On June 12: An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana

 On June 12 : An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana

 By Ephraim Emenanjo Adinlofu Progressive Nigerians are witnesses to the great injustice that was visited on the nation by the arrogant annulment of the June 12, 1993 election and the unhappy events that followed such a dastardly act. Unfortunately for all of us, the perpetrators of that act are still with us, breathing free air, while two of them, Murtala Nyarko and David Mark, are even in power as state governor and Senate president respectively. This people should not be allowed to glory while the infamy they participated in perpetuating has not received appropriate justice in our courts. We should call action to bear on these agents of darkness that have contributed immensely to our stunted political development. I believed strongly that the annulment of that election is still actionable.

For 15 years, "we" have been waiting for the result of that election to be officially released. IBB, as our "stepped aside" Head of State and President, has different ways of exhibiting his Maradonic tendencies. In an attempt to further extricate himself from that June 12 imbroglio, he finally authorised Professor Humphrey Nwosu to release the result. As belated as the action might have appeared to a majority of Nigerians, I take exception to being included in that majority. I definitively and concretely believed that, at last, the result has been released.

I am one of the exceptional Nigerians who did not believe that what Prof. Nwosu did on that day was a book launch; no, it was not. He simply used the book launch as a camouflage to officially announce and release the result of that excellent election to the public and the International community. By so doing, the man has officially completed his job as the then NEC Chairman. If he dies now, he will do so in peace, having told Nigerians "his own truth" about the June 12 logjam. Whether his truth is tenable or untenable is now left in the realm of public debate and to nuanced analysis and deductions.

However, in the interim, I have as a patriotic Nigerian and as one of those who campaigned vigorously for the SDP and MKO Abiola in the then Oshimilli local govenment area of Delta state, proposed the following. I will like you to please painstakingly go through, and help to legally figure out their possibilities. Happy reading sir.The proposal below was an abridged version of my published article on the NVS and other websites: http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/nwosu-and-june-12-a-call-for-social-a.html.

 

My submissions as a layman may sound outrageous, but I will still present them. The result as officially announced by Nwosu on June 12, 2008, shows that MKO Abiola {SDP} polled 8,323,305 votes, while Bashir Tofa {NRC} polled 6,073,612 votes. According to the professor : "Tofa scored at least one-third of the votes cast in each of 23 states of the federation. While Abiola scored at least one-third of the total votes cast in each of the 28 states." He then, declared Abiola the winner of that election.

Based on this calculus, I propose that Babagana Kingibe should be sworn in, to fulfil "our" mandate while Kola Abiola, the late winners son, should take the position of vice president. I would have proposed the reverse but for the fact that OBJ, a Yoruba man, has ruled for eight tortuous and torturous years. Sequel to that, I submit that former members of both the SDP and NRC should re-mobilise and reassemble. But before these reversed actions can take place, there is a need to clear the legal hurdles that might obstruct this process.

If in this dispensation our courts could rule that a man who did not contest an election should be sworn in as governor {Rotimi Amaechi in Rivers state}, I wonder why the duo of Kola Abiola and Kingibe should not. Afterall, Kingibe campaigned and contested with MKO Abiola. The reassembled SDP members should bring out all in their arsenal to get that hard-won power. That historic election should not end with Nwosu's belated pronouncement "just like that". As far as I am concerned, the SDP has a very strong case in the people's court.

I propose that the present 50 registered political parties should be vaporized. At present, they are "not fit for purpose." They are a burden to themselves and of no relevance to Nigeria's political development. Alternatively, they should melt into the resurrected former two political parties - SDP and NRC . Dr. Jonathan Zwingwina, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, Profs. Akinyemi and Jerry Gana, Abubarkar Rimi, Bola Tinubu, Felix Ibru, Rtd General Akinrinade, Lateef Jakande and Shola Adeyeye and others, should come back to re-energised and re-positioned the party preparatory to taking over power from Yaradua. Yaradua ought to acquiesce because he was a member of the SDP. After all, it would be on record that he was a president for such a short period, but not shorter than the tenure of Chief Ernest Shonekon.

I propose that since Nwosu has now released the result, which Nigerians had hoped for, all former SDP and NRC elected governors should be re-sworn in, to serve out their terms while all the elected senators and House of Rep., members should go back to the National Assembly and assume duties. In that sense, Chief Felix Odigie Oyegun should go back to Edo state while Felix Ibru should return to Delta state and clear the mess of Ibori and his alter ego, Dr. Uduaghan. All elected {SDP and NRC} state assembly members, elected local government chairmen, and their elected councillors, should go back to their respective locale and assumed their constitutional duties with immediate effect. Members of the {SDP} should effectively move to possess what was criminally and illegally denied them.

I propose that all members of IBB's Armed Forces Ruling Council {AFRC}, who were privy to that criminal decision to annul that election, should be banned from public office and politics with immediate effect. I submit that they should be arrested and tried, if possible, for playing on the intelligence of Nigerians and for that act of sabotage against our collective will.

This will then act as a deterrent to future "pepper-soup-theory" coup plotters. It will send a signal across the board that nobody can just wake up and take this country for a ride any longer. I submit that these actions should be taken other wise history has this very frivolous way of cunningly repeating itself in Nigeria. If we do not act against the perpetrators of that ingenious annulment, the spirits of MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola, Alfred Rewane, and others, who died in the course of fighting to actualize "our mandate," would partly not be happy with us.

The annulment of that election is one of the greatest injustices visited on Nigeria by a select few who were members of what a writer, Bode Eluyera, called "Federal Republic of Northern Nigeria". Come to think of it, June 12, 1993 election epitomised nothing but excellence; it portrayed that a united people can change the cause of their history and destiny. That election killed and buried tribalism, regional politics, religious diversity, ethnic bigotry, quota system, Federal character and other inane oddities. The annulment literally killed the evolution of a true Nigeria and whatever vision 2020 entailed.

I propose that the SDP should assemble a legal team to pursue this worthy course and I call on one else than your pious and very righteous self, Chief Femi Falani, to lead the team and to be supported in this legal crusade by Festus Keyamo. The SDP and Nigerians should not allow these people ride roughshod 'just like that' over that historic victory. I beckon on all progressives to support this clarion call for justice. Let it be part of our pedagogy to pursue this cause relentlessly to redress this great injustice that was perpetuated with arrogance and impunity.

Having been sworn in, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe and Kola Abiola would then seek to pursue MKO Abiola's dream. The "Goodbye to Poverty" which was Abiola's swan song during his nation wide campaign, would become the arrow-head of their broad based economic policy.

Since a lot of water has seemingly passed under the bridge, I propose that new elections should be conducted in areas where former elected office holders have been reported dead or, new councils have been created. Professor Nwosu, who though acted cowardly in the twilight of June 12, should go back to INEC, with the speed of lightening and take over from Prof. Maurice Iwu and clear the accumulated mess in that body. Dear Falana, these are my submissions. Let us not be deceived by those who will tell us that events and history has overtaken June 12. That is a walking lie.

Those history and events were made by man. Man makes history and the same man can unmake that history. This injustice has to be addressed other wise the nation will continue to pile up one injuctice on top of the other. If you check our chequered history, you will agree with me that we have really had enough of them. Besides, I propose that the laws that were unjustly passed to make June 12 an anomaly should now be fought to be abrogated and the electoral law, operational during the period, reinstated, reformed, and reused. By summation therefore, I propose a three-pronged approach to the court:

First prayer: that now that Professor Nwosu has officially announced and released the results of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, that "we" the SDP members are seeking an injunction suspending the present government in power pending the determination of our substantive suit. Although, this will create a lacuna in government, I suggest that power should be temporarily handed over to a select group of patriotic, principled, incorruptible and concerned citizens. We know them and they should hold this power for just 6 months. In the attenuating circumstance, I propose that this short-term team should comprise; Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Retired Col. Dangiwa Umar, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Professor Wole Soyinka. The team should set out to work for 6 months preparatory to handing over to Babagana Kingibe and Kola Abiola.

Second prayer: that consequent upon Nwosu's pronouncement, that "we" pray the court to award victory to the SDP, a certificate of victory issued by Nwosu and, that all elected members in that unfortunate dispensation should go back to their former positions and assume duties.

Third prayer: that because of the nature of that criminal annulment, its impact on the electorates and the international shame it brought to Nigeria, IBB and all members of the then Armed Forces Ruling Council {AFRC} who were privy to that annulment, should be banned from holding any public office and from participating in politics for life.

Dear Femi Falana, I want you to know that I wish I have money, I swear on my honour that I would come back to Nigeria and single-handedly, select and finance your legal team to fight this noble cause. It is a pauperised and a brutalised people's cause. I still firmly believed, as a concerned citizen, that the SDP and Abiola can get justice. I hope to positively hear from you and to see you take up this presumed easy legal challenge on behalf of the masses and long suffering people of Nigeria. PLEASE! I thank you in advance bearing in my mind your antecedents and social proclivity towards fighting the cause of the common man. I can be effectivly reached through this medium or through my e-mail address: ephraimadinlofu@hotmail.co.uk. God Bless you abundantly! Amen!



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Re: On June 12: An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana
Lumumba posted on 08-05-2008, 09:27:15 AM
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Are you really serious?
Re: On June 12: An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana
Emenanjo posted on 08-05-2008, 11:29:47 AM
QUOTE:
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Are you really serious?


Very, very, serious. This people should not be seen to be above the law. Let justice be done and be seen to have been done. That annulment was a complete and undeserved slap to our face, and to a nation. It was barbaric.
Re: On June 12: An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana
Lumumba posted on 08-05-2008, 13:10:25 PM
QUOTE:
Very, very, serious. This people should not be seen to be above the law. Let justice be done and be seen to have been done. That annulment was a complete and undeserved slap to our face, and to a nation. It was barbaric.



The question is: How is justice to be done? The writer made some suggestions, among which are the reconstitution of the SDP/NRC, setting up of a temporary govenrment made up of some "normal" individuals etc, etc. This is where the issue of seriousness come in. What we are facing, legislatively, juridically, politically, culturally, is nothing short of brigandage, as the Abami Eda himself called it--vagabonds in power. Vagabonds do not reason. Persons opposed to brigandage can reason among themselves on the best way to neutralise such brigandage, but to reason with vagabonds? This had been the problem all along--we tend to think that even the vagabonds know that they are wrong.
Besides, which law are we talking about? The fundamental law of the land, the Constitution was violently violated in Jan/July 1966, it has been downhill since then. Each military regime fashions out a Nigeria of its choice. Hence, all aspirants to political office or during the time of the military, all officers aspiring to political offices eat their own vomit in order to get appointments. Why? There is free money at the center, so they do anything to make sure they get there. When the nationalists negotiated independence, there was a proper definition, to a large extent, of Federation, not what is now passing as one. Can you imagine anyone with a high school diploma saying that the current states are the "federating units?" So, there is a warped sense of society and you will be elongating that process by thinking that a law which they created can neutralise them. What is needed is a reconstitution of Nigeria such that every region/unit can fend for itself. Political jobbers will have nowhere to go because there will no longer be any free lunch. The Nigerian structure is the master protector of these vagabonds and if it is not dismantled, it will continue to absorb all of them under its wing.
Re: On June 12: An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana
Emenanjo posted on 08-06-2008, 04:39:00 AM
I agree with you in toto but in the interim, this action should be challenged and even if it fails, it will send a signal across that such an action won't be tolerated in the future. But to let go "just like that" is to call for a repeat performance.

Those of us who were in Nigeria during that election knew the import of that election. It was the most unique ever held in that country. Even the opposition party then{NRC} agreed it was free and fair. Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis, Tivs, Binis, other minorities, Muslims and Christians alike, buried their differences and voted for the SDP in that election based purely on the parties' manifestoes and promises presented to them.

That election, and the way Abiola would have gone along to deliver on those party promises, would have been one of the true tests of our federating units. Abiola may not be a perfect being like some have insinuated but the issue is not Abiola per se but the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians to please come and save them from the suffocating effect of the then SAP policy.

It was not a one-man's or a Yoruba mandate.No! That mandate went beyond all that, it was a people's mandate, the Nigerian people's mandate. And for just few members of the then AFRC or Defence council to annul it with impunity is a slap on all of us whether one was a member of the NRC or SDP. It therefore behoves on Nigerians to seek to re-address it and one of the ways of doing that, to me, is to seek for judicial redress.
Re: On June 12: An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana
Lumumba posted on 08-06-2008, 08:17:59 AM
QUOTE:
I agree with you in toto but in the interim, this action should be challenged and even if it fails, it will send a signal across that such an action won't be tolerated in the future. But to let go \"just like that\" is to call for a repeat performance.

Those of us who were in Nigeria during that election knew the import of that election. It was the most unique ever held in that country. Even the opposition party then{NRC} agreed it was free and fair. Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis, Tivs, Binis, other minorities, Muslims and Christians alike, buried their differences and voted for the SDP in that election based purely on the parties' manifestoes and promises presented to them.

That election, and the way Abiola would have gone along to deliver on those party promises, would have been one of the true tests of our federating units. Abiola may not be a perfect being like some have insinuated but the issue is not Abiola per se but the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians to please come and save them from the suffocating effect of the then SAP policy.

It was not a one-man's or a Yoruba mandate.No! That mandate went beyond all that, it was a people's mandate, the Nigerian people's mandate. And for just few members of the then AFRC or Defence council to annul it with impunity is a slap on all of us whether one was a member of the NRC or SDP. It therefore behoves on Nigerians to seek to re-address it and one of the ways of doing that, to me, is to seek for judicial redress.






Yes, the issue needs to be addressed. The question is How? The judicial redress may be attractive but we also need to learn from the failures of the past, judicial or political. What judicial action does is to lull people into a state of inaction in the sense that the we will be handicapped whist waiting for the judicial process to play out. If anything, the current election tribunals should be a lesson. Yes, there was no election in 2007. Those who perpetrated the "June 12" affair are back in power. While "activists" are in court, political actors will gather to subvert it. The Yoruba have a saying to the effect that someone invites a thief into a property and at the same time asks the owner of the property to capture the thief. Before we even pursue the necessity or otherwise of the judicial process, we need to be clear that the whole episode was not premeditated; that is, those AFRC guys all along did not have the annulment as a fallback position, a Plan B, in case things did not go their way. I doubt if those events, from annulment to Abacha etc were not part of a strategy. They were not ad hoc responses, especially the way they were able to scatter the opposition. Remember that Algeria, under a military government, had a similar experience in 1992 or thereabout. Be that as it may, the affected politicians, save a few, ended up being "done in " again in 2003 and 2007. So, we need to develop a new strategy to deal with this rigmarole. We have not exhausted all the political startegies in the books to deal with this and other issues; we are still caught within the paradigm of these vagabonds; I think our first step is to wean ourselves away from their thought processes by creating alternative platforms in thought and in deeds. For example, turning the peoples' anger on the 2007 "elections" into an alternative political--not partisan-- power base with the sole aim of reversing the process? It will create some disruptions, but then "a lackadaisical effort cannot crush a palm nut".
Re: On June 12: An Open Letter To Barrister Femi Falana
Emenanjo posted on 08-06-2008, 09:08:32 AM
QUOTE:
Yes, the issue needs to be addressed. The question is How? The judicial redress may be attractive but we also need to learn from the failures of the past, judicial or political. What judicial action does is to lull people into a state of inaction in the sense that the we will be handicapped whist waiting for the judicial process to play out. If anything, the current election tribunals should be a lesson. Yes, there was no election in 2007. Those who perpetrated the \"June 12\" affair are back in power. While \"activists\" are in court, political actors will gather to subvert it. The Yoruba have a saying to the effect that someone invites a thief into a property and at the same time asks the owner of the property to capture the thief. Before we even pursue the necessity or otherwise of the judicial process, we need to be clear that the whole episode was not premeditated; that is, those AFRC guys all along did not have the annulment as a fallback position, a Plan B, in case things did not go their way. I doubt if those events, from annulment to Abacha etc were not part of a strategy. They were not ad hoc responses, especially the way they were able to scatter the opposition. Remember that Algeria, under a military government, had a similar experience in 1992 or thereabout. Be that as it may, the affected politicians, save a few, ended up being \"done in \" again in 2003 and 2007. So, we need to develop a new strategy to deal with this rigmarole. We have not exhausted all the political startegies in the books to deal with this and other issues; we are still caught within the paradigm of these vagabonds; I think our first step is to wean ourselves away from their thought processes by creating alternative platforms in thought and in deeds. For example, turning the peoples' anger on the 2007 \"elections\" into an alternative political--not partisan-- power base with the sole aim of reversing the process? It will create some disruptions, but then \"a lackadaisical effort cannot crush a palm nut\".




Your objective comment is much appreciated and noted. Thank you, and may our struggle to save or split Nigeria for good continue.
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