In Igbo land there is a saying that “the person who shot at me should not be the one to remove the bullets he lodged in my body because he gets the chance to effect his intention to kill” The Holy Bible declares that when the foundation is bad, the righteous cannot do much.
On November 11th, six days to the Imo State Guber Elections, INEC the undisputed elections umpire with deep seated interests, held a stakeholders meeting with political parties and their Aspirants in Owerri , Imo State. It exposed them again, and made clear their boldness to tilt the voting reports. It was announced earlier that they had deployed extrar nine RECs to enhance transparency in the elections on Imo. Now what does transparency mean to INEC and what does it imply to the stakeholders. From happenings in the last few months, INEC seems to be interested in decieving the people or so it appears. Transparency remains far from INEC’S Plans.
In a subsequent meeting with stakeholders on Teusday the 7th, just 3 days to the polls, they unvielled their plans. An announcement to disallow cameras during the meeting, met with stiff resistance from all interested quarters. The foundation is indeed bad and faulty…Let’s see.
Opposition parties have been battling with all sorts of Intimidation and Oppresion from the incumbent Imo Governor who is also in the race for a second term. Opposition banners and posters have been vandalized; Their residential and commercial buildings and business premises have either been pulled down, damaged or destroyed. Key figures have had to escape assassination attempts several times. Even traditional Rulers have been seen on social media misbehaving and abusing their staff of authority and power by being petty and partisan.Some of them gathered recently to curse any Orlu indigene who opposes the second tenure of the incumbent governor.
Some, if not all of these Traditional Rulers are Christians and ought to know that A Curse without Cause cannot stand and will never be affective. Where there is No Power to Hurt, there can be No fear of Harm! The Governor they are supporting displaced 3 persons ahead of him in a free and fare election based as it were , on the whims and caprices of the Leaders of the APC. If he displaced others , the Spiritual Law is that A man reaps what he has sown. He will have to be displaced at some point. The curse by these men fell short of the requirements and therefore falls to nothing! Every strata of Imo Society has been messed up!
Since March 2021, when the governor assumed power, Insecurity has been monetized in Imo, fashioned after the Borno style in 2013. Bokoharam haram was used to chase opposition away from Borno State! Now in Imo, government has succeeded in dividing the people between Eastern Security Network ESN, and EbubeAgu pitching each camp against the other. Once Government makes you their target for whatever reasons, they label you either ESN or EbubeAgu and set you up! To move around safely you need to keep paying monetary and verbal allegiance to both ESN and EbubeAgu.And even with that, when government flags you down these Security Operatives can only advise you to flee the area.
Prof Mahmud is still in charge of INEC inspite of the failures and mischiefs in the last Presidential elections and subsequent ones. This Prof lacks the moral basis to redeploy or remove any Electoral Officer for untoward conducts, or for whatever. The plan appears to be to create all necessary environments and circumstances to ensure a successful upturn of the Imo Voters decisions. To make it very hard for the rulling APC in Imo to lose in the Election.
There is no freedom of expression and movement in the state. The police and army are selective on their patrol modus operandi because they are not spared. Police could usually kill and commit arson against any for any reasons and blame it on Unknown Gun Men. This explains why they too have become target of attacks.
Ahead of November 11th governorship INEC earlier arranged for RECs that will work in Imo State.The supporting RECs who had already arrived the state for the exercise, will supervise the exercise in the state with each assigned to three local government areas of the state to supervise.
The new RECs are Prof. Gabriel Yomere, (Cross Rivers), Ahmed Yusha’u Garki (Niger State), Dr. Oliver Agundu (Plateau State), Muhammad Nura (Bauchi State), Dr. Teller Adenira (Oyo State), Dr. Yahaya Ibrahim (Katsina State), Umar Ibrahim (Gombe State), Ibrahim Abdullahi (Yobe State) and Mr. Aderigbe Adedepo (Ekiti State).
Speaking at the Special Stakeholders meeting with the INEC, National Commissioner, Supervising eastern states, Hon. Kenneth Ukeagu said the Commission is poised to achieving a free, fair and credible exercise.
However, the composition of the new RECs did not take into a account the need to have Igbo Speaking persons to be able to catch the mood when things change. APC has no respect whatsoever for Federal Character reflection in all their appointments and boldly insults the sensibilities of the Igbo Race in All their matters, INEC is no exception. All facets of governance are either curropted, bastadidized or completely compromised in Igbo land and Imo State in particular. It is sad!
Ukeagu also announced that while election will be conducted in 4720 polling units, election will not hold in 38 polling units because there are no voters assigned to them. The irony of it all is that INEC is also urging eligible voters in the state to turn out to participate in the exercise, assuring that the Commission is committed in ensuring that their votes count. This is more of an empty talk that can not be trusted, and that adds to the delima of Imo Voters. Who wants to be killed, and die for what? How can Imo votes count in these circumstances?
This APC in Imo State has pushed the situation so hard, that someone may decide to take the laws into his hands and turn upon the Troublers of the Imolites!
Clement Udegbe writes from Florida, USA.