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“IWU MUST GO,” NIGERIANS INSIST

Note: First published on April 5, 2008. The “published” date on the bar is the date that it was uploaded on this new site. The issues (not necessarily the personae) in this piece are still quite current in the society. This info is to avoid your mistaking the piece as current news.

This is “No Bullshitting,” by Harry Agina.

Hello, folks!

Is Umaru Musa Yar’Adua the Messiah that Nigerians have always prayed for? Since his emergence as president, I have always thought that he is. I am not naïve to believe that the man is a saint, no sir, no ma’am! Nobody is a saint! I have my hopes on him because he seems to listen to the heartbeat of the nation and the collective voice of Nigerians. One might even say that I am a Yar’Adua apologist, just as I was an ardent critic of Obasanjo during his reign of terror.

          Yar’Adua’s rule of law policy, and his sensitivity to the opinions and the will of Nigerians are simply the bam! Well, at least I thought so. I even wagered with some of my friends that Yar’Adua is the Nigerian messiah. You may then understand my dilemma as he refuses to boot Professor Maurice Iwu out of INEC as being clamored for by Nigerians. I have a major problem that my dear President Musa Yar’Adua has forsaken me, his ardent apologist and supporter. He seems to have forsaken the rest of the people of Nigeria who have fallen in love with his style and moves so far. He has pitched his tent with Professor Maurice Iwu and the forces behind him in the raging INEC controversy.

          Virtually everyday since he took office, President Yar’Adua has courageously dismantled one evil Obasanjo legacy after the other. The list is long, and his acts very impressive to Nigerians who have applauded him every step of the way. His very first act of reversing Obasanjo’s vindictive swan song fuel price hike and VAT increase were simply the bam! He has just freed Nigeria’s economic planning from the political intrigues that have always retarded progress in many ways. And, of course, there are so many more acts in-between, which have endeared Yar’Adua to Nigerians. They include the reversal of Obasanjo’s dubious sell of the nation’s oil refineries. Not to forget Yar’Adua’s declaration of his assets to the nation. We can’t quickly forget his November 2007 act either. He reversed some of Obasanjo’s controversial land deals in the federal capital, Abuja. Indeed, President Yar’Adua has earned the love of many Nigerians as a ‘possible’ true democrat, and a ‘possible’ messiah. I emphasize the word possible because many of Nigeria’s politicians do start off similarly well, until…

          Anyway, Yar’Adua has so far portrayed himself as a considerate, sensible, sensitive man. Perhaps most importantly, he seems to be a listening president. He seems to truly care about the will of the people. This is why every discerning political watcher is asking the big questions: What’s Up with The Professor Iwu electoral debacle? Where is our listening president? A lot of Nigerians believe that Iwu’s INEC really should have been the first Obasanjo legacy to dismantle. Why is our otherwise listening president not listening to the loud call of Nigerians to remove Professor Iwu from INEC? Who stole our Listening President? If I had a chance to chat with Yar’Adua on this matter, my questions to him would be plentiful. Most of them would imply that I am convinced that something is wrong somewhere. My humble address would be similar to the following:

          “Really, Mr. President, sir, is everything okay? You are not behaving like your usual listening man of integrity. I have come to defend you so vehemently these past ten months or so, for that quality. My dear Mr. President, I really do love you so far, so what’s going on now? Mind you, I am not one to use the word ‘dear’ in a frivolous manner. When I do use the word, the person is really and truly dear to my heart, no hypocrisy! I have defended you on nearly every move you have made so far as our president. But, honestly, I am finding it increasingly difficult to defend your action, or inaction, on the raging Professor Iwu controversy.

          “Sir, every political watcher that has observed your nature so far has to speculate a few things about what might be going on. We wonder what is going on within your government and your PDP about INEC and its boss, Professor Maurice Iwu. The questions are: Are you implying that Iwu performed creditably? Or, is it that you cannot find another Nigerian with some integrity that can do the job? Ordinarily, this question would not arise, because Nigerians know your answer. You have consistently affirmed that the 2007 elections were below expectations. I have borrowed your understandable modest assessment, to put it mildly. Actually, the entire world does insist that Iwu’s elections constituted the worst electoral sham in the history of global democracy. But we do not mind your modest assessment, which is too kind to Iwu and his cohorts. The important thing is that you have never endorsed Iwu’s electoral fraud and total inefficiency. That is good enough for us, considering the prevailing circumstances.

          “Dear sir,” I would continue, “have you really been following your people’s cry for the removal of Iwu right from the days of the 2007 elections? Have you noticed that it is getting louder as the tribunal indictments on him increase everyday? What has happened to your listening-ear, and sensitivity to your people’s yearnings? We have fallen in love with that character, sir; so, don’t change now. My favorite American star of “Sanford And Son” TV drama series would say—this is the big one. Are the do-or-die garrison commanders holding you to ransom on this one?

          “If so, please find a way and free yourself from their grip, whatever it may be. Call their bluff for the sake of Nigeria! Whatever they promised Iwu for his hatchet-job should not be binding on you, and you are in control now. If they are employing their usual evil tool of blackmail, please call their bluff in the interest of Nigeria. Nigerians will stand solidly behind you no matter what they are blackmailing you with. Do remember the case of Governor Ngige in Anambra State. He damned the consequences of their blackmail and intimidation in the interest of the people. Ngige, and not the cabal, became the hero in Anambra because he fought for Anambra State. Anambrarians are discerning people. We know that Ngige’s wrongdoing could not compare with the atrocities committed by the cabal that has held this nation to ransom for too long.

          “So, dear Mr. President, no matter what past dirt they may be blackmailing you with, if any, Nigerians are willing to forgive you. You do seem to be the Messiah that we have prayed for. After all, we would be stupid to think that you are not human like the rest of us who must have some human flaws. Once again, whatever the problem, damn the consequences and remove Iwu as demanded by Nigerians. Not to worry, if the tribunal voids your presidency due to Iwu and Obasanjo’s electoral fraud, we shall vote you right back in.”

          Professor Maurice Iwu is definitely, absolutely, conclusively, morally unqualified to conduct any more elections in this country. Sometimes I am not sure which of the man’s two key characteristics to call more grievous. Do I condemn him more for selling his integrity to Obasanjo and his cabal? Or, should I hate him more for his unrepentant and arrogant demeanor after the fact. For crying out loud, the man goes about insulting Nigerians every fucking day. His remarks are so irresponsible and hypocritical, and with so much impunity. All this suggests that there is more than meets the eye in the entire INEC deal! We already know that Iwu has no integrity to quit the office. Iwu is like the rest of the so-called leaders foisted on us by Mr. Do-Or-Die Obasanjo. So, we know that he is not leaving until we drag him out of the office. Madam Speaker of The House took the same Obasanjo trademark stance. Heck, Mr. Do-or-Die himself had to be dragged out of Aso Rock, kicking and yelling!

          I know that I am repeating myself to say that I am honestly running out of excuses for President Yar’Adua among my friends. I constantly rebuke them as soon as they open their mouths to utter a bad word against him. When they say that he is slow to act on matters, I disagree. I have always insisted that he is being wisely ‘deliberate’, and not slow. Mr. President is now crossing the line of my definition of ‘deliberate.’ He is taking too long to act on Iwu’s matter, meeeeeeeeeen!!!

          Nigerians should not allow Iwu to rerun the gubernatorial elections annulled by the tribunals. Our representatives, the National Assembly should represent our will and do something about it. But we all know that their hands are tied and we know why, too. They are compromised! The world would scorn us and laugh at us if Iwu does not leave office very, very, soon. Indeed, the world is already wondering what the fuck the man is still doing there. Iwu Must Really Go…No Bullshitting!

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