By James Igiri
No right thinking Igede son or daughter would ever be happy watching the political vacuum at the National Assembly but that is the reality that stares us in the face occasioned by our collective action or inaction.
This unhealthy drama began to unfold when political stakeholders, the Traditional rulers and the self -centered business men and women shied away from the truth and its execution contrary to the age long tradition of the ancient Igede kingdom
The robbery of social values manifested long ago when the body languages of the contemporary actors outrightly and wittingly denied the right people of viable political platforms as to favourably and formidably lock horns for House of Representatives race in Igede political system.
People with the right attitude and altitude;right education, demeanour, candour,maturity and integrity expected of the mascot of Igede Nation to the world.
Yes, it was nothing but the battle for the survival of the fittest and the elimination of the unfits not minding the charismatic qualities that the helpless Igede masses are endlessly yearning for in their leaders.
Before you are carried away by syntactic beauty and the import of this essay is lost on you,the ‘festival’ is the House of Representatives election. The Dancers are the six contestants being narrowed down to three at the Tribunal, pleading for justice .
What could be more misleading than the frequently fruitless celebrations from the camp of APGA candidate? Aside several fake notifications that David Ogewu who was forcefully declared winner of the election for Oju/Obi Federal House of Representatives has been given a certificate of Return from Abuja, under the instruction of General Yakubu Gowon, the former Head of State who they claimed is Ogewu ‘s in-law,we are again inundated by the seamless wild and of course,weird celebration for achieving the improbable feat.haba mana!
In an atmosphere of contradiction and self delusion and in an ambiance reminiscent of desperation, Ogewu had approached Abuja Regular High court seeking reliefs,inter-alia, the collection of the ill-acclaimed certificate of return and was turned down for lack of merit,ignominiously.
The tribunal that is constitutionally empowered to rationalize electoral challenges for the said election sitting in makurdi, had successfully carried out thorough cross examinations on whether or not, Ogewu ‘s declaration could hold water awaiting the final ruling. However,cagey about the expected outcome,Ogewu had to approach the appeal court and secured a 20-million naira order requesting INEC to as a matter of urgency,issue Certificate of Return to the declared winner( under duress).Understandably, that is the law as the issue of duress is alien to Nigerian constitution. But how long will that subsist is the question.
It is not uncommon, that several moves by majority of Oju people who are ogewu’s loan- lenders and anticipated business – political jobbers who felt that certain known legal lapses (lacuna ) in electoral act, could be leaned upon to redeemed ogewu’s despicable act have had their way,in their constricted prism,though and to achieve their perishable goal, pastor (Barrister)Joshua Alobo,of all the array of Lawyers in Igede,became the willing tool in the hands of his cousin’s traducers to achieve their malevolent aim.
Of course, corruption in Nigeria can neither be tamed nor destroyed but can transmute from one form to another, even as judiciary,the bastion of hope of the common man,has ceased,in most instances,to savour its taste and answer its true name. It has regrettably slide into the abyss and only the rich and mighty can procure a favourable judgement!Thus, Ogewu’s supporters had of course, gotten temporary relief from appeal court pending the pregnant ruling by Election Petitions Tribunal and as usual, an empty,perishable and transient jubilation has engulfed Oju town over the verdict. Yes, one may ask : at what point should the winner of court case involving electoral matter as this celebrate?
Indeed, this legal drama is time bound. A tribunal by law, has 180 days to expire and this will be on the 14th of September. House of Representatives electoral litigations terminate at Appeal Court to be determined within sixty days,if filed within 21days as stipulated, that would be sometime in Novembe 2019.
Meanwhile,the National Assembly is in a recess to reconvene on the17th of September,2019 when already,National and State Houses of Assembly election petitions tribunal must have given a lucid judgment. Isn’t that effort in futility if the tribunal rules otherwise? N20 millions expended would have taken Odiapa bridge near completion.
Perhaps, INEC will obey the court order and Ogewu might lay hand on his ill-gotten certificate of return any moment but the fact remains,for purpose of emphasis, that the National Assembly is on break to resume by 17th of September 2019.If however, tribunal rules before and against him, who takes the oath of office to genuinely represent Igedenation at 9th Assembly?
In as much as we have already robbed ourselves of certain rights and privileges in the 9th Assembly leadership formation, it is more fashionable and healthy to watch the game before beating the drums for euphoric celebrations. The paramount question is who will add value to the development trajectory of IgedeNation and not emasculate the hopes and aspirations of the people for personal pecuniary gains?
James Igiri writes from Makurdi.