The Court of Appeal in Ibadan yesterday ruled in favour of Rauf Aregbesola in the gubernatorial case between him and former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Aregbesola will be sworn in any moment from now. It will be recalled that similar cases of judicial defeat have occurred in Edo, Ekiti, Ondo, etc.
What is disturbing, however, is the length of time spent in power by usurpers and electoral kleptomaniacs. Adams Oshiomole, Fayemi, Aregbesola et al were all illegally kept out of the Edo government house for periods ranging between one year and three and a half years.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) considers this anomaly as preposterous, outrageous and therefore unacceptable. MURIC proposes a radical amendment of the electoral reform that will ensure that all electoral disputes are disposed of before alleged winners are sworn in. The present arrangement allows political armed robbers to enjoy their illegal loots to the chagrin of legitimate winners of elections.
We recall the attempts of the Oshun State government to manipulate the situation. Aregbesola, the legitimate winner, was hounded from pillar to post. With the connivance of the police, a fraudulent case of forgery was slammed on him. He was even declared wanted at a stage. The question is: what is the next step now that the Appeal Court has declared him winner? Should his oppressors who are the real fraud go scott free?
MURIC is of the humble opinion that the time has come to make vote thieves accountable, including those who collude with them. This is necessary in order to serve as deterrent. Oyinlola must cough out every illegal earning he received while illegally occupying another citizen’s seat.
The judiciary has helped Nigerians to identify the real enemies of the people. This latest judgements against sitting governors have exposed the cogs in the wheel of progress in our dear country. Democracy is good but it is easy to turn into tyranny in the hands of political terrorists. Now Nigerians must know why there is no steady power supply; why there are no drugs in the hospitals; why education in Nigeria has turned into nightmare and why Nigerian roads are the best death traps in the whole world. It is simply because the real candidates voted for by majority of Nigerians are often cheated. The thin façade on the faces of the cheats are now being removed by the judiciary.
Yesterday’s judgement is unique in a special way. It is a case study in military/civilian confrontation in the political arena. Those who thought only retired soldiers possess the tactical know-how to wade through the mine-laden political field of Nigeria have been proved wrong afterall. MURIC lauds the doggedness of Rauf Aregbesola, the civilian strategist who cubbed the excesses of retired army general Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)