By Austen Akhagbeme
The fragrant dismissal of the EU’s report on the just concluded general elections in Nigeria by President Tinubu’s handlers, speaks volumes about what to expect in days to come.
One of the many signs of a potentially aggressive and intolerant regime regarding free speech and dissent is the type of arrogance displayed by the President’s handlers in their outright and proverbial throwing away of the baby with the bath water, such as we are witnessing now, by the shocking attitude of the likes of the esteemed special adviser to the president on special duties, communication and strategy, Mr Dele Alake.
The President’s handlers did not even consider the fact that the EU were a major stakeholder in terms of the sponsorship of the election and therefore, part of the many pipers that must dictate the tone for the electoral body and their abstract appurtenances.
What Nigeria needs now is someone to tell us the truth no matter how bitter, as long as it can lead us to permanent solutions to our myriad of electoral inanities and missteps. It is on this premise that I would like to give it to the EU, having truly and thoroughly exposed the prevalent infirmity suffered by INEC and its processes.
The funny accusation by Dele Alake that the EU is “not objective in all their assessments of the internal affairs” of Nigeria and therefore, should allow Nigeria to breathe, is unwholesome and smacked of someone playing the Ostrich with information already in the public domain.
The nightmares that accompanied the conduct of the 2023 general elections are well known. So, I wouldn’t like to go into it, to avoid sounding like a broken record or an ailing canary.
But the fact that the EU is identifying and proffering solutions to such shenanigans in their report is something that must be embraced by true lovers and friends of Nigeria.
But those who chose to play politics, as though they’re still on the campaign rallies, leave much to be desired. What did the EU say in their report that cannot be understood and swallowed by the powers that be and their aggressive mouthpiece?
They only called for further operational reform to enhance inclusiveness, transparency and accountability to strengthen the systemic weaknesses of the status quo by providing a six-point solution to our electoral malady.
Let someone tell Dele Alake and his team that we have for a long time, left the campaign grounds where anything and everything goes. What Nigeria wants is a lasting solution to our flawed systems of which the conduct of election and leadership recruitment is an integral part.
Let us wear the truth like a badge while jettisoning politicking for once, for the sake of national peace and progress.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online