The Court of Appeal in its latest judgement on Friday ruled that the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) candidate Dr. Kayode Fayemi on the largest number of votes in the 2007 gubernatorial election in the state. Fayemi was therefore sworn in as Ekiti governor on Saturday. It will be recalled that similar court judgements on elections had taken place in other states of the federation in the past.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) salutes the judiciary for this bold pronouncement. The fact that the judgement is unanimous among the five judges is a serious indictment on the system which perpetuated this illegality. We congratulate the newly sworn-in governor on his well-deserved victory and laud his steadfastness in the struggle for justice.
MURIC is however deeply disturbed by the paradox of Nigeria’s electoral laws which make it possible for a loser to retain a stolen mandate for as long as three and a half years out of a four-year tenure. Justice delayed is justice denied. It is a sad commentary on Nigeria’s party-politics. It is alarming that the definition of our own democracy is now seen as ‘government of the loser by the rigger for the tiny cabal’. This is contrary to the dream of the founders of the Nigerian nation. It is also a sharp contradiction of the generally accepted meaning of democracy everywhere in the world. Nigeria’s democracy is a sham.
This judgement and the attendant revelations and implications have once again exposed the National Assembly and its procrastination tactics on the amendment of the Electoral Act. Nigerians must put their representatives to task. Now we know why the chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, raised an alarm on the issue of the Electoral Act. The status quo is designed to benefit political charlatans and recycled tyrants to retain stolen mandates ad infinitum.
MURIC challenges the National Assembly to publish within seven days facts and reasons delaying the amendment of the Electoral Act or be declared ‘accessories after the fact’. It is our humble opinion that the rigging of the 2011 elections may well have started and the principle of ‘one man one vote’ may remain a dream in Nigeria for a very long time.
Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)