Civil society members have stirred fresh controversy over the 2015 general election with a human rights activist, Clifford Thomas, describing Nigerian politicians as very desperate folks.
He made this assertion during the one day roundtable by Coalition for Democracy and Credible Elections, CODECE, on the Appraisal of 2015 General Elections in Nigeria at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.
Clifford said that “Nigerians especially Nigeria politicians are very desperate folks, so desperate to the point that even when they know that, what they have to do during election to win election is not proper they still do it. And some of them believe that they can always get the best lawyers and have their ways at the tribunal.
“But we must not be tired of examining because on daily bases new issues crop up. In the last election, we had agreed, there appeared to be an agreement which INEC was to follow that: the Card Reader must be used unfortunately in some sections of the country Card Readers were used, in other sections Card Readers were not used, in some section you found under-age voting.
“What we do here today will constitute part of the framework for the Kogi and Bayelsa election, and we will constitute part of the solution indicators or indices for 2019 general election. We believe that INEC must have started or should have started putting things in place for 2019 election” he said.
Also speaking at the event was the Director, Political and Civic Education, National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mrs. Ngozi Ekeoba, who represented the DG of NOA, Mike Omeri.
She said NOA noticed “that voters’ education should be a continuous process because to change attitude, to bring in democracy values, attitudes and behaviour of people don’t just come like that it takes time.
The lead paper – 2015 General Election – An Empirical Based Appraisal and Recommendation, by Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse from University of Lagos, caused a lot of stir and verbal confrontation from section of the participants, who referred to the speech as being subjective, sectional, biased, and sentimental because the text was full of praises for the former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
The lead paper also vehemently eulogized the former president while it slammed Buhari and former INEC chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega.
The event was almost marred by altercation but was calmed by the effort of the chairman of the occasion and other observers.
Dr. Pearse in his delivery said that “perhaps the various seemingly effortless promotion enjoyed by Jonathan over the years are God’s reward to Jonathan for his readiness to forgive his adversaries, even those callous people who manouvered him out of power, and who are even now doing all they can to malign him in order to cover up what is no doubt one of the most fraudulent election in the history of Nigeria.”
He said further “yes, these may sound belligerent words, too harsh, some may say election which was adjudged to be credible by the United States, the United Kingdom, and here in Nigeria by most members of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
“Perhaps if these parties are privy to incriminating information at our disposal they too will agree with us that the 2015 general election were neither free, fair, open nor credible.
“The mysterious death of Kano state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Alhaji Munkaila Abdullahi and his wife and children immediately following the election had led to speculations that the REC was killed to prevent him from challenging an inflated result of 1.9 million votes for Buhari from Kano State.”