2nd April, 2011
CANCELLATION OF TODAY'S ELECTION: JEGA NOT TO BLAME
The hopes of Nigerians were dashed today Saturday 2nd April, 2011 when the parliamentary elections were suddenly postponed hours after the exercise began. The postponement was attributed to the non-delivery of vital electoral materials as at this morning.
We are not surprised by this development because the few reports reaching the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) from our monitoring team have not been encouraging. In Eti-Osa, Surulere and Ojo Local Governments of Lagos State, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were yet to arrive as the polling stations as at 12 noon. The story is the same at Gatakonwa area, Oja Oba Bus Stop, Abule Egba.
MURIC laments over this national tragedy but we salute the courage of INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, for having the courage to face the truth early in the exercise. The non-arrival of materials can hardly be blamed on him personally. We appeal to Nigerians to exercise patience at this critical moment in the history of our nationhood.
Apart from logistic issues, the printing and delivery of electoral materials are very sensitive matters which involve security and the state of our infrastructure. The fact that many of INEC's materials had to be produced outside the country is pregnant with meanings. The level of corruption and the reputation of our politicians for rigging had kept INEC on the tip-toes of alertness and anxiety. These and other factors must be held responsible for what happened today.
We have seen that so far so good, INEC chairman has maintained his independent status. Unlike his predecessors, he has refused to dance to the gallery. Neither has he dined and wined with the high and mighty. MURIC calls on Nigerians not to slay the goose that lays the golden eggs.
The Federal Government must also leave Jega alone. President Jonathan in particular must avoid the temptation to seize the opportunity of today's postponement and the national embarrassment to get rid of a 'non-compliant' Jega and to replace him with a stooge. That will be an unmitigated disaster. Jega must be given the chance to prove his worth.
Is-haq Akintola (Ph.D),
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Yahoo Group: groups.yahoo.com/group/muslimrights
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace