Posted by News Express | 23 February 2015 | 3,398 times
The publisher of Ovation magazine, Dele Momodu has expressed a fear that Nigeria may witness a repeat of the June 12 1993 elections crisis in the forthcoming polls in March and April.
Momodu said this as a guest of HEDA Resource Centre, Lagos, at its weekly tweet session tagged Monday Tango.
Speaking on the topic: 2015 General Elections: Nigeria’s Democratic Transition and Repeat of History, the presidential candidate under the platform of the NCP (National Conscience Party) in 2011 elections, said he had anticipated the current political state of events in the country, and compared them to the June 12, 1993 elections.
“The body language of (the Nigerian) President and the composition of his campaign warriors indicate similarities to June 12,” he said.
According to him, “there is no doubt about the mortal fear the present ruling class has for (General Muhammadu) Buhari’s candidacy and what they plan to do.”
He postulated that the nationwide landslide victory of Chief M.K.O Abiola led to the annulment of the 1993 elections, by the Babangida-led military administration, resulting in the ensuing general chaos that bedeviled the country for over five years.
Momodu justified his juxtaposition of the coming 2015 elections with the 1993 scenario by stating that the Nigerian “military was reported on February 3 as being totally ready for the elections but stories changed by February 6’ as ‘the NSA had hinted at Chattam House London about the plans (to postpone the elections) but many thought it was a bad joke.
”On the possible lessons for stakeholders in the current transition program, Momodu posited that politicians need to be reminded that democracy is not monarchy. “It is a privilege, not a right,” he said.
He added that the only way to secure a second term is through performance and not about a phantom zoning formula.
Momodu further stated that “African leaders (generally) must stop this perennial embarrassment of holding fastidiously to power”, warning that all “voters and, indeed, every Nigerian must be more than vigilant because this (forthcoming) elections would be like no other.”
He also opined that because the ruling party Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) had been in power for 16 years and (has) intricately entrenched within the system, it won’t go without a fight.
He likened the Nigerian situation to what happened in Iraq, Libya, Ivory Coast and other countries, and concluded that “it is not always easy to dislodge parasites of power and wealth.”
On the harassment of the INEC by security chiefs and blackmail by members and friends of ruling party, Momodu stated that no matter the threats of blackmail, Nigerians are united behind this INEC.
He admonished the chairman of the electoral body to remain steadfast and firm. “Prof Jega should stand firm to the end”, he said, adding that, “Prof Jega is very close to succeeding where many others have failed, and if he ends well, history would be kind to him and his team.”
Warning the military, Momodu stated that Nigeria had one of the best military forces in Africa. He cautioned the military to resist every attempt to drag them into “murky waters of politics.”
In his words: “A greater future awaits (the Nigerian) military if they remain professional and keep their loyalty to the nation and not any political party.”
He tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to fight those in the corridors of power, trying to mislead him into perdition. He said Jonathan “should work hard to win or lose a clean election as nothing else could be more glorifying.”
Momodu advised the opposition political parties to display maturity, discipline and be focused. “Opposition political parties should maintain focus and desist from heating up the polity s change will come, no matter the obstacles.”
The session ended with Momodu advising Nigerians to be more determined and prayerful in order to facilitate a progressive Nigeria and to, ‘break down (the) walls of backwardness’.
•Photo shows Dele Momodu.
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