Anyone who’s been following my Facebook rants knows I am totally appalled by INEC chairman Professor Attahiru Jega recent goofs that led to the double postponements /rescheduling of the national Assembly elections. Strongly sharing the sentiments of Rhythm 93.7 Jos election day studio guest (his name slips my mind) it is a crying shame that after 4 years of preparations we’re nowhere better than we were the last time general elections were conducted. Same old story and excuses. What shocks me even more is seeing people give him the thumbs up despite this fiasco; that what he did was brave. It goes to show how low we’ve set our standards as a nation that we should celebrate mediocrity as if we don’t deserve better.
Proactiveness would have prevented all this. And taking a decision to postpone the elections the first time around is not rocket science; for Christ’s sake that’s the logical move going by the electoral act. Giving the position of things that afternoon anyone (even a 10 year old) in Jega’s shoes would have done the same thing. Sacking Jega now is not an option being that we’re at the peak of operations but if we must progress as a nation then we must be disciplined and strive for excellence. Encouraging people to do right and when they do right and duly applying penalties when things go wrong to ensure everyone steps up their game.
I’ll tell you a story; when I was in banking, to enable checks and balances we had a practice of rotating duties as to which pair of staff were the custodian of the branch keys weekly. It so happened that on one faithful day a staff on duty due to one reason or the other was late to work and forgot the branch keys at home. The consequence was that the branch missed clearing at CBN for that day. In the Nigerian context clearing is an activity mediated by the Central bank in which different banks come together to net off or settle their trades, transactions and interbank cheques. Such dealings often run into millions if not billions of Nairas and determines when customers get value for cheques deposited into their accounts. For such an error which adversely affected the bank in its intent to meet its service level agreement with its customers, the said staff was suspended without pay for one month as a disciplinary measure. Now think about what Jega did and the adverse effects it had financially, logistically and psychologically on the total mass of 150 million Nigerians and tell me why actions shouldn’t be taken against the INEC staff responsible for letting the nation down. Personally I’d like to see some months of working suspension without pay imposed as a deterrent against such behaviour ever again.
My colleagues and followers of my rants on Facebook alike also know I am an ardent supporter of Governor Ibrahim Shekarau’s cause to be elected president this year. And so recently I was asked why I take such a stand and being one to stand on the path of reason I did so as follows.
1) He has the necessary political experience being a two term Governor of a state as important as Kano.
2) He is intelligent, cool, calm, collected and has the leadership charisma. He’s the kind of person you’ll be bold/proud to point out as your president. As was seen at the recent Presidential debates he was the only candidate that addressed the issues sensibly. Showing within those hours that he was a candidate with a clear thought mission, well informed of our national challenges and realistically having ideas on how to tackle them. Contrast this to Nuhu Ribadu who debated exuberantly like a school boy Student Union President, Buhari who had his head in the clouds or President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (JEG) who kept on riding his luck and failing to inspire confidence.
3) He is a fine gentleman devoid of ethnic and religious sentiments who in the past 8 years has been able to greatly ensure peace and stability in Kano as diverse as it is.
4) He is a sound policy maker, who does his homework well and consults extensively before swinging into action. Agreed there might have been a few contentious issues but all said and done Governor Ibrahim Shekarau’s is an honest, hardworking, modest and incorrupt leader who did a fair job in Kano State.
5) He is a humble man; you can’t but be enthralled if you read up on his rise to the post of Governor from being a mere civil servant. He also is very diplomatic, and few exist who can objectively speak badly of him.
6) Real recognizes real; no wonder Pat Utomi also endorses him.
7) Compared to the competition, he is the best choice. Buhari truncated democracy in the past and has no moral right to aspire to be President. Nuhu is simply not up to standard and inexperienced. Jonathan is not his own man and doesn’t have the mettle of a president.