Former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, has thrown his weight behind former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, over his confession on rigging of elections, saying that Mantu should be commended for his courage in saying the truth.
The former presidential aide further stirred the hornet’s nest when he disclosed that rigging of elections actually started from 1959 to 2015, saying that all political parties were involved in elections malpractices.
Okupe stated this through his official facebook handle @ Doyin Okupe, saying that anybody who tries to deny it will be called an enemy of progress in Nigeria.
The Daily Times recalls that Mantu , while playing host during a Channels Television programme last week, confessed how he contributed to rig elections for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But Mantu’s party, the PDP, has disowned him over his confession while the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) has lauded his courage and asked other members of the PDP to confess too.
Okupe , however, insisted that elections have always been rigged from 1959 till date, saying that there was the need for a change in the system.
He said,“Democracy is mocked if people have the right to vote but their votes do not count. it is a societal abomination, a desecration of our core values, and a shameful disgrace on us as a nation.
“True modernity and civilization will elude us if we cannot by adult suffrage elect credible candidates, stop or remove non performing elected officials simply because they already occupy elective posts or belong to an entrenched party”.
Okupe’s statement further reads in part, “It may be difficult for us to make serious progress as a nation. Most of us leaders and followers are Hypocrites, and dishonest individuals. Very few think about the interest of the country and we play politics with everything.
“Mantu spoke as a true patriot who desired true and genuine change. The media is suddenly awashed with a cacaphony of misrepresentations and distortions on what he said. Suddenly the substance of his honest disposition is lost to partisan blame game that has not advanced our course of history in anyway.
“For the avoidance of doubt all elections were rigged in Nigeria from 1959 to date, without ANY exceptions.
“This rigging is all encompassing and involved all political parties from action group, NCNC NPC to NRC, SDP and PDP, AD, ACN, CPC, APC etc.
“If anyone says anything to the contrary such persons are wilfully perjured individuals and the true enemies of progress in Nigeria.
“People like Ibrahim Mantu and late President Yar’Adua who even openly admitted that the election that brought him to power was faulty, are heroes of this country.
“Parties in Nigeria rig both intra and inter party elections from wards through local governments all the way to National elections from time immemorial.
“For a truth it is only in the South-West and a few other zones that a modicum resemblance to an election actually do take place. In most other parts of the country, nothing like elections take place or better still the charade of people lining up and casting their votes is just a mere ritual that has nothing to do with the results announced.
“Perhaps the most crooked of all electoral umpires we have had so far is Attahiru Jega who cynically brought in Professors to glorify the electoral Fraud supretendted by him throughout his tenure.
Okupe also alleged that INEC, the Police, DSS and other agencies are involved in election rigging as accomplices, saying that the aforementioned agencies all drives the rigging process from the ward to national levels.
He further asked that how could anybody claim that only PDP rig elections in Nigeria.
He said, “Are we not witnesses to the undeniable fact that in all state elections, no matter how civilized , innocuous or God fearing the state governors pretend to be, all state elections, irrespective of the political party involved, are won by the ruling party in the state 100%.
“It is in our overall interest that we take what Mantu said seriously and for posterity’s sake, let us sit down and plan how to conduct proper free and fair elections in our country.
“Democracy is mocked if people have the right to vote but their votes do not count. It is a societal abomination, a desecration of our core values, and a shameful disgrace on us as a nation. True modernity and civilization will elude us if we cannot by adult suffrage elect credible candidates, stop or remove non performing elected officials simply because they already occupy elective posts or belong to an entrenched party.”.
The former presidential aide said the only recourse the citizens have is the power of the ballot and if it is rendered ineffective by gross electoral fraud and widespread malpractices, the development will not augur well for the country.