By Ini Morgan
From reliable reports on the Ekiti governorship election, apart from the few pre-election comic relief and theatrics displayed by Governor Ayodele Fayose during the processes to the election, the recently concluded election in the State was adjudged free and peaceful. Though there are questions as to whether the election was fair and credible, that is now a matter for the courts to adjudicate. Nevertheless, it has produced a Governor-elect for Ekiti State and the people.
While well-intent Nigerians are congratulating Dr John Kayode Fayemi on his victory at the polls, it is necessary to take another look at the challenge thrown up by the kind of politics Chief Olusegun Obasanjo introduced, tolerated and allowed in our polity during the processes that led to the transitional presidential election of 2007. The Professor Maurice Iwu led Independent National Electoral Commission was a statement in electoral manipulation, which never cared about generating gross, open and despicable scandals.
Chief Obasanjo openly arm-twisted the electoral processes of the 2007 general elections and left behind the culture of executive impunity, cultism, electoral violence and political impositions. These are, today, the major challenges of the Buhari administration, a burden the administration is tackling head long. The challenges of executive impunity, cultism and political impositions, how they are allowed to affect our electoral process to activate violence, especially in the States of the federation, and the manner with which these are now dealt with, must be clear to all Nigerians to avoid existential narratives that demonized the efforts of this present administration at tackling herdsmen killing in sections of the country.
It is the believe of many Nigerians that Chief Obasanjo should be declared a political risk in Nigeria and he should be politically restricted from frustrating the efforts made at correcting the political distortions he introduced, tolerated and still promoting in our national politics because he needs to continually massage his ego: he thinks “nobody is better than Obasanjo”.
On Saturday, 14 July 2018, in Ibedu clan in Nsit Atai Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the Nigerian Police in the State combated a group of youths who engaged and attempted to prevent them from carrying out their lawful duties during a political process for which they were called to ensure safety of lives and properties. The first error of judgment in this unfortunate incidence was in the attempt by the youths to take laws into their hands in the presence of security operatives sent to ensure law and order. There was nothing the police operatives could do when their persuasions for orderliness failed and they were openly and threateningly confronted.
Of course, these youths are used to having security operatives watch them accomplished whatever they set to accomplish during political meetings, at the time when the authority in the State was in support and behind them. There was a time in this country when security operatives got involved in politics and fought themselves in two opposite camps to vacate their assignments given by the political elites they serve. So it is a good measure when operatives following a political figure during elections are regulated.
The error of judgment among Nigerians that the manner in which government approaches and vacates the successes recorded in a self-propelled exercise like an election should be the same way crimes, particularly the herdsmen killing, should be approached and tackled. Where these caliber of thinkers fail in the process of their thoughts is that self-propelled exercises are not the same as preemptive crimes.
It is much easier to provide temporary security measures to cgoodct a successful election than to provide sustaining security measures to tackle recurrent crimes in a community.