Good evening my good people, my name is Gbenga Akinmoyo, popularly known as Hon GaRo from the hilly town of Idanre, Ondo State, in Nigeria.
Although I’m a qualified legal practitioner, I want to speak in the language that the ordinary man or woman would understand because this topic concerns the last Presidential election and it concerns us all whether you are Batified, Atikulated, Obidient or of any other school of thought.
Now let us pretend that the Presidential elections was a simple race that was run over 200m on a track that is clearly marked with lanes in a stadium. The whole world is watching with bated breathe, TV cameras are poised all over the world to capture the exciting race; inside the stadium arena Spectaculars and Observers are eagle-eyed watching the race unfold; and most importantly the neutral umpire, INEC, is supervising all aspects of the race, before, during and after.
All the runners had done and completed their preparations and training in their scheduled campaigns, such that on 25th February 2023, we heard the starter shout out “on your marks, get set, Go” and the runners took off; around the sharp bend, into the long home straight and across the finishing tape.
INEC subsequently announced that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of APC was first runner past the post, followed by quite a gap to Atiku Abubakar and followed very closely by Peter Obi, with Rabiu Kwankwaso in a distant fourth place. Atiku and Obi are now claiming that Tinubu did not win the race, and in their seperate claims they are claiming victory. Haba, I’m confused we all watched the race! So we are asking:
- Was there a False Start? NO, because if there was, INEC would have called the runners back immediately for a restart, lest they burn themselves out unnecesarily.
- Did any of the runners cross lane during the race and in particular did the declared winner, Tinubu his cross lane, which might lead to a disqualification? It seems that rather than crossing lanes, in fact a few hurdles were intentionally placed on his lane track such as Fuel Scarcity; Cash Swap Policy; War Against Vote-Buying, etc. in attempt to slow him down, but Tinubu still crossed the finishing tape in first place.
- Runners usually go for testing after races of national and world significance, but 3 weeks after the race we have not heard that Tinubu was tested and found to have any illegal or prohibited substance in his bloodstream after examination.
Well, I trained as a lawyer in England where we are pragmatic about litigation and don’t just take cases for the sake of just satisfying Egos. On the contrary, we advise our prospective client that if he does not have a realistic prospect of success, then he ought not to waste his time and resources pursuing a matter.
Sadly, most Nigerian politicians have prepared two speeches before they go into an election. The first is the Victory Acceptance Speech in the event that they win and the second is the venomous Rejection of Result Speech in the event things don’t go their way at the polls. Now that parties are destined for the law courts, in my humble submission, on this occasion it is a total waste of time.
When will our political gladiators become mature and learn to accept defeat? Former President Goodluck Jonathan laid a precedent and a good example back in 2015 by conceding defeat even before final results were declared, he is indeed a rare breed.
Gbenga Akinmoyo (Barr.)
Hon GaRo writes from Idanre
26th March 2023.