By Denrele Animasaun
“It is hard to hear the truth from people who get paid to distort it.” — Sean S. Kamali
I don’t usually agree with IBB, but he recently made rather valid point that it is difficult to ignore; the use of soldiers during elections. I did mention exactly this concern last week that I feared that the FG is setting up a dangerous precedent and the fear of breeding future guns for hire.
The Osun state was a washed with trucks full of soldiers, police and agents armed to the teeth. They have intimidated and harassed the ordinary people by their presence and actions all in disguise by the government that they were there to prevent rigging. It was obvious that government was using their presence as a tool of intimidation, submission and oppression. So, here IBB is saying exactly the same and he is warning the government of misusing the military to serve their ulterior purpose and that they risk compromising the reputation of the military as they have already sullied the reputation of the police.
He said that “I don’t believe the military should supervise elections. I don’t believe they should participate in them. I was already an officer in the Nigerian Army in the 60s and there was no military presence in the streets in those days but the police. I think it is high time we restored the glory of the force”.
And that “I am not sure military guys should be involved in these civic duties. It cannot continue like this. I don’t believe the military guys should be seen on the streets,”
IBB argued that political leaders should be equal to the challenge of elections, even where the task appears complex. And that: “Up till date, there are places that you need logistical support by the political leaders. For example, there are boats in the creeks of the Niger Delta. The boats can access remote villages and townships in that region, not the road, during the elections”. He maintains that he does not believe the military should be seen on the street. He is right and it is shocking that I agree with him. He should know as he has walked the walk. And it would be in the best interest of the FG to listen if not sooner or later the result of their action, will come and bite them in the proverbial.
Of course, the FG, would like us believe that it was the presence of the military that assured a free and fair elections. They argued that their new approach shows their fresh determination for a better and transparent election. So their justification is that the two elections is indicative their approach to militarized the voting zones worked . They concluded that the heavy military presence has helped to prevent abuses, intimidation and harassment by those bent on creating mayhem. I am sure, those in their right mind would believe not believe them. Independent observers will disagree with FG’s version of the truth.
Contrary to IBB, The Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, is convinced that there is a role for the military to sustain in fair election processes.
He said that “It is not militarization of the society if we have come to realize that with the military participating in the area of security during elections, we are getting an improved outcome. And he said “It makes good sense to study that and invest in it. As of now, the military are way ahead of other security agencies when it comes to the enforcement of law and order in this country,” the minister argued. IBB knows what he is talking about and they do well to listen to him.
We owe gratitude to Dr.Ameyo Adadevoh
It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.” — Dalai Lama XIV
If there ever was a Nigerian, who embodied bravery and selflessness it is the Senior Consultant/Physician and Endocrinologist at First Consultant Hospital in Lagos, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh.
We all owe her a huge debt of gratitude. This woman did not shirk her clinical responsibility and she stopped the spread Ebola by her single act of bravery. We can only imagine what could have happened if this amazing woman had not stopped the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by restraining Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer to his bed.
She was instrumental in ensuring that the index source of Ebola sufferer did not spread beyond Lagos. Sadly, she succumbed to the virulent disease after a long hard battle. We were all willing and praying for her to recover but it was not to be.
Talking about her passing, the Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu accredited her effort: “Regrettably she lost her life to Ebola virus. Of course she contracted the disease from the Liberian-American who exported the disease to Nigeria in the course of treating that patient.
Indeed she had to physically restrain this infected person from escaping from the hospital when the latter attempted to do so, having been communicated that he was Ebola-positive.
Indeed, if that index case had escaped hospital at that stage it would have spelt disaster for Nigeria as many more persons would have been very difficult to track; and could have become primary contacts.
There is no doubt that Dr. Adadevoh was not only a dedicated, committed and competent doctor, but she showed rare courage, rare sense of duty, service and patriotism to her country.”
We honour this brave woman and pray for her family and friends.
There have been over 1,300 deaths from Ebola. Two Americans who contacted the Ebola virus in Liberia have made full recovery and discharged from hospital after been treated with an experimental drug.