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Iwu must not conduct 2011 elections, says cleric

By John Ighodaro
CALABAR—Bishop of Anglican Communion, Calabar Diocese, Bishop Tunde Adeleye, has expressed concern that the 2011 elections may not be smooth and credible.

Bishop Adeleye expressed fears that Iwu may remain as INEC chairman after the expiration of his tenure which is a few months from  now.

He argued that if that was not so, why has there not been a hint of a replacement who should be understudying him in preparation for 2011?

Speaking in Calabar, Bishop Adeleye said the words smooth and credible were not often used in Nigeria when elections are being talked about.

His words: “We don’t work on smooth in Nigeria, we don’t work on credible. We work on crashed results. So when the result is crashed in, we now translate it to what we want, that is, what we are all used to in Nigeria.

By now, as you correctly observed, the voters list should have been out who ever is going to take over because I understand that Iwu,s tenure is to end constitutionally in few months.”

He reasoned that Prof. Iwu of INEC is supposed to be rounding up because his tenure expires in a few months, but “June or so, but at the moment, nothing.

I thought by now, the person to take over form him should have been understudying him, but instead, we are hearing that people are now demonstrating in support of his stay in office.

That is Nigeria for you. When you are talking of credible, we don’t do credible things here. We deal with crashed results. He doesn’t know who is taking over from him, and you may not be surprised that he can even stay on, with nobody saying anything.

We will have election; and what ever you see out of that election is the result of the election. Even if you do not contest and you are not a member of any party, they can announce your name that you have won.”

Expressing doubts if such a scenario could actually play itself out, he however said, “I don’t know whether it has ever happened, but it can happen.

We understand that the person who won the governorship in 2007, Omehia, was not the one nominated by his party during the primaries. That is Nigeria.

Anybody can win anything; we don’t work on credibility here in Nigeria. In fact if the election is so smooth, people will suspect that there is something wrong that is why it is smooth. It has to be rough, it has to be bad, contain a lot of criticisms, it has to reveal some wonders and some unusual things. Then that is an election.

On whether one should take Acting President seriously over his promise of a credible election come 2011, Adeleye said, “when they make that announcement they are sincere. You see that again is part of the  problem we have in Nigeria.

The leaders, that is the people in government some of the time, they have very good intentions. But the execution of those intentions will completely manipulate the procedure and the process of having results for that intention. And you can do anything, the president will not count the vote.

He may not even be there, he may be protecting his own vote, those who count the vote, will tell you what they saw. It is only the court that will now go and investigate to see whether it was true or false.

But even then, how much of it can you argue on. I cannot believe them, I cannot disbelieve them, we are completely at a loss on how to respond to it.

But for me as a Christian, what I can do is to pray for them. But as I have said the Acting President may have good intentions, everybody may have good intentions, but the operations of those intentions always get manipulated”.


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