There is a sudden restlessness in the land. This is not unconnected with the grim possibility of a change in polls date. Since it became public that the National Council of State is meeting today and possibly recommend a shift in elections timetable, all Nigerians smart enough to know the difference between “window” and “widow” have been restive.
This Council is made up of the President, his deputy, all the states governors and past heads of states and presidents. The Senate President, the Speaker, Attorney General and all former Chief Justices of the nation are also members. Its role is purely advisory. It advises the president in the exercise of his powers in respect of prerogative of mercy, award of national honours, INEC including the appointment of members of the Commission and others.
The Nigerian president is very powerful. At his pleasure, he singly appoints all Service Chiefs, Heads of federal parastatals, countless Boards and dispenses sundry patronage. By his own admission, President Jonathan had “created” billionaires. He once cited the prevalence of private jets in the country as evidence of the nation’s prosperity.
The possibility has heightened this anxiety. A substantial chunk of the loudest set of the agitated domiciled in the social media has been eerily silent about the likely shift. Still there is mute hoopla. Not the kind the former CBN governor, Charles Soludo and the current Finance Minister Madam Ngozi -Okonji-Iweala treated us to. Recall the recent very public spat between these two eminent “economists”
Strikingly, they make polar opposites. Just out of curiosity, I wonder the kind of babies this odd couple would raise were they legally married. Soludo is wholly “home” grown. All his education was in Nigeria acquiring a Ph.D. from University Of Nigeria, Nsukka. Madam on the other hand, is a product of the best schools in the US. She was marinated in the best of Bretton Woods’s tradition. A child by these two would certainly suffer ‘nervous breakdown’ managing his/her personal finance. Soludo and Okonji-Iweala are polar axis all right.
Now back to the agitation. The hoopla is about the coming election. I wrote this piece yesterday around 9pm.There is a lot of talks of the inevitability of postponing the impending polls just nine short days away. Yesterday a group of youth in support of “Febuhari” stormed INEC headquarters to insist on the date. For the umpteenth time, the electoral body has assured of its preparedness to conduct the elections as scheduled. To that effect, it has begun to ferry non-sensitive materials to the states.
Those in the know accustomed to power play and intrigues swore a long time ago that in February 14,it would be “failbuhari”. If the deal to shift date sails through, a step of a labyrinthine web to thwart change may have been clinically executed.
The plot to “failbuhari’ has been afoot a long time ago. In September 2014,Senate President, David Mark, was “off” mark when he hinted that election this year was not “on the cards” because of the restiveness in the northeast. What happened? Uproar nationwide. He was knocked silly. The ‘gallant” retired general that Mark truly is, beat a hasty retreat.
Since then, the idea has been stalking the land. Everywhere it intruded, it was ferociously chased away. Soon an army to track down and exterminate it literally rose by itself. Still, the idea demonstrated an amazing resilience. It began to recruit the respected and the not so respected among the traditional rulers class, the clergy and even the political class.
Such important personages like the Sultan, presumably a father to all, publicly bemoaned not collecting their PVC.Principled politicians like Balarabe Musa and fiery man of God Tunde Bakare suddenly began to call for a postponement of the election. The icing on the cake was the open call in far away Britain for polls change of date by the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.So. At home, a group staged an anti February 14 protest to INEC.
Thankfully INEC has remained resolute. According to its latest update, it has so far distributed 66% of the 68,833,476 registered voters. It is hopefully that by February 8,the extended deadline, it would have achieved 100% distribution. I listened to Nick Dazang, the spokesman of the commission last night insisting that the polls would go on as scheduled.
Even the almighty Nigerian Military, the top brass that is, has assured of their preparedness to go on as scheduled.
Who then wants the election postponed?