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Appeal Court’s sacking of Governor Caleb Mutfwang: The blurry Message and the bigger picture

The Appeal Court judgement of Sunday, November 19, sacking Governor Caleb Mutfwang as the legitimately elected Governor of Plateau State has generated significant commentary from the press, politicians, clerics and the general public alike.

There is hardly a Plateau indigene or resident who wouldn’t have a thing or two to say about the judgement.

Most of the commentaries, however, failed to equivocally point out the most salient issues leading up to the appellate court’s ruling.

Many commentators have failed to see the judgment as a end mark of an era in the socio-political life of Plateau State.

It is discernable from the general euphoria on the streets that many Plateaunians know that their mandate was (temporarily) stolen.

The court judgment glaringly confirms many suspicions and leaves many questions begging for answers.

First, the court judgement advertently or inadvertently made a caricature of the Nigerian electoral system.

The judgement, premised on the sham argument that PDP had no structure is ad horminem in itself.

The question to ask is, if the PDP had no structure, why were they on the ballot paper in the first place? Your guess is as good as mine.

The PDP had structures hence they were on the ballot. If anything, the whole process was a well planned collusion between the APC and the electoral commission.

If PDP had no structures, then INEC should answer questions as to why the PDP fielded candidates.

This clearly showed a well planned scheme of the APC to get power in Plateau state by whatever means necessary.

Rigging during the elections, which was the Plan A, was not possible; the courts, their Plan B, is being played.

The court judgement also shows a new system of government being introduced which is what I will call ‘Judicracy.’

This system does not give power to the power as Abe Lincoln had defined; rather, the power is to the courts.

As glaringly played out, the courts are gradually becoming very influential and dish out judgement based on who knows who, and not on the merits of the case.

The APC realized this and a popular APC figure (Yusuf Gagdi) was recorded to have said, “we know who they know, but they don’t know who we know”.

If anything, the statement portrays the shameful system we are in.

The cockiness of the APC about the Appeal Courts only confirms this claim: they feel they have the judiciary in their pockets.

But the bigger issue is that the appointment of the judiciary by the executive makes the system ipso facto flawed.

The influence of religion in the judgement must not be overlooked. This is clearly an indication that a particular religion are struggling for political relevance.

Before the elections, it became clear how a Muslim cleric campaigned on the ship of religion.

Although both candidates are Christians, it is clear that there was a well planned scheme to continue the agenda of giving the Muslims more relevance in the politics of Plateau state.

The contest was lost on the battle field, but as I stated above, the courts are there to help. In order to gaslight the masses, a Christian judge, Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu delivered the judgement in order to lessen the tension and quell the allegations of religious interest. What a shame!

The judgement was clearly to heal the bruised ego of certain religious bigots who thought it was an opportunity to flex their muscles and brag about their relevance.

The bigger picture here is that future elections may likely be polarised on the basis of religion. Implicitly, depending on which side candidates may contest, there is a possibility of losing good leaders due to such stereotypes. The losers, like always, will be the masses.

In summary, this election has confirmed the rot in our system; the weakness in the judiciary; the new emerging trend and form of government; the religious undertone to the struggle and what it portends for the future of elections in the strategic Plateau State.

Like the peace loving indefatigable governor stated, this is a temporary set-back and Plateau State will be the winner in the end.

The lack of celebrations on Sunday is a clear indication of the people’s choice. Selah.

L.B.D (Jos)

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