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Let Jega Go!

--Cutting-Edge Analytics--

By: Franklin Otorofani
 Published April 5th, 2011

Professor Attahiru Jegaís offer of resignation should come to the nation as a most welcome relief in these most trying times in the nationís troubled democratic transition. It is the right and honorable thing to do in the circumstances that he has found himself, and the government should not stand in the way in trying to force a tired and unwilling horse to the stream. Rather than being boneheaded about it, that is the only viable option left for the government and the people at this moment in time, if we are to avert a more calamitous evil down the road.

Why wouldn't the government allow this serial failure and incompetent to resign? What are they keeping him for? Is it to continue this rolling mess and wreck the transition altogether? His resignation is long overdue and itís what I have been calling for right from the beginning of these rolling disasters. Jega is INCOMPETENCE PERSONIFIED. What is the use keeping a serial failure to continue his mess? What in the world makes the government think that Jega is capable of improvement in the next few days when he has not improved in a whole year? That is wishful thinking, and frankly speaking, foolhardiness on the part of the government in retaining him. His records so far do not engender any hope in him and  the agency he leads. The reality of the matter that many of us foresaw long ago which the government has been blind to all along is that Jega is totally incapable of handling the job for which he was hired. This is not about personal integrity which he may or may not have but about competence and ability to deliver. What part of that donít they understand? There is nothing anybody can do about his incompetence. Otherwise how would anyone who addressed the nation on Friday that he was super ready for the election with all logistical arrangements already carried out turn around in less than 12 hours to make complete u-turn when voters were already at the polling stations and millions had travelled to their villages and towns to cast their votes for an election that he knew had not been well prepared for? Donít tell me Jega knew of the state of unpreparedness only on Saturday. If that is the case all the more reasons he should be shown the exit door now.

The government should understand the psychological toll on both Jega and INEC officials by now. Not just the AGF alone talking at NSC, it should seek out the views of and bring in psychologists to work on demoralized, if not traumatized INEC staffers, particularly the leadership that has suffered this national humiliation in the hands of their incompetent chairman, who as has now been revealed, has been running the show alone with his clique at INEC. The government and Nigerians should not ignore or underestimate the psychological toll on INEC staffers that could prevent them from performing maximally in the rescheduled elections. Jega is already showing symptoms of bereavement and don't we think that he is alone. The entire leadership, right down to the state RECs are completely demoralized and traumatized and therefore not in the frame of mind to function anymore within this timeframe. Should they be forced to go ahead with the elections, however, disaster, I mean absolute disaster, awaits the nation. And that's why I said in an earlier post that the worst is in front not behind us. The way out of this logjam is for the government and the National Assembly to get rid of Jega and postpone the elections till October 1, 2011 to allow a new man to settle down and do a proper job. In the meantime it should carry out a judicial inquiry to identify and punish all those implicated in this mess. Allowing an incompetent driver like Jega to remain behind the wheel of our electoral ship on a treacherous sea is tantamount to embarking on national suicide mission with an inevitable shipwreck looming large in the horizon.

God forbid that the doomsday prophesies would come to pass in 2011 before the prophesied date of 2015. The government has a duty to face the reality on the ground and avert a national calamity by calling off the entire elections for now after broad-based consultation with all stakeholders.

May God bless Nigeria.

From the stable of ĖCutting-Edge Analytics-- More than a Blog, Itís a Learning Experience!

Franklin Otorofani is an Attorney and Public Affairs Analyst.


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