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24.04.2007 General News

ECHOES FROM NIGERIA

By Ghanaian Lens
THE opposition parties in Ghana must not only follow closely, but also pick lessons from the on-going game of political jigsaw in Nigeria, in their own interest.
'For, what is happening, under the direct baton of one of the proclaimed African democratic leaders, President Olusegun Obasanju, is most puzzling.
Election rigging, according to impartial observers, has in the past been performed like a ritual and thus has become part of Nigeria's history
However, what was seen last week-end as a preamble to the Presidential election, that of the election of state governors, has raised eye-brows and placed a big question mark, facing the tall claims of the steady progress being made in the democratic process (Western-sold) in Africa.
Strangely enough, those who find the Zimbabwean politics an an embarrassment to some African leaders, have kept their mouths shut, perhaps, either due to their own past bad record or planning a worse political mischief, lingering on their minds, and which they may put into practice in their own countries.
There were thousands of observers and spies in Zimbababwe during the last elections.
Although there were some kind of the usual isolated cases of “skirmishes” between opposing parties, there were no fatalities.
On the other hand, it is reported about 40 people were killed in the grand-rehearsal last week-end.
So who is causing an embracement to whom?
Anyway, we pray that the presidential elections this week-end are held in a more peaceful manner, at least to recover some lost grounds, especially, when an obvious attempt had been made by the Head of State, himself, to disqualify a particular contestant.
And his crime?
Vice President Atiku had opposed the Obasanju attempt to enjoy a third-term reign.
As usual, the Election Commission in Nigeria saw nothing and heard nothing about last week's debacle. To the Commission, it was a free and fair exercise.
And, this is why the opposition parties in Ghana, must this time around, sit up to ensure that no crooked deals take place in the next elections.
If the dirty deals in last general elections failed to provide any lessons to them, at least, what happened in the recent Nkoranza North bye-election must do so.
For there, the paramount chief, the police and some electoral officials, openly defied rules and took a firm position behind a particular candidate. The bribery galore was not even seen by the “independent” observers.
President Obasnjo and Kufuor are the best of friends and share ideas together.
To one brothers and sisters we say please complete the saying: “Show me your friend…”


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