Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, you have done your best, to ensure a credible democratic process for the country.
The use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and Currency change/scarcity ensured that vote buying was non-existent, at least at best reduced to bearest minimal, if it exists at all, during, the 2023 presidential election.
We need to reiterate that you even lost in your state, Katsina, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, also lost in his traditional base, Lagos State to pre-election ‘obscure’ Labour Party (LP).
Despite your sincerity and commitment to bequeath true democracy and democratic process, some bad losers are clamouring for Interim Government that is not known to the Nigerian Constitution.
These people suddenly wanted to ascribe Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) to a status greater than that of the states by saying it is mandatory, that to become a President-Elect, one must have 25% in FCT mandatorily and compulsorily, whereas the constitution expressly states/un-ambiguously that a candidate must secure 25% in two-thirds of the States and FCT apart from having the highest number of votes cast.
The conditions which the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, has fulfilled. It’s baffling that the word ‘and’ preceding the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has become a brouhaha again. It’s not only clear that FCT has been given a ‘toga’ equivalent to a State in our constitution but not greater than other states. We have 36 States and one other state ‘FCT’ as recognized by the constitution, invariably 37 states, which simply means, a candidate must secure 25% in, two-thirds of the 37 States. The condition the President-Elect has satisfied.
You are clear in your mind that if anyone is not satisfied, the opportunity of the judiciary as an arm of government can be exploited. It’s honourable to go to court and argue the case.
Mr President Sir, a demonstration is permissible in any democratic dispensation as long as it is peaceful, but for these actors to be appealing to the military, what exactly do they want the military to do? To take over the government? This is treasonous and should be taken as such.
The ‘Apostles’ of anti-handing over must remember that an Interim Government was foisted on the nation by military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, in the year 1993 sequel to late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola’s victory, the rigmarole led to the coming to power of General Sani Abacha after Chief Ernest Shonekan was shoved aside, with its attendant hiccups for democracy in Nigeria. We must learn from history, otherwise history will keep repeating itself.
One might ignore the anti-handling over agenda until further revelation by DSS, hence the realization that the issue is weightier than ordinary. This is a dangerous move by the powerful few.
You have demonstrated in clear terms that you are prepared to hand over, by setting up a ‘Handling-Over’ committee, the committee is committed to your directives and working day and night to ensure smooth handling over. Mr President Sir, I need to state that General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan, among others handed over power, history is on their side, your actions are paths to write another history for our nation.
Freedom is guaranteed in the Nigerian constitution but not freedom to commit treason against the Nigerian state.
Military and other security agents participated in the election in order to provide security for all the citizens of the country, so that nobody will be disenfranchised and freedom guaranteed.
The security apparatus in the country did creditably well. The people “patronizing” the military should be arrested immediately and tried in court.
Sir, May 29, 2023, is sacrosanct for handing over. Use the power at your disposal to ensure a smooth transition.
Your action on freedom of INEC and use of BVAS has put you in the hearts of millions of Nigerians, people now, know that the era of ballot snatching is over and any politician who wants people’s mandate must do the yearning of the people, power truly belongs to the people.
“Vox Dei, Vox Populi” (Voice of God is the voice of the people)
Winning an election and good governance are separate issues.
President-Elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu must not only assemble quality people who can help move the nation forward, but must also remember it’s “Slippery at the Top” may God grant him power and wisdom to stand well.
God help us as a nation as we are willing to help ourselves.
Professor Adeniyi Olowofela writes from Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Olowofela is the Commissioner representing Oyo State at the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Abuja.