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Author Name: Musa Ilallah
Number of articles: 30
Wonders, Nigerians always say, shall never end. This popularly saying among Nigerians says it all about... (1) Comment

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Iwu must not be trusted again
Author: Musa Ilallah | February 22, 2008

Nigeria’s chief electoral officer, Maurice Iwu has no doubt failed Nigerians over his biased and shoddy conduct of the April 2007 general elections in the country. Even local and foreign election monitors have confirmed that the April 2007 elections were the worst in the history of elections across the world. It failed to meet international, African and even Nigerian standards. The elections were far from being free, fair and just. They were marred by irregularities- refusal by INEC to include dully endorsed candidates by their parties to contest the elections, massive rigging, and non delivery of election materials, non conduct of elections and writing results were elections did not even take place among others. The issue of INEC’s messing up of the April 2007 elections must not be swept under the carpet. Ironically, Iwu’s Press Secretary, Andy Ezeani desperately tried to paint his boss in the colourful colours and ended up admitting INEC’s complicity in the marred elections but put the blame at the door steps of state INEC Commissioners. But the view most Nigerians have today is that success or failure of an organization lies in the hands of the Chief Executive. Going by the judgments passed by the various election petition tribunals across the country one has no alternative but to believe that Iwu has failed to conduct the elections as an impartial umpire. Take the cases of governorship elections It is public knowledge that INEC or Iwu in particular has betrayed the trust and confidence reposed on him by Nigerians to further strengthen democracy in the country. Unfortunately, Iwu has and still is being used as the errand and of the ruling PDP controlled federal government. He has continued to behave and act the scripts of PDP in disqualifying candidates of the opposition parties. Even inactive politicians in the country have come to the conclusion that going by the antecedent of Maurice Iwu and his team at the federal and state levels they seem to have lost faith in INEC conducting any elections again in the country. Nigerians are asking for a new INEC under a new team to conduct the by elections earlier nullified by the tribunals. President Umaru Yar’adua must as a matter of urgent national importance relieve Iwu and his team at the national and state levels if he is at all sincere in his claim to reform Nigeria ’s electoral system. That is surely the best way to restore the confidence in our electoral system and ultimately sustain democracy. Even pro democracy activists, labour leaders and political heavy weights across the political parties, well meaning Nigerians, academicians, artisans and other professionals in the country have added their voices to the mass call on Yar’adua to do away with Iwu. Two time governor of Ogun state, Chief Segun Osoba had recently described Iwu as ‘the most dangerous character in our democracy. He is the greatest havoc to our democracy. He should not be in our democratic society’. Also at a labour rally in Benin City recently, In support of the Labour Party governorship candidate in Edo state, Adams Oshimole, the current President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Abdulwaheed Omar called for Iwu’s removal. According to him: ‘for any future elections in the country to be credible Iwu must be removed.’ He added that only this will save our democracy from collapse’. A columnist with Thisday newspaper, Tunji Bello had in one of his columns titled ‘why Maurice Iwu is the issue’, also disagreed with the failed attempt by Ezeani to white wash his boss. He said” Iwu’s INEC colluded with PDP to substitute a legitimate candidate in the governorship election going by the tribunal ruling. He portrayed himself more as a biased umpire by his statements and conducts.” It is also public knowledge that since the bungled elections by Iwu last year he had at the expense of public funds engaged the services of local and international public relations consultants. The ultimate aim is to cleanse his atrocities in the eyes of the Nigerian and international public through a coordinated media laundering programme. No matter what, Iwu had subverted the peoples will and desire to elect people of their choice into various offices. Iwu must be brought to account for his devilish handling of the April elections. He must be brought to book. We must not afford to have failed elections again. The costs in terms of money, logistics, stress and otherwise to the country and her citizens are too enormous to be contemplated again. President Yar’adua must do something now or never.if he means well to the country.

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