On Election Timetable Re-Ordering By Nass And The Usual Hypocrisy of Some Nigerians By Felix Osemwengie Isere

On Election Timetable Re-Ordering By Nass And The Usual Hypocrisy of Some Nigerians.

By Felix Osemwengie Isere, Esq.Cnarb.

I have been following the recent debate on whether the National Assembly can re-order the 2019  election sequence as against what INEC has released or not.  I have tried to keep mute on the matter until I got provoked by one very mischievous and misleading publication on the matter this morning by one Lawyer from Kaduna.

I have said this Umpteenth times that one of the reasons why Nigeria is backward as Nation today  is because Nigerians play politics with everything,  majority of us are unpatriotic cum chronic  hypocrites. We support an ideal when it favours our political interest and kick against it when it does not. Nobody is actually interest whether such ideal is for the interest of Nigeria or Nigerians  . That is the reason why we are having Institutional dysfunctionality and high political cataclysmicism in our system today. Most painfully, are the Lawyers who are supposed to be the custodians, protectors and defenders of our grundnorm(the Constitution) who  have also joined the league of these sycophants,manipulators and blackmailers,  hence the truth has been sacrificed on the alter of  protecting the interest of an individual or group at the detriment of the entire country and our democracy.

I am yet to understand why a National Assembly who enacted the Law creating INEC cannot also amend the same Law to regulate the activities of INEC?

I am yet to understand why a National Assembly that has the power to ratify the appointment of INEC Chairman and other National Commissioners cannot also have the power to make Laws directing these  same officials on the sequence of elections?

I am still yet to understand the reason why a National Assembly that has the power to approve elections budget  for  INEC cannot also make Laws stipulating the Sequence of election?

It is so nauseating , mischievous and  irrational for anybody to submit that  the NASS who has the power to do the above under the various extant Laws cannot amend the same Laws to stipulate the sequence of elections.

Nigerians should stop playing politics with everything.  If the amendment proposal which has been rejected by the President is taken back to the house  , they decide to override his veto power and it is passed into Law, it becomes a Law . The opinion or criticism  by some microscopic Nigerians or the initial recalcitrance of INEC does not make it invalid. INEC is then Constitutionally bound to follow the sequence and any election conducted outside or against such sequential Constitutional provision will make such null and void and will never stand.

The poor, lame and flimsy reasons giving by those who are oppose to this amendment cannot be accepted by an REASONABLE MAN.

Their first argument is that it will be against the independence of INEC ,this is too poor to be considered logical or justifiable.  The same Independence of INEC was a product of a legislative enactment  and can also be altered through the same legislature enactedment which they have done for the interest of our democracy which  INEC was established to protect .  So what's is this unnecessary fuse all about?  INEC cannot be a God unto themselves, their independence is not absolute but subject to the regulations of  other Institutions like the National Assembly.  That is why we have the principal of check and balance.

The other argument that INEC has already published a time table is also too poor. Such argument can only be believed by those who were given birth to yesterday.  If INEC can postpone an election and adjust their timetable a day to the election as they have done in  past elections , why can't they not do so now when they still have about a year to the election?

Infact,  the most ludicrous and incredulous arguments that has been put forward by the same individuals is that INEC will now need more money since the elections will hold in different dates. This is very simple, INEC should prepare a supplementary budget to reflect the new sequence and you will agree with me the National Assembly will surely approve such money.

Any Nigerian who does not see this amendment by NASS to be for the interest of Nigerians and our democracy is selfish and suspicious. If the electoral fortune of those to be elected into the NASS or State Houses of Assembly  in a particular political party is dependent on the acceptance of the Presidential candidate of such  political party ,  or those to be elected into the State Houses of Assembly is determined by the acceptance of the Governorship candidate of the party in the State  , it is inimical to our democracy which is premised on free and fair election.

To me, this sequence as proposed by the Nass will not only quarantee true democracy  but high perfomance by the National Assembly members and those in the State Houses of Assembly.  The era where Legislative aspirants  are put on the back of the President or Governor like babies to win election will stop and they will now stand on their own and be chosen on their personal capacity or popularity.

Without Prejudice, you will remember the reason why many members of APC NASS candidates lost to PDP in the South South and South East in 2015 election was because of the hatred they have for President Mohammadu Buhari in that region and the reason why many PDP NASS candidates also lost to APC in most of the Northern States in 2015 is also due to their hatred for Dr. Good luck Jonathan.

For the avoidance of doubt , I am not a fan of Senator Bukola Saraki or the current Leadership of NASS but let the truth be told ,whether we blackmail them from today to next year does not stop the fact that this current Houses have done what others for years fail to do.  For the first time we have seen the NASS who has the guts to push for the Local Government and Judicial Autonomy,   for the NotTooYoungTooRule Law, the PIB and others which the previous house never had the spine to do.

 Let's stop destroying our institutions and blackmailing the legislatures because they are not doing our bidding at this particular time.  You can hate the leadership of the house or members but never hate the institution because it is our own and we must protect it jealously.


Felix Osemwengie Isere,  a lawyer,  Public Affairs Analyst and the President of Truth and Justice Group writes from Benin
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