NORTH KOREA PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER
"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS MCGREGOR

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS McGREGOR

ICHEOKU says August 26 is the day history will be made as two of the world's most interesting athletes square off in the ring. Boxing champion Floyd MayWeather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor, will fight on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ICHEOKU says not in a position yet to place bet on who will win the fight. Salute


BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to of their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide in their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.




"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MAURICE IWU AND A NATION OF PRAISE-SINGERS, SHORT ON MEMORY!

It is incredible as it is nauseating that the man who truncated democracy in Nigeria is being feted and celebrated as if the proper thing to do in Nigeria is to honor criminality. Maurice Iwu that is, the Chairman of Nigeria's "Independent" National Electoral Commission(INEC) who Olusegun Obasanjo used to rubbish democracy in Nigeria was hosted by his electoral-beneficiaries in Imo State, Nigeria recently. The question really should be, why was this man celebrated when the whole world wrote the election he conducted in Nigeria off as the worst charade in any democracy anywhere in the world. Maurice Iwu was scored "F" across the board by election observers who witnessed his idea of an election which took place in 2007 Nigeria. Virtually all the elections he conducted were subject to court challenges with many of them being over-turned and even the presidential one is still before the Supreme Court of Nigeria. A nation of town-criers, Nigeria is and today they are singing the praises of this despicable son of a bitch, Maurice Iwu!
According to the Tunde Ogbeha chaired committee, the reception is in "recognition of the man’s effort in conducting the 2007 general elections. As the nation’s Chief Electoral Officer he faced serious problems, some of which were unprecedented in Nigerian politics. His tenacity ensured that Nigeria for the first time succeeded in transiting from one democratically elected government to another elected government. Prof. Iwu’s tenure as chairman of the electoral commission has also seen the introduction of various reforms in the electoral system, all aimed at jump-starting a troubled political system. For his dedicated service and tenacity and for being a major stabilising factor in Nigeria’s present day politics and government, the Committee invites all Nigerians to give honour to whom honour is due."
To this empty boastful citations, Icheoku says that Maurice Iwu was not the first person to organize a successful election in Nigeria as Humphery Nwosu holds that title. Furthermore, Maurice Iwu did not supervise any transition from one elected government to another but merely rubber-stamped Olusegun Obasanjo's hand-picked stooges, from the presidency to the local governments chairmen. Also no election was conducted in Nigeria under Maurice Iwu, but all the candidates for office were merely selected at the goodwill of Olusegun Obasanjo with those in opposition virtually wiped out of contention. As for the call for all Nigerians to honor whom honor is due, Icheoku says that only those Nigerians, beneficiaries of Olusegun Obasanjo dictatorship should bow before this very Maurice Iwu while the rest of the majority of Nigerians should patiently wait until a day of reckoning when Maurice Iwu will finally be disgraced out of relevance. As for the line-up of attendees, they owe their offices to Maurice Iwu since non of them was ever elected into the office they presently occupy nor could have won a fairly organized election into such an office. They have to go and slavishly genuflect before their master and mentor, Maurice Iwu, just to be in his good book for the next election cycle.

In conclusion, Icheoku says that Nigerians have seen the likes of these town-criers (otinkpus), who raise carnivals for whoever is in power only to walk over them when they are no longer in power. As for Maurice Iwu, he is a disappointment to educated folks, having fallen off the wagon and joined the rat-race that is a Nigerian with a price-tag! How can such a highly educated man be so condescending to Olusegun Obasanjo that he sold his candour with the shameless elections he conducted in Nigeria in 2007. Maurice Iwu should rather throw on some sack-clothes and dusted in ashes, mourn the decrepitude of candidates he imposed on Nigeria, including the very sick Umaru Yar'Adua, Mr. Slow-man, the sloth! What a legacy to leave for Nigeria courtesy of Maurice Iwu, yet he is being celebrated? What a nation of jesters at the king's court?

8 comments:

Ugo Harris Ukandu said...

Jos Violence has confirmed maurice iwu aND INEC AS national hero



By Ugo Harris Ukandu





From my location in Washington DC, I read a few essays written by many, following the National Reception and Thanksgiving held in honor of Dr. Maurice Iwu in December 2008 in Nigeria. I was moved by what a lot of people had to say at that Reception about Maurice Iwu and the elections he held for Nigeria in 2007. The piece by one Ibrahim Danlami, which I read from the YahooGroups Forum – ElectionsInNigeria - was so good that I decided to add one of my own – for better education of the Nigerian public on the rancorous subject of elections, past and present. Below is my contribution.





My father was killed in 1966 in Jos because as one of the leaders in the Igbo Union Organization of Northern Nigeria he was targeted for elimination for something he absolutely had nothing to do with. Many of my relatives were also killed and butchered in 1966 in Jos 32 years ago in addition to the other millions of other innocent Nigerians killed. These killings were all indirectly related to the 1966 election in Nigeria and the violence and the coup it brought in its wake. In Jos of 2008, echoes of 1966 are here again with Nigeria. My father’s soul would be sad indeed to see that this is happening again in 2008 just because of local elections (not even a national one like Iwu’s 2007 elections).





To recap, many lives and properties have been lost in the past just because of elections in Nigeria, but Dr. Maurice Iwu’s election of 2007 was the only one in the history of Nigeria that registered minimal loss of lives or destruction of property; and it is national election, not a local one like the Jos one or the one in Kano before Jos. Nigerians should be thanking God for Maurice Iwu and pray for the country to have another umpire in Iwu’s mould. This is what we should now be talking about. Iwu deserves many more national receptions and thanksgiving; and Nigeria should even consider some national atonement for attempting to deny the man his due in our history books.





Besides the obvious reasons, the 2007 election conducted by Dr. Maurice Iwu was free and fair for many other reasons, often ignored by many. One, the election was without any significant level of violence that you would notice in the Kenyan or Zimbabwean genre or the local ones in Nigeria like we saw in Kano and Jos. Two, the widespread use of credible legal/judicial system for resolving disputed election result was introduced markedly under Dr. Maurice Iwu for the first time in Nigerian history. Maurice Iwu encouraged legalisms over violence by taking an activist approach of encouraging politicians to seek legal remedies. If Dr. Maurice Iwu and INEC had conducted the elections in 1966 in Nigeria and the November 2008 election in Jos, things would have been better. We have 2007 as stark proof.







I am personally pained when I see the gang-up and personal attacks against Dr. Maurice Iwu and INEC. It is amazing that they forget that Maurice Iwu has done what nobody has been able to do in Nigerian history, and that is: holding election, declaring a result and transferring power from one civilian government to another. You can’t beat that, however hard you try. The champions of June 12, 1993 election as the best election in Nigerian history should recall one downside to that ‘election’, and that is: June 12 election was inconclusive and the results were not validated and as such it was not a valid election. Secondly, that election was marred by violence and fallouts that nearly led to another civil war in Nigeria. Thirdly, it claimed the lives of two principal characters – Abiola and Abacha. Fourthly, it led, for the first time, to calls for foreign military intervention in Nigeria, which the Clinton administration nearly heeded but for Abacha’s sudden death. In contrast, Maurice Iwu avoided all these in 2007.





Nigerians should, therefore, get over 2007 and prepare for the next national elections. That is what civilized countries do. In Africa of today, there are worst elections that are claiming lives and properties but those nations, like Kenya (coalition government) and Zimbabwe (sharing of power) still found a way to get to some closure. So, why is Nigeria, a country blessed with the likes of competent umpires like Maurice Iwu and his almost violence-free elections of 2007 still saddled with this sadistic lampooning of man and an institution that made Nigeria stable when it mattered most?





Part of the problem is that the opposition is frustrated and they are taking it out on Maurice Iwu and INEC. What the opposition needs to do is to learn from Ghana on how to organize an effective, election-winning opposition party. The opposition in Nigeria was not and is still not well organized to match or supplant the PDP. As presently constituted, opposition parties in Nigeria are nothing but personality cult of a few people, mostly maneuvered out of the PDP. They have not organized well to be a true opposition party with sufficient mass appeal and organizational structures to win elections of national magnitude. They cannot defeat PDP with such lax organization and personality cult of people, some with doubtful character and fitness for public office.





Finally, Nigerian politicians should learn to accept defeat and quit this infantile tendency of blaming the umpire for every flaw that they know wouldn’t have been present but for their own proclivity for dirty politics.





Ukandu Harris Ukandu
Nigeria Democracy and Justice Project
Washington, DC

Anonymous said...

i just hope that this mr.ukandu was merely being sarcastic with his comments or what elections was he talking about? the election or selection 2007 was a glorified rites of passage for olusegun obasanjo's hand-picked ass-lickers, period! viloence was averted because of the spineless, men who constituted the non-existent opposition, otherwise it would have been total anarchy and mayhem. moreso buhari is tainted by his overthrow of a democratic elected shagari government and hence has no standing to call for real elections couple to the fact of bartholome owo & co whom he killed based on a retroactive drug decree. atiku lacked the moral grounds also, seen as one of the henchmen who lost out in the power struggle. were there to be a meaningful opposition leader to mobilise nigeria, maybe nigeria would still be fighting till now. -concerned amina!

Anonymous said...

mr ukandu, the only reason the there was a seeming transfer of power was because the transferee was hand-picked by the transferor; otherwise there was no way in hell, a prospective third termer olusegun obasanjo would have transfered power to say atiku or buhari or orji. remember obasanjo swore over his dead body would he transfer power to atiku. anyway, the shame of accepting such an aberration is upon all nigerians.

Anonymous said...

INEC Lacks Independence, Says Uwais Committee
By Chesa Chesa Snr State House Correspondent, Abuja

Top-down changes in the electoral process recommended by the Electoral Reforms Committee (ERC) were on Thursday enthusiastically received by President Umaru Yar'Adua, who did not disagree with the view of the ERC that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks autonomy.

The changes include the establishment of an Electoral Offences Commission (EOC) and Political Parties Registration and Regulatory Commission (PPRRC).

The report of the ERC, presented to Yar'Adua in Abuja by its Chairman, former Chief Justice Muhammad Uwais, also canvassed the creation of a Constituency Delimitation Commission (DCD) and the re-introduction of independent candidates in all elections, as part of efforts to ensure free and fair polls.

The report confirmed the story Daily Independent exclusively published on Wednesday.

Yar'Adua set up the ERC in August last year to "examine the entire electoral process with a view to ensuring that we raise the quality and standard of our general elections and deepen our democracy."

On Thursday, Uwais said it "established that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SEICs) lack the requisite independence. This is a key deficiency of our electoral process."

The ERC acknowledged that some of the recommendations will require legislative backing and the re-allocation of the functions of existing electoral bodies.

This made it to attach to the report three draft Bills to amend the Constitution and the Electoral Act, and to create the EOC.

It proposed ways to address the composition, autonomy, and funding of the INEC and the SEICs, said Uwais, who stressed the need to "promote greater inclusiveness and minimise both pre-and post election tension.

"In this regard, the Committee has recommended proportional representation in elections to the legislatures and local government councils. The advantages of the proportional representation system are its inclusiveness, simplicity, and accountability.

"It promotes universal suffrage by ensuring that all votes are of equal value, that no valid vote cast is rendered useless, ineffective or wasted, as all votes cast nationwide or statewide or local government area-wide, as the case may be, are taken into account.

"It also facilitates the representation of women and other disadvantaged groups in the legislature and the local government councils."

And the ERC made recommendations to improve the efficiency of other election related institutions, especially the National Assembly, the executive, the judiciary, the political parties, security agencies, civil society organisations, the media, and indeed the general public.

"Election mindsets are part of the elements that determine the success of election practices; and the mindsets of Nigerians are not only generally negative but also irrational.

"Therefore, appropriate recommendations have been made aimed at changing this attitude so as to minimise electoral violence and rigging, and enhance the building of lasting democratic institutions and culture."

Uwais maintained that the ERC is "firmly convinced that the acceptance and implementation of the recommendations in the report will significantly restore credibility to the Nigeria electoral process and usher in an era of free, fair and credible elections that will conform to international best practices."

The ERC consulted with individuals, institutions, states, and councils, and received 1,466 memoranda, held public hearings in 12 states and Abuja, at which 907 representations were made.

Experts came from 11 countries, but the committee members made no foreign trips.

Yar'Adua promised that the government would ensure that the recommendations are fully implemented, in order to guarantee credible elections.

"Our focus on the electoral reform is predicated on the belief that elections are the very heart of democracy," he stressed, "hence they must not only be fair but they must also be seen to be so by our people and the rest of the world.

"We will carefully study and implement with the support of the National Assembly those recommendations that will guarantee popular participation, ensure fairness and justice, and bring credibility to the electoral process in Nigeria.

"It is our abiding belief that failure in instituting an acceptable process by which the representatives of the people are chosen will definitely resort in failure in the long run.

"For us to succeed in our effort, however, we need the buy-in of all stakeholders: politicians, the media, civil society and indeed all Nigerians.

"Nurturing and sustaining a credible electoral regime indeed entail the co-operation and magnanimity of a winner who can appreciate the burden of responsibility, and gallant losers who will gracefully accept defeat in the certainty of the process if the process is fair.

"From inception this administration has considered it a sacred mandate to institute deep and elaborate reforms that will lead to the restoration of the integrity of the electoral system in this country, and to ensure that future elections will meet minimum acceptable international standards."

Anonymous said...

Iwu should be removed —Abubakar Rimi
By Sun News Publishing
Saturday, December 13, 2008


•Prof. Maurice Iwu
Photo: Sun News Publishing
More Stories on This Section

Former Governor of the old Kano State, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, to resign from office.
Speaking, yesterday, after the Supreme Court declared that President Umar Yar’Adua was validly elected, he said that the INEC should be reorganized and Iwu removed.

The former governor said: “Well, the judgment is good, because they listened to all the sides and all the issues raised were critically examined; ach side heard fairly and adequately. The court has given its verdict. In my view, it was a good judgment… But my assessment of the whole thing, is that INEC is the culprit; it was INEC , which caused all these, because it was INEC that didn’t do its homework properly.

“I think INEC should be re-organized and most importantly, Prof Iwu must be remove from INEC. If you want free, fair and transparent election, Prof Iwu can’t conduct it. INEC has been indicted in all election cases. In all the cases in court you find that INEC had been flawed as in this case of the presidential election.

PDP, being a beneficiary of the INEC poor performance, do you think Yar’Adua could muster the courage to do away with Iwu ?
You, see INEC should be reorganized and in the process of that reorganization Iwu and some of the commissioners must be removed.

You think Yar’Adu can do that ?
Yes, he must have the courage to do that, otherwise, if there is another election anytime, we will have the same experience. Is it not the same Iwu who said the election conducted in Nigeria was better that the one conducted in America? Look at what Ghana just did. I think we should be leading the rest of Africa in the conduct of free and fair election.

Anonymous said...

Iwu's guber ambition rocks Imo
• May quit as INEC boss; shops for successor
From CHUKS EHIRIM; Abuja and STEVE UZOECHI; Owerri
SPECULATED governorship ambition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu is fast creating an unsettling political atmosphere in Imo.Those who had earlier dismissed the story as mere propaganda have begun to reappraise the situation as stunning revelations and inferences are being drawn from the speedily unfolding scenario. Iwu, “the kingmaker” according to close sources suddenly began to covet the throne following what insiders described as his fast-increasing financial profile.He reportedly commenced his scheming for 2011 by forcing eight retiring INEC commissioners out of office in a manner that has left observers' tongue wagging. The exit of the commissioners were said to be unceremonious and in spite of the fact that they had the legal plank to contest their sudden retirement, they subtly acquiesced.Sources said the commissioners just like Iwu, had the legal provision to seek renewal of their appointments but because most of them were often at cross purposes with Iwu, they could not summon courage to do so before Iwu publicity announced their retirement and promptly arranged a farewell dinner for them. They all left the commission threatening a showdown against Iwu.At present, Iwu is working with only four nominal INEC commissioners who have since been cowed with the implication that the administration of INEC is largely unilateral. Beside the fact that there have been some massive recruitment in the INEC, of which a large chunk of the personnel are from Iwu's Imo State, it is believed that the new INEC commissioners when they are appointed would be induced or coerced into full allegiance to Iwu who has since assumed a larger than life image.It was also gathered that Iwu who is certainly not sure of another term as INEC chairman, is said to have been given the benefit of nominating his successor in the case of his exit and has already tipped the commissioner from Enugu state. With this scenario, it is also possible that Iwu has the power to either co-opt a commissioner into the mainstream of INEC business or marginalize him out of fruitful proceedings. This leaves the INEC commissioners without an alternative but loyalty to Iwu. At the Imo State home front, the Professor is said to have started aligning and realigning with several political power blocs in the course of establishing a formidable political structure. His romance with Chief Tony Ezenna, a billionaire businessman and politician has become a source of worry to many politicians on the opposite side.Iwu could not have gotten a better ally than Ezenna who is still fresh from the last gubernatorial polls and enjoys a good measure of grass root support, coupled with his solid financial muscles. Little wonder, Ezenna and his crowd of supporters threw their weight behind the contentious constituency delineation exercise proposed by Iwu to cede Ideato North and Ideato South Local Government Councils to Okigwe zone of Imo state. Imo State is made up of three geopolitical zones namely Orlu, Owerri and Okigwe. While Orlu zone has 12 Loccal Government Areas, Owerri zone has nine and Okigwe six making it the least populated electoral zone in state. During the last election, Ideato North and Ideato South LGAs were the constituency that polled the highest votes for Governor Ikedi Ohakim's emergence. Mapping Ideato North and Ideato South LGAs into Okigwe as designed by Iwu would merely create the balance and numerical strength needed by Iwu's Okigwe zone to favourably compete with candidates from other senatorial zones of the state. The thinking of Imo people is simply that Iwu's delineation programme was targeted at enlarging the voters population in Okigwe zone while depleting that of Orlu to give him a fair chance at the seat of power come 2011, since politics is a game of numbers. And bringing in Tony Ezenna who is from Ideato North into the Okigwe zone , would help him destabilize Governor Ikedi Ohakim's hold on the Okigwe electorate as Ezenna still has a great measure of control among the entire Ideato electorate . With Iwu's strangle-hold on the federal lawmaker, Rufus Omeire and the state legislators representing Ideato North and Ideato South - Louis Chukwu and Larry Ajaero respectively, Iwu would wield massive control over the Ideato Federal Constituency should his plot sail through. The INEC boss, by the way he is going is no stranger to political manipulations. He is gradually moving to ensure that neither Ohakim nor the former Governor, Chief Achike Udenwa has total control of the grass-root political structure of the state. One of his plots to maintain a strong grip on the grass-root was the unsuccessful attempt by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Cosmas Iwu to foist Mrs. Ngozi Anyikwa, a product of the Iwu-Ezenna liaison, as the overall chairman of all the Transition Committee Chairmen in Imo state. This would have given them the power to dictate to a large extent, the pace of political mobilization at the local government level to the detriment of Governor Ohakim. National Daily however gathered that the plot was thwarted by the combined forces of some core Ohakim loyalists who saw through the plot. Beside the alleged enlisting of foot soldiers to hijack the PDP state chairmanship seat, Iwu is in close romance with most of the PDP chairmanship candidates in the state. Such candidates as Chijoke Clement Anozie , who is a sworn stooge of Ezenna and Chief Osita Nwaneri a hardcore loyalist of Chief Hope Uzodinma, to mention a few. It is also no secret that Iwu at present, is courting Uzodinma's alliance to solidify his grand plot for 2011. Uzodinma was the runnerup to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume during the last PDP governorship primaries in Imo State . Though Uzodinma is one politician that cannot be ignored in Imo state, he is unfortunately, believed to have a long history of political treachery. The Secretary to the State Governemnt (SSG), Chief Cosmas Iwu, the younger brother to the INEC chairman also has a history of political betrayals staring him in the face, for which it would be suicidal for Ohakim to feign ignorance. While Cosmas Iwu was a top appointee of the Achike Udenwa's government , he betrayed Udenwa , and switched to Senator Araraume's camp. Infact , Cosmas Iwu was thrown out of Government House at gunpoint by Udenwa's radical in-law Eddy Olumba. The tyres of his official car were deflated, the car keys recovered from him before he was humiliated out of Udenwa's administration for divided loyalty. The SSG then pitched his tent with Araraume and when it mattered most, he dumped Araraume's organization to become the deputy governorship candidate to Tony Ezenna after a deal said to have been brokered by Professor Maurice Iwu. Cosmas eventually ended up as SSG in Governor Ikedi Ohakim's government. There is therefore no guarantee that Cosmas Iwu has no other betrayal up his sleeves. For starters, Chijioke Anozie, the fronts man for Chief Tony Ezenna is said to have become a regular visitor to Cosmas Iwu's house. One would wonder what Ezenna's arch loyalist would be doing in Iwu's house outside strategizing to unleash the process that would prepare ground for Iwu to run formidably against Ohakim in the 2011 gubernatorial election . It would also be instructive to point out that while all these hobnobbing are going on, Ezenna's Rainbow Coalition, the same political platform that would be used to launch Iwu's political ambition is still meeting regularly. Meanwhile, the recent report that Mr. President turned down Iwu's resignation could infer a lot of things. For one, it could imply that the INEC Chairman who is speculated to be worth over N9billion wanted to turn in his resignation and join the league of those who have already kick-started their 2011 gubernatorial project. For another, it is said that the report in question was planted by Iwu's aide in one of the national dailies, few days after INEC dished out a 10-page supplement to the same media outfit. It appears a well laid plot to hoodwink the public over the non-renewal of the appointment of eight INEC commissioners who were appointed alongside Iwu but were retired last August while Professor Iwu is in the process of effecting the renewal of his own appointment. In a reaction to the foregoing, a group under the umbrella, Okigwe Professionals called on the likes of Ezekiel Izuogu and Chief Achike Udenwa, the former governor of Imo state, to desist from mixing up Ideato politics with gubernatorial issues in Imo state. But speaking to National Daily in Abuja over the issue, the chief press secretary to Iwu, Mr. Andy Ezeami, dismissed the insinuation that his boss is nursing a governorship ambition in Imo state, as cheap blackmail. He wondered how people would derive pleasure in engaging in such “idle talks” stressing that Iwu has over- grown the position of a state governor and will never dream of that. How can people devote time and derive joy from such an idle gossip. As far as I am concerned, that is cheap blackmail. How can Professor Iwu descend as low as to wanting to become a state governor after heading an institution as big as INEC? Ezeami queried. He said that Iwu may want to aspire to a political office in future but that such office will certainly not be a state governor. He added that it would have made sense if the insinuation is that Iwu is preparing the way for younger brother, Cosmos, to take over from Ikedi Ohakim. “If they had said that Professor Iwu is making efforts to pave the way for his younger brother, Cosmos, to emerge Governor after Ohakim's first tenure, that would have been a bit reasonable for people to believe. But for anybody to say that Iwu wants to be the Governor of Imo state, I think that amounts to attempt to belittle the man. It is absolute nonsense”, he said.

Anonymous said...

NBA: Iwu, Threat to Democracy
From Hammed Shittu in Ilorin, 12.15.2008

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National President, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) , at the weekend, said that democracy would continue to be under threat in the country as long as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is under the leadership of its incumbent chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu. Akeredolu stated this in Ilorin , the Kwara state capital, at the annual lecture of Law Students' Society (LSS),University of Ilorin, entiltled, "The Role of Rule Law in a Democracy."
According to him, the verdicts of the various election petition tribunals supported the claim that the 2007 polls were fraught with irregularities. Akeredolu said that the various elections condcuted in Nigeria under the leadership of Professor Iwu were nothing to write home about.
His words: "Without mincing words, Professor Iwu-led INEC supervised the worst election in the annals of the nation. This was attested to not only by the international observers, but the verdicts delivered by the various election petitions tribunals.
"The elections organised by the successive military governments in the country were even more credible and acceptable than the one organised by Iwu. Even though as ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed INEC chairman, as someone who must demonstrate patriotism, he (Iwu) should not have taken directives from him."
The NBA National President, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Oluwole Aina (SAN), also blamed the recent Jos crisis on alleged rigging of the just concluded local government polls in the state, maintaining that the success of the nation's democracy would depend on President Umaru Yar'Adua's ability and political will.
The NBA boss also called on Yar'Adua's administration to back its support for the rule of law with political will.

But I want to plead with him that he should back it with political will. The support should go beyond the pronouncements of the Attorney General of the federation. In fact, the police should not wait for any directive from the Attorney-General before carrying out any court order or judgment, " he said. The guest lecturer condemned the do-or-die affair system of the politicians to win elections at all cost, saying such would only lead to chaos and violence in the country. He however, scored the political class low in the areas of provisions of infrastructures for the electorate, stressing that successive military governments performed better than civilian governments.

Anonymous said...

Soon, we’ll know who did what in 2007 election
By CHIDI OBINECHE
Saturday, December 27, 2008


•Prof Maurice Iwu
Photo:Sun News Publishing
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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Maurice Iwu, has blamed a small clique of wealthy Nigerians for the consistent media battering of the image of the commission over the conduct of the 2007 elections.
He said it was his refusal to concede to the clique’s request for the foisting of an interim national government that set them on the warpath with the commission, declaring that soon their identities will be made known.

Speaking in Oghara, Delta State, recently, after the commissioning of the National Electoral Institute, Ogbara Satellite Campus, Iwu said: “One of the saddest things is that the same people who were the apostles of third term are the ones who are saying they stopped third term. But when the history will be told, you will know who did what.

“But much more importantly, people who walked out because I didn’t allow Interim National Government are now using all kinds of strategies to make their points about how great democrats they are. Soon, Nigerians will get to know who did what.”

The INEC chairman denied that ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo could not control him in any way.
On the much-applauded general elections in Ghana, he said it came about through a system approach.
“What is happening in Ghana is a system approach. The people of Ghana want to be able to reform their system and they reformed it over time. In fact, they did the opposite. The electoral commission that is in Ghana is the same that has been there for over 12 years. They’re learning over time. They made their mistake, and they’ve corrected them but in our case we keep inventing. That’s not the way to run democracy,” he said.
He spoke on these and many others.

What is the idea behind the establishment of this electoral institute and that of Abuja, as well as the ongoing trainings in this regard in some of our leading universities? Why the emphasis on training?
The main office of the electoral institute is in Abuja. Through its establishment, we hope to achieve three things. One, training of our staff, in terms of capacity building to enable them to deliver. The second is research. I don’t believe in ad-hocism. Most of the problems plaguing us would be better solved through learning from our past. You see what others have done and look for how to advance better ways of doing them. That’s when research becomes a very important tool here. The third is INEC documentation. Right now, if someone is doing a research on electoral matters, you don’t even know where to get the documentation.

I was listening to a lawyer’s comment on television the other day, saying this is the first time the Supreme Court has had a split decision, and I just tried to imagine how ignorant he is. When Buhari took the former president (Olusegun Obasanjo) to court, it wasn’t a unanimous decision. Split decision has been part of the judicial system. So, if we make this type of things available for the people, they can see it for intellectual development.

Having said this, we then decided that we would partner some Nigerian universities. They have already produced the first batch of Diploma holders. I do not have the figure offhand now, but they’re from two different campuses, and I think about 90 people have passed through that process, both the undergraduates and post-Diploma programmes. The whole idea is to have expertise in these universities to help us in doing what we’re doing, and we chose older universities that run courses in Political Science, Public Administration, and Governance to achieve this. And we now decided that not everybody would pass through Diploma and Post-Graduate Diploma programmes. So, we decided to introduce certificate courses at the two centres that we have now.

They will also hold lecture series, which is even more important. They would be executive lecture, for the stakeholders in the system. Journalists and others who have messages to give to the political system will come around. It’s not necessarily going to be a public lecture, because it’s going to be based on well-researched issues. Debates would be held, intellectual issues will come to bare.
We have hostels there for people to stay. We have lecture rooms, and they are IT compliant so that people can stay there and do research. Even both students and lecturers on sabbatical doing their projects can come there for materials. That is the idea, because as they say, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. This is the beginning of our effort to inculcate a measure of professionalism in the electoral cycle.

And the research aspect is very important. As I said earlier today, not many people know that my job does not involve conducting election; that my job, as electoral chief umpire, is to organise it, and on the election day itself, I have no role whatsoever until after the election. When the election is over, somebody else collates the results; they’re handed over to me and I read the results. And you can see that so far no single Resident Electoral Commissioner has said that what submitted was not what was announced. If that had been the case I would have felt bad, but so far, I think we did well with the system and we did follow the Electoral Act of our country.

But let me not dwell in the past too much. The most important thing is the future. We want this to help our people to articulate where the problems are. What do we do about the threat to electoral violence? What solution do we have? What do we do about gender inequality? What do we do about money in politics? How can we curb excessive use of money? You can talk of free and fair election when it’s not fair because one person loaded with too much money has won. There has to be a way of measuring what amount of money you can put into the political space.

Look at what happened in the US. One person drew from national fund, but it was regulated because he drew from national fund. The other person didn’t draw from national fund, but he was still able to raise his own money. These are evolutions. These are things people should be able to know.

You talked about reform in Ghana. Does it mean that INEC has not introduced any reform?
Let me tell you about one of the reforms we’ve just put in place. The whole idea of phasing out ad-hoc staff is a major advancement in our electoral process because we know the NYSC personnel we use during the by-election. We know them and their future depends on the certificates at the end of the NYSC certificate. So, they have so much at stake temporarily. They also have more at stake because the future belongs to them. They cannot gamble with their future because these are youths. If the country goes bad, they have more to lose than we older people who are on our way out.
So, you can see how such a small policy shift can make all the difference and that is what the institute will be geared towards. It’s going to be a very difficult task, but sound people do hard jobs and I trust the kind of staff I have that they will deliver.

How do you react to the renewed clamour for the independence of INEC, as recommended by the Mohammed Uwais electoral reform committee?
What has the independence of INEC got to do with an election that ran across the 36 states of Nigeria plus FCT? The same people that signed up on them, have no moral justification to criticize them. They signed up on them. That’s one thing. The independence we are talking about, the Ghanaians mentioned it themselves, that is talking about financial autonomy.

If anybody tells you that Obasanjo was dictating to me, it means that person didn’t know me. The system does not allow that. Every single thing we do we debate. We have 12 Electoral Commissioners, plus myself. These are not people you can push over. These are gentlemen and women of integrity. It’s hard to convince them before the commission takes any action. So, it is easy and, in fact, very lazy for anybody to want to push it aside instead of taking responsibility.

What is happening in Ghana is a system approach. The people of Ghana want to collaborate with their electoral commission. The people of Ghana want to be able to reform their system and they reformed it over time. In fact, they did the opposite; the electoral commission that is in Ghana is the same that has been there for over 12 years. They’ve learned over time. They made their mistake and they’ve corrected them, but in our own case, we keep inventing. That is not a way to run any democracy.

For our neighbour, Ghana, they did a fantastic job. But you’d realize that they did not carry machetes; they did not buy fuel to pour on vehicles; they did not use fake policemen to snatch ballot boxes. Ghanaians did not use armoured vehicles to harass people. These were Ghanaians; it was not the electoral commission. So, the place was peaceful. The electoral environment (process) is more important than the actual Election Day. That’s the point I’m making. The electoral environment in our country is what needs to be addressed. And the environment that we had in 2007 was a very delicate one. People were trying to see if they could achieve what they did in 1993 to make sure we didn’t have a proper election, so that we go back to Interim National Government.

One of the saddest things is that the same people who were the apostles of third term are the ones who are saying they stopped third term. But when the history will be told, you will know who did what. But much more importantly, people who walked out because I didn’t allow Interim National Government are now using all kinds of strategies to make their points about how great democrats they are. Time will tell.

Nigerians will get to know who did what.
The point I’m trying to make is that the electoral environment is important. The three things I said earlier, to me, are the factors; the other two, excessive use of money. Three, the inequality among the sexes. Four, the mindset of Nigerians. These are the issues to address, not about whether Professor Iwu wore a red tie or not. Sometimes, I get embarrassed that a nation could get so hoodwinked by a section who, because of the money they have, seem to be tailoring the thinking of Nigerians instead of debating Uwais report.

They are not debating the content of that report; they have now decided what the issues are and are taking Nigerians as if we are sheep and telling us what is important; they say it’s the constitution of INEC when they know that it’s a constitutional matter. Let us look at other issues that are not constitutional that are in that report; they won’t, because they know that by sheer power of the garb they can convince Nigerians into looking the other way while they keep perpetrating what they’re doing. Nigerians should be smarter, very much smarter. The time has come for reforms.

What more do you think contributed to the success of Ghana election?
The Ghanaians and their government see the electoral process as part of national development. When you run down your institution,a even before the election, you achieve nothing good. I remember June 2006 when they campaigned against the commission before any ballot was cast. So, they were not reacting to a failed election. They were not reacting to a rigged election. And also look at the Supreme Court judgment; people should go and read it. Nobody canvassed what they’re canvassing in the newspapers. Nobody talked about INEC rigging election. Nobody talked about stolen mandate. What they’re talking about is the technicalities. Somebody said he was excluded, another person said they used unserialised ballot papers.

We didn’t see about all the innuendoes that we read in the papers. And nobody is asking a question about that. So, what you presented in court is different from what you’re telling the Nigerian public. You didn’t canvass those issues in court. All they want to do was to find us guilty in the court of public opinion, knowing that the public will not have access to the facts.
As I told you, I have no bitterness whatsoever. It is not us, as Maurice Iwu, but us as a commission and us as a country, such that they damage the country to such an extent that you cannot do anything. Even the international observers were contrived. People provided them logistic support and shepherded them to where they wanted them to go. Go and look at April 15 media report, on the election and the subsequent spinning. The April 15 media report was a balanced report by the media about what happened in 2007.
April 15, 2007, I read newspapers; they said minus a few hiccups here and there the election went peaceful. But suddenly, the mischief-makers went to work and we all fell for it.

We know you as a professor and INEC chairman. But who is Maurice Iwu really?
Maurice Iwu is just an instrument in the hands of God. I am just one man who God used to tell the truth and be able to help our country in difficult time. I didn’t do anything extra-ordinary. God used me, and He could have used me for anything. I’m just a clay in His hands. He is the potter. If He didn’t want the election to sail through, no matter my brilliance, it could have all come to nought. The history of Nigeria will be rewritten and rewritten and the people of Nigeria will get to know how God was able to stop us from going backward to where we were before.

Now that we have been able to transit from one civilian regime to another, we can only get better. But if we didn’t have the peace, there would have been no Uwais panel, there wouldn’t have been Supreme Court judgment; we would have all been in the bush, hiding from bullets. It’s important that we recognize the big picture, which goes beyond somebody who, because he has excessive wealth, singles an innocent man and starts to vilify him, vilify his family, vilify wherever he comes from because he has excessive wealth. There is a God. He will not allow that and He didn’t.

That is all I can say for now. I cannot answer them back. People say why haven’t you spoken if you’re innocent? Why didn’t you speak? There’s no need. They have their media houses. I don’t have any. They have people on their pay roll. But why it’s necessary for me to give this lecture today is to tell Nigerians that I’m not a coward, that I have something superior behind me and only Him alone determines the course of things and the God I worship will not allow this country to suffer. And that is the sign He has shown, and He will guide us on which part of the electoral reform we should choose.
And reform is a process, not a product. We will keep reforming, as long as elections are conducted. It’s only a dead organisation that does not reform.