collation centre, senatorial collation centre, state collation centre and the national collation centre, PDP must make sure no stone is left unturned and no chance is taken. Officials of the Party must be prepared to resist intimidation by security agents and hired thugs of APC.
The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mammud Yakubu, has openly ‘assured’ Nigerians of his commitment to a free, fair and credible election. Even at that, he should not be trusted. Based on what happened in both Ekiti and Osun States’ governorship election, the man is not worthy of public trust.
As for security personnel, they should realize that their loyalty should be to the Nigerian State and not to an individual. Their expected role in this election is to provide and guarantee effective non-partisan security that will allow a free, fair, credible and verifiable election. They should not try to be hostile to the opposition, as to give undue advantage to APC. Such attempt will surely be resisted and that will not project Nigeria positively before the Global Community.
The rumour has been making the rounds that the APC government has planned to relocate Collation Centres to barracks of security agencies. This plan, if it is true, is dead on arrival because it will not work. The Masses would vehemently and successfully reject and resist it.
The Buhari-APC government should not fail to appreciate that it rode to Power on the well prepared and beautifully decorated electoral Horse of Jonathan’s PDP federal government.
Introducing and resorting to dictatorship and brazen disrespect for the rule of law will not deter Nigerians from sending this APC government that has Buhari as President but is remotely and dangerously controlled by a vicious cabal that even the wife of the President; Aisha Buhari, has had cause to complain against, packing.
Okwubunka of Asa.