OVERTURNING the order of the 2019 general elections schedule by Nigeria’s National Assembly (NASS) truly generated the expected reactions and furore that any keen observer of the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government knew it would.
Quite out of turn was the rant of the supposedly “independent” Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the effect that INEC would challenge the new order by the National Assembly at the Supreme Court; quite simply, INEC favours a particular outcome at next year’s general elections and anyone can easily guess which political party INEC is rooting for.
This state of affair would be akin to a Premier League football referee doing a couple of flips in celebration when, say, Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club scored against Arsenal Football Club.
Objectively speaking, INEC need not worry about this new ordering by NASS because “Nigeria has exited recession” and “this APC government has created millions of jobs” according to Lai Mohammed, “external reserve is growing” and “Boko Haram has been completely decimated,” etc., thus Nigerians should be happy to stick to APC come 2019. But INEC is panicking and this electoral body has warned politicians against “vote-buying” and all.
Now, enters the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, the Senate want-away Ibrahim Magu, paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu, and thence EFCC warned that “spending by politicians would be closely monitored.” Talk of a Big Brother Nigeria in the true sense and EFCC is it.
The linearization of opinions by INEC and EFCC has just undermined democracy itself because politicians must canvass for votes and they must spend money to get attention in the first place; if a politician’s domain is broad and he is surrounded by rivals and he has the wherewithal to do grassroots campaign outreaches he must necessarily spend.
This INEC-EFCC link-up, designed to scare opposition elements off, is Nigeria’s “Axis of Fear.”
Thirty-four years after Muhammadu Buhari unnecessarily truncated a vibrant democracy and sowed fear in the minds of Second Republic politicians, he and his henchmen are at work again instilling fear in the body of polity.
- Adole Jonah,