Saturday, May 25, 2019

Our umpire has gone mad again

Our umpire has gone mad again
February 16
11:02 2019

Something is very wrong with us. Like we have been condemned eternally not to be able to do anything right.

As a country we have a way of reinventing our own peculiar mess apology to Chief Adegoke Adelabu of the Penkelemesi fame.

I have borrowed the title of Ola Rotimi’s play, ‘Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again’ to write that INEC, our umpire has gone mad again.

As a country we have 4years to plan for this election. It is like a case of a man whose wife is pregnant and running helter skelter on day of delivery for baby cloths when he had 9 months notice from the day he put the wife in a family way. INEC has no excuse for this national embarrassment that just happened again. This is the 3rd time national elections will be shifted since 2011. If INEC has not learned anything about planning its logistics in 5 election cycles then we have a very big problem.

In fairness, the Federal Government gave INEC everything it asked for – money and human resources. For the first time, INEC got every kobo it asked for without any back and forth.

President Buhari is already in Daura to Vote. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Lagos to Vote. Former Vice President Abubakar Atiku and former Governor Peter Obi already in their communities in Adamawa and Anambra to vote. The Senatorial and Reps candidates are in their communities too to vote.

They are all looking forward to today’s election and praying that the anxiety and nightmare will end – win or lose.

Parties and candidates have spent money.

By this one week shift, INEC has imposed extra week of election spending on the candidates many of whom had prayed it will all end today and can have their lives back.

It is so sad INEC cant get its logistics right. Why wait till Friday to move election materials in a country as big as Nigeria. Movement of election materials should have started on Monday and by Wednesday or Thursday all sensitive and non sensitive materials should have been safely delivered to INEC State offices with tight security arrangement or at best put in Central Bank State offices where distribution to local governments should start on Friday. This is not rocket science. INEC messed up.

Yet, when you ask INEC chairman of his level of preparation for this election he was always quick to say his commission is ready. Where is his much avowed readiness now with the spectacles of national shame he created for the country? Professor Mahmud has consistently said INEC is ready since last year. This is an INEC chairman who with his National Commissioners set dates for national elections no one forced on them and they cant keep it. Very shameful.

And to those spining conspiracies. It is normal. Most Nigerians live on conspiracies. Even where non exists trust many Nigerians to manufacture plenty conspiracy theories.

In case many have forgotten and to those who are already cursing their country. Elections have been postponed in many countries around the world due to poor logistics. It is not something that has never happened before. The issue for me is that INEC should have been better planning its logistics. We have had 5 national elections since 1999. Five election cycles are enough for INEC to learn how to have seamless election planning. Waiting till election eve to announce postponement is totally uncalled for.

The bigger concern now is the security of election materials already distributed. How will INEC ensure their integrity and they do not get into wrong hands.

And PDP should shut the hell up. The party has no moral right to gallivant over this national misfortune. This is not what didnt happen under PDP administration. It happened in 2011 and 2015.

In fact, in 2011 the Presidential election was cancelled midway into the election on election day. By 12noon voting had started in some states and some states had not got election materials. President Jonathan was in Otuoke and by 2pm he couldn’t vote in 2011 Presidential election. INEC leadership under Professor Attahiru Jega met around 2pm on election day and cancelled the election. It was shifted by a week to perfect logistics.

In 2015, it was not INEC problem but a government contrived postponement of 6 weeks. What happened yesterday was INEC’s problem not a government contrived postponement like we had in 2015.

While one week shift is painful and costly for the country it is also disruptive for citizens who had travelled and those who have social functions fixed for next week Saturday.

I hope INEC will conduct a very good election next week to compensate for the mess it created.


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1 Comment

  1. emmy
    emmy February 16, 19:39

    Tope I guess you are also one of them by jabbing at PDP for Jega’s coup against Jonathan thereby abusing the free hand the former President gave him, inspire of public knowledge of Jega’s partisanship. I think it is you who should shut up for your gross political naivety or else hypocrisy by blaming PDP for 2015 INEC mischief.

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