Mahmood Yakubu: How Have You Succeeded In Research Activities?

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

As a Nigerian in the academics and current Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC, I am compelled to ask how you have succeeded in your chosen career, given the facts that you didn’t add anything to the strengthening of Nigeria’s electoral processes.

Independent Electoral Commission, is an agency within a ministry in Nigeria which has been equal in halves in regards to helping people get elected into political offices on one hand and also helping people to either fail or succeed in getting into same offices on the other hand. What a design for failure! Yet, people of higher quality of degree in education and experience in years of work and travels around the continents, have always been appointed to handle the responsibility of this agency. From the experience so far in the outcome of their activities, one can tell that the only missing element which apparently is the only solution to having a successful result would be ‘integrity’. Integrity is professionally and temporarily painted black at a time when election is about to take place in Nigeria.

Humphrey Nwosu, a professor, during his time stood his ground to do the needful despite the fact that the election he conducted in 1993 was considered inconclusive. Nigerian’s hope which was very high at the time, was brought down abruptly in a very unsystematic manner. People became mentally disorganized as they could not comprehend what has just happened to them. Attahiru Jega again brought about the electronic voting system in 2015, which though, not without some faults, but was a step forward. One would have thought that Prof. Mahmood would have learnt something from these two gentlemen and which naturally, would have formed a basis for a better or a near to perfect electoral process. What has he done instead? A total mess of the previous less than average score of Nigeria’s electoral standard!

People of good moral values would always quit when they discover that the outcome of their efforts could end up impacting a result negatively. But why is it different in this part of the world? I can guarantee that some of Prof. Mahmoods’ students in the university, can come up with a solution to managing a better process for Nigeria in this regard. I am also certainly sure that the he can do it too but does it really matter to him? Its all about keeping integrity in the shadow as one of those Nigerian leaders whose unprofessional conducts only come into the open at a much older age, would do. This is how you would be remembered!

According to a report from Nigeria”s congress “For us in the National Assembly, we are really saddened by this event. We had supported INEC to the extent that we decided to postpone some of our recess and holidays just to approve the commission’s budget for this election. And we approved N189 Billion for INEC (in addition to the budgets of security agencies, totaling N242 Billion) so that the situation today could be averted. The agency has further taken Nigeria back behind Prof. Humphrey’s era. You have wasted resources and Nigeria’s wealth, if this is anything to go by.

What has research taught the INEC chairman that would not allow his leadership to know that the greatest challenges confronting his duties would be how to distribute election materials, protect the materials and secure polling centers? Must he be like other Nigerians who design an outcome for a national project or that he hasn’t handled on his own, issues of logistics and good delegation of duties? Its certainly one of these two.

Two standard democracies to learn from, if you needed any resourceful material, are Germany and the United States of America. Which of these two nations is the chairman scared of researching into how their elections are conducted? In land mass and population size, Nigeria can not be compared to these Nations. Nigeria hangs in the middle and that makes them good sources to learn from. I am sure Nigerians would also agree with me now why Buhari’s secondary school certificate does not really matter. Mahmood with his qualifications has failed to run an agency within a ministry well enough. A fallacy? I doubt it!

I hate to have more proofs that education in Nigeria is premised only on academic performance and nothing more. Character and the ability to relate academic performance to problem solving should be evident in this regards too. But the likes of Prof. Mahmood, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent governor of Oyo state, Ajimobi Abiola, who took after Emperor Nero’s arrogance, have shown that education may just be another means to belie a man’s personality.

I wish the world to know that Certificates from Nigerian institutions are based on performance and character while higher education attainments are also about research towards simplicity. But why issues of character and simplicity of things are issues even at a very good height in life for some Nigerians, are questions Nigerians are not yet prepared to ask themselves? Or is it not worrisome that Nigerian youths would have to remind Mahmood that a man’s height of attainment, measures the value of his achievements in his society or the destruction of his environment?

Well, let’s continue to watch together with the rest of the world as some of these old educated men, prepares to end their careers unceremoniously. Let us always praise them when they do well while they still maintain their integrity and be quick to remind them of their funny acts as the prepare for retirement.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, I am not sure now if Nigerians can trust your judgement about what is good and bad. Nigerians were the ones who decided how this election would be peaceful and logistically smooth. Your agency and your ability to take Nigeria further closer to the promised land, have only left some of us speechless. You had enough resources to secure the process and to standardized polling centers.

Must Nigeria’s case be like the other African’s? If the politicians are not getting it right, why would Professors like you be doing same to further give bad names to quality education in Nigeria. Research and researching are the keys to changing any existing circumstance. Your inability to research well into Nigeria’s electoral space, has made nonesense of your four years well funded, planning and execution of Nigeria’s electoral process.

Affar O. G, the Publisher /EIC, is also a member of the United State Press Agency and the European Journalism Community

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