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How To Rig Electionsuccessfully In Nigeria -the Anambra Example - Politics - Nairaland

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How To Rig Electionsuccessfully In Nigeria -the Anambra Example by enny09: 5:14am On Nov 26, 2013
Donald Duke (Fmr Cross Rivers State
Governor)
“...The truth is, the Chairman of the
Independent National Electoral Commission
has little or no bearing on the success of
elections, that’s the truth. To me, it’s
actually immaterial because he is head of
the administration he takes the brunt. The
best he can do is perhaps, draw up a
blueprint but the implementation of that
blueprint is outside his control...Let me
now take you through the process of an
election.
We have a hundred and twenty thousand
booths in Nigeria. At the hierarchy, you
have the Chairman of INEC, then you have
the Zonal Commissioners, then you have
the Resident Electoral Commissioners and
they are the heads in every State; the Zone
as the name implies; we have six Zones in
Nigeria, so you have six of them. Then you
have the Resident Electoral Commissioners
and there are thirty-six of them of course,
and Abuja. Then for each Local
Government, you have an electoral officer.
Beyond that you have a hundred and
twenty thousand polling booths, headed by
Presiding Officers. The people think that at
the end of the elections, the PDP would just
decide who wins and who doesn’t and
announces the results. I think the process
is a bit more sophisticated than that.
This is what happens; the Resident
Electoral Commissioner is usually from
another State. The electoral officers, they
move around. They are usually from that
State, but for the conduct of elections itself,
you would probably move from Cross River
to Akwa Ibom or to Abia...When the
Resident Electoral Commissioner comes
before the elections are conducted- of
course when he comes to the State, usually,
he has no accommodation; monies have
not been released for the running or
conduct of the elections and all that
because we always start late. He pays a
courtesy call on the Governor. It’s usually
a televised event you know, and of course
he says all the right things. ‘Your
Excellency, I am here to ensure that we
have free and fair elections and I will
require your support.’
Now, at that courtesy call, most Governors,
at least I did, will invite the Commissioner
of Police because he is part of the action
and he sits there.
After the courtesy call, the Resident
Electoral Commissioner now moves in for
a one-on-one with the Governor and then
says, “Your Excellency, since I came, I’ve
been staying in this hotel, there is no
accommodation for me and even my
vehicle is broken down and the last
Commissioner didn’t leave the vehicle, so if
you could help me settle down quickly;’
and the Governor says, ‘Chief of Staff,
where is the Chief of Staff here?’ And the
Chief of Staff appears. Governor says:
‘Please ensure that the REC is
accommodated–put him in the Presidential
lodge, allot two cars to him, I give you
seven days to get this done. Then the
relationship has started; I am going to
share some of these things with you so that
we don’t leave here with any illusions...Let
me take you down to what happens so that
you can change it because if you don’t
change it, we here won’t suffer but I think
of our children will.
We the elite, I am one of them, we send
our kids to the best schools around the
World, when they come back they are
misfits, they cannot fit in and so ultimately
we are designing a System that would
destroy us in the end...Now, back to the
elections, once that relationship has been
established between the Governor and the
REC, if you are a Governor who is ‘A
Governor’, maybe two nights after you just
pop by at the Governors lodge and see the
REC and say ah, ‘ah REC how are you
doing? Are you OK?’ He says, ‘ah! Your
Chief of Staff has been wonderful. He has
been very nice to me; he supplied me the
vehicles and everything is Ok’.
A few weeks to the elections, the REC sees
the Governor; you probably have on the
average about three thousand five hundred,
four thousand depending on the polling
booths in every State. So, REC goes to the
Governor and says, ‘Your Excellency, could
you please give us the names of about four,
five thousand people so that we can
hurriedly train them, we need them as
Presiding Officers.’ You need experience. A
good coach is one who has played and has
lost matches in the past?
The REC now goes down and says, ‘we need
to conduct a training programme for the
Presiding Officers and em, headquarters
hasn’t sent us any money yet, you know.’
And the Governor is like: ‘How much
would that cost?’
REC replies: ‘twenty five million naira for
the first batch, we may have about three
batches.’ Governor: ‘Ok, the Chief of Staff
will see you.’ Now, the Chief of Staff, you
call him: ‘Make sure, that we arrange
twenty five million naira this week and in
two weeks time another twenty five
million naira and seventy five million
naira in all.’
Chief of Staff: ‘Your Excellency, how do we
do it?’
Governor: ‘Put it under Security Vote.’
In other words, its cash, ok, now, cash in
huge Ghana Must Go bags – some of my
colleagues will shoot me- (turns to the
audience) is any former Governor here?
(Crowd replies no!)
Good. Cash is lodged in huge Ghana Must
Go Bags for the REC and of course, to be
fair to them, they call their electoral
officers and say the Governor has been
very benevolent; he has given us this and
that. I say three batches because they have
them in Senatorial districts. So, you have
one in Calabar, you have One in Ikom and
Ogoja, those are the headquarters of the
Senatorial districts. Each one costs twenty-
five million. Of course, the sums are not
properly retired. I don’t know how much
of this twenty-five million worked. But,
there is a rapport this is going on.
The Governor now turns round and says:
‘call me the Party Chairman.’ The Party
Chairman appears and the Governor says:
‘INEC requires fifty thousand people for
conducting the elections. See to it that we
meet their needs.’ The Chairman goes and
you hear in the evening on radio and
television: There will be an urgent meeting
of all Chairmen and secretaries of XYZ
Party at the headquarters. They should
report promptly at 10am (because) matters
of urgent interest will be discussed. End of
announcement.
Now we have texts messages, so it’s easier,
in no time everyone is here.
It’s a very short meeting, please go back
and within forty-eight hours, submit from
each Local Government two hundred and
fifty names of trusted Party members. So in
a week the deed is done. The names,
sometimes even passport photographs if
required are sent to INEC.
And the training programme is carried out.
Let me pause a bit, this is at Party level.
They are usually civil servants. They may
be teachers, whatever, but they are Party
members. The remuneration, for each of
them for the elections from Abuja is ten
thousand naira for the day’s work. But the
State in its benevolence gives fifty to one
hundred thousand naira to each of these
folks right before this election.
This is even where it gets even more
interesting. So, you have each of the three
or four thousand polling booths; they are
manned by Party stalwarts. They are
usually Party stalwarts. You don’t send any
peripheral member. The remuneration
from Abuja has not arrived but that of the
State was received forty-eight hours prior.
On the day of elections, each polling booth
has no more than five hundred ballot
papers; that is standard.
There is not a polling booth that is more
than five hundred. So only two hundred
people appear here, three hundred there,
one hundred there, fifty there, four
hundred there, at the end of election what
happens. The Presiding Officer sits down
and calls a few guys and says, ‘hey, there
are a few hundred papers here, let’s
thumbprint. This is the real election. Well,
this is not a PDP thing. I am not here to
castigate the PDP; it’s a Nigerian thing.
This process may sound comical and jovial,
it happens throughout the country,
whether it’s Action Congress or APGA it’s
the same thing. We are all the same. They
start thumb-printing, some are
overzealous. So at the end of the day you
find some voting more than the number of
people that were registered to vote.
Otherwise they do it, you have ninety-five
percent turnout. You start wondering
where the voters were; I didn’t see so
many people. And the election results are
announced; XYZ Party wins and it takes a
week for this paltry ten thousand naira for
each Presiding Officer to arrive.
Listen to this before you ask your question:
Who is the most important person in an
election? – The Presiding Officer. And if
there are a hundred and twenty thousand
of them (booths) there are a hundred and
twenty thousand Presiding Officers, they
are the most important people in the
elections, not the Chairman.
So, as long as we keep applying that same
method, you will get the same results. It’s
crazy to think that because you substitute
Iwu for Jega all will change. In other
words, Iwu is a crook, Jega is a saint. Jega
is great, he has an impeccable reputation.
Iwu was great, now he seems not so great.
OK, they are both professors, they have
reached the peak of whatever discipline
that they profess. The point is that it is the
System and the personnel and the
Chairman has little or no control over
that...Sometimes, we behave as if we
invented democracy. We always want to
draw new rules. We should know the day
of elections. It should be fixed. We should
know that on so and so date I think,
America is the 4th of November or so and
if it falls on a Sunday it doesn’t make a
difference. The point I am making here is
that date is fixed, you know; because in a
democracy, election should be a norm, not
an event. In our democracy, election is an
event. It’s like, we are going to spring on to
you with fireworks, hey, we are going to
have an election, we are all running
around- I know most politicians are broke
right now, so we are all running around
the field...In a democracy, you postpone an
election? You postpone things you didn’t
plan for, not things that are there in the
Constitution that says you must do this,
that and that...We need a critical mass of
Nigerians to get out and vote. It is
important because the more ballot papers
that are legitimately used on Election Day,
the fewer available to be used to rig the
vote, that’s the truth. Don’t keep to
yourself and think that they will announce
results. They are more sophisticated than
that. And that’s why the aspirants who felt
cheated and had the resources to employ
forensic personnel, like those elections had
the elections upturned in Edo and Ondo,
because they could establish multiple
voting by thumbprint.
So, if it’s an AC State the procedure is the
same. I remember a State, that State will
remain nameless. I hear the story that the
then President was so determined that he
must change the leadership of this State
and he called the IG and said, ‘look, that
Governor is a security breach. Let's have
elections and flush the Governor out, and
the Governor knows he is under siege. A
week before the elections, a new police
Commissioner arrives. And you know if
you are a Governor and a new Police
Commissioner arrives before elections, you
know something is wrong somewhere and
he spends two, three days without going to
see the Governor, which is again a breach
of protocol. The day he decides to see the
Governor, the Governor says, I won’t be at
the office. However, if he gives him a
particular address they may discuss. Then
the chap goes there and smartly salutes
and it’s in a highbrow neighbourhood of
the city. (Shouts of Ikoyi rent the air.) ‘No!
It’s Yobe!’ (The hall explodes in loud
laughter).
The Commissioner of Police walks up to the
Governor and smartly salutes and says:
‘Your Excellency, I just came to introduce
myself. My name is Mr. So, so and so. And
the Governor goes: ‘Ah, you are welcome. I
heard you were here two or three days ago
and I was wondering whether I won’t see
you. Anyway, you are welcome. Have you
settled down?’ ‘Yes I’ve been given
accommodation and all that. And the
Governor asks, ‘where was your last
posting?’ He tells him, he says fine.
Governor: ‘That car over there, this is the
key and this is your house.
The Commissioner of Police now says:
‘Your Excellency, this Obasanjo is a very
bad man. He is a very, very bad man. If
you see all the things he has planned for
you eh Olorun maje.’
How do we move on? How do we get out of
here? What I have done is I’ve tried
graphically to paint a picture of a process.
How do we change this process?
One, I think, since we cannot change
attitudes as quickly, we must ensure mass
participation. In an election where there is
a very high turnout, the results are usually
genuine. The most celebrated election in
Nigeria, June 12, 1993 what happened?
People came out. The more people who
come out to vote the fewer–there may be
mago, mago here and there but there
wouldn’t be much in such a critical
manner to upset the will of the people.
Beyond that, if you don’t vote in an
election, you have no reason to criticize
the Government and I tell folks everywhere
that guys, I would say, I have lived my life.
You guys have not and you are all
criticizing Nigeria but did you vote in the
last election? Most of them say no then I
say, you’ve lost the moral right to criticize
what the Government does because you
were not part of the process.
Is there a way out? I think there is. I think
we need to employ technology. It's just a
suggestion and I want to share with you. I
have said this in one or two fora and I’ve
heard people say it has not been done in
America or the West why should we do it
here? I say they don’t have the attitude we
have here. Necessity is the mother of
invention. It is not necessary for us to do
what I’m about to suggest.
For the purposes of this, 3455, this number
is for a phone and that number is unique
to you and valid for that election or the set
of elections. And each Party has a
numerical equivalent. AC could be 1, the
PDP could be 5, and the Labour Party could
be 3, whatever. And on the date of
elections you decide that your number
even if you don’t have a phone, you can go
to a centre where they have a bank of
phones and once you put in your number
3455 it recognizes you, it cannot be
duplicated. It’s only you that has that
number and for that election on that date,
once it’s used it cannot be used by anyone
else. Then you can do this one from your
house or anywhere, and any time between
the hours of nine to twelve. When it says
which Party, you say 3 or 4 whatever the
number, they ask you, ‘are you sure you
say Yes’. You press it then you’ve voted.
With that, I think we can conduct election
but people say ah, it’s to technological and
I say, why do you always underestimate
the people in the rural areas? If you send
them money this way, won’t they be able
to cash it? Why is it that when it is to
conduct their civic responsibilities it
becomes high tech? I know this country, I
ran a State for eight years; I know the
nooks and crannies of my State. We are not
the most enlightened of States in the
country, but you see, I had a deal with
MTN and Glo to ensure that every
community in Cross River State has a base
station; for that I gave them sites free of
charge; so, virtually every nook and
cranny of Cross River has a base station;
even the most rural of places; even in
Bakassi when we still had control of it, and
they all use it. They still use it to call their
folks in the urban centres to say send us
money.
Why is that when it comes to civic
responsibility it is high tech?...
I am not saying this is a perfect System, it
can be fine-tuned, that will ensure that
within an hour or two everyone has voted
and the results are near perfect.
Of course, once you design a System, there
are those whose work is to un-design the
System. There are people like that and they
work backwards. Once you have that we
also think the same way. How do we work
backwards, where can this be faulted? It
can be faulted in many ways. The Service
Companies if you are able to break-through
the integrity of the System, you know, here
and there; but I think we are going to think
outside the norm.
The point I’m trying to make is we have to
think outside the box. I want to commend
the Federal Government, each time the
Government talks about elections; it keeps
on talking about credible elections with
brilliant sound bite. But it must go beyond
the sound bite and let’s not kid ourselves,
by thinking that by putting a Jega there
that all is well. With Jega there, all will be
well if he is able to design along with his
team a System that is virtually fool proof.
In other words, he himself must
understand the System of elections; he
needs to know how it works and how it’s
been holding...Where are we? We need to
get out of these holes; we need to traverse
the length and breadth of this country. We
need to recruit an army of people may be
five thousand in each State, two hundred
young men and women who will reach our
(people), give each of them a task to ensure
that he registers at least a hundred person.
That alone, will bring twenty million
people into the fold. This is what they did
in the Obama election.
Fortunately, I was monitoring the Obama
election, whether you attain voting age or
not, you are able to send text and move
around and get people to vote. It's one
thing to register, some folk tell me, and
‘how can I go to line up for hours to vote
for this person’. This is again what Pastor
Bakare was talking about, if people are not
excited about the candidates they will not
come out. ‘Look at the four people running,
they are all clowns. I’ m going to watch
television; I’m not going to vote because
either way a clown is going to win’.
So, we have to get involved in the process.
We can’t all run for offices, we all
can’t. ...”
Secrets Reporters at 14:02

1 Like

Re: How To Rig Electionsuccessfully In Nigeria -the Anambra Example by aminho(m): 5:50am On Nov 26, 2013
Thats just the fact

(1) (Reply)

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