Written by Japheth Omojuwa
Why do we still have uncertainties around the 2015 elections? Why is it that no Nigerian can categorically say that elections will hold as planned on the 28th of March 2015 as postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission based on the demand by the Presidency’s National Security Adviser? Even the president said, “I believe” when asked about the new elections dates. That is not an assuring position to take on a critical issue like the date of elections.
Why does the word “sack” continue to be the main prefix before the name of the chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega? All the questions and uncertainties around the 2015 election seem to point out one simple truth; the incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is afraid to go to the polls against his main challenger, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
Someone said you’d never see an African president postpone an election he is certain of winning. The February 14, 2015 postponement was described as “political interference” by the government of the United States. President Jonathan on his part would have seen it as being saved say by the bell. Only this time he rang the bell himself, through his National Security Adviser.
Those working very hard to have the polls shifted again should have a re-think. If Nigerians consider your government a failure, they will not suddenly consider it a success after six weeks of trying to do what should have been done in the previous half-decade. The president had Yoruba Obas perform traditional rites for him to win the elections. That particular thirst for divine intervention has seen the president get into photo opportunities with leaders of the biggest churches in Nigeria who are willing to show him their support. A renowned body of Nigerian pastors was even accused of collecting N7 billion on behalf of its members by another pastor but we don’t have any proof to say that is a fact.
The six-week extension has also seen the president visit Nigerian troops on the frontlines, while also having the minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala lay the foundation for the re-construction of the destroyed school in Chibok where the girls were abducted. The minister herself did not miss out on an opportunity to take pictures with the parents of the Chibok girls. That allowed her to show some emergency solidarity with families that have only seen the Bring Back Our Girls advocates stand firm for them. All of these must count for something. If yes, who then is afraid of seeing Nigerians step out to vote on the 28th of March?
Removing Prof. Jega and/or postponing the elections under any guise cannot change the inevitable. If the president and his handlers feel that going ahead with the elections now will see him lose, they must also know that postponing the elections would only amount to postponing the inevitable. The day of reckoning will eventually come. Better to let it come sooner, rather than later because in the end, we cannot postponeMay 29, 2015.