Celebration of Iwu’s Insanity

by Yinka Leo Ogundiran

Generally, insanity, or madness, is the popular term for defining behaviour(s) influenced by mental instability. The purveyor of such behaviour is regarded as insane if his conducts are at variance with expected and commonsensical norms. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is defined as a deranged state of mind or lack of understanding.

Given the exudation of putrid banalities and nauseating posturing of Maurice Iwu ever since he was appointed to preside over INEC, especially his recent imbecilic gibbering in the public glare concerning the April general elections, one can only make this infallible deduction: Maurice Iwu is insane. The man has, no doubt, completely lost his mind. His actions or inactions are nothing short of a man that is mentally unhinged.

The April general elections in Nigeria have been, by and large, from the Southern tip of South Africa, down to the landmass of the Americas, Australia, Asia and even the Soviet Union of today, declared as the worst election ever in the history of mankind. Universally, there has been no better euphemism to describe the Nigerian general elections presided over by Maurice Iwu other than failure.

Having been initially declared a “do-or-die” affair by the curmudgeonly former president whose inauspicious tenancy at the Aso-Rock expired on 29th May 2007, Maurice Iwu dutifully made sure he made a success of that moronic declaration – “do-or-die” affair. Imbued with a sense of absolute potency, or indeed of a temporary ascendancy, the former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who had initially woefully lost a bid to illegally elongate his tenure in office as Nigeria’s president beyond the specified time, was determined to show Nigerians pepper for not allowing him to continue his misrule, and he found a perfect instrumentality in a monstrously unsightly rhinoceros called Maurice Iwu.

Yorubas have an idiomatic expression for Obasanjo’s barbarousness and tomfoolery of giving Nigerians a snake when they asked for fish, “Kaka ki eku ma je sinsin, a fi shawa danu“, meaning, if a mouse cannot feed on sinsin, it would rather make a mess of it. It needs to be stressed, however, that Obasanjo indeed succeeded in achieving this sadistic feat but by taking advantage of Maurice Iwu’s criminal mindedness, obsequiousness and, ultimately, his insanity.

All Local and foreign independent monitoring groups were chagrined by the flagrant charade that Maurice Iwu moronically romanticized as election. Even the committee of the most accomplished scholars under the auspices of Nobel Prize winners, which included our own Wole Soyinka, was befuddled by the abracadabra of Maurice Iwu’s INEC and issued a statement repudiating the elections in totality, and asking that the elections be re-conducted.

The position of some Nigerian professionals and professors in Diaspora numbering about seventy was in unison with that of the Nobel Laureates, in which they also issued a press statement denouncing the “do-or-die” election presided over by Maurice Iwu as unacceptable. These respectable professionals – the literary giant, Professor Chinua Achebe; the renowned Howard University professor of Chemical Engineering, who is regarded as the greatest data cruncher in the world, Bolaji Aluko; the Jigawa-born professor of Mathematics who is the Director of the Institute of Industrial Mathematical Sciences (IIMS) of the University of Manitoba, Abba Gumel and others – unequivocally called for the cancellation of this charade. Professor Abba Gumel, especially, who is one of the greatest Mathematicians in the history of black race, is still confounded by how Maurice Iwu added two plus two without getting four.

But however, surprisingly, instead for Maurice Iwu to remorsefully show sobriety for his grotesque incompetence and dismal failure and bury his head in shame, he has been jubilating on one hand, and, on the other hand, vituperating his critics in grandiose manner. He even vitriolically rebuked some of his critics as “insane” for failing to see that the elections were “successful”. According to him, the Nigerians demanding for credible elections are unpatriotic alarmists, they are villains. Even though hundreds of citizens of Nigeria needlessly lost their lives in these “do-or-die” elections, Maurice Iwu has remained defiantly stolid and obstreperous, saying, “the April 2007 general elections in Nigeria were the most peaceful, free and fair”!

Even recently, on October 16, this idiocy egregiously egressed from his stinking mouth: “I did everything for my country. If I am asked to do it again, I will do it the same way because Nigeria deserves the best”!

What better evidence does anyone need to be convinced that Maurice Iwu is a qualified and worthy candidate for immediate admittance into Aro psychiatric hospital in Abeokuta for urgent, intensive mental treatment?

But nonetheless his insanity, it has to be, at this juncture, categorically emphasized that Maurice Iwu is not the only culprit responsible for the criminal midwifery of April’s electoral monster which threw Nigeria into utter lugubriousness. But he is more culpable than anyone else.

INEC’s sole function is largely clerical and organizational. It is suppose to be an instrument for the articulation of choice, not its own, but of the people it serves. It is meant to serve as an impartial arbiter, one that declares when rules have been broken, and then moves to redress such a situation, calling on the necessary instruments of the state to enforce its mandate of impartial dealing. As expressly spelt out in the statutes establishing its existence, INEC does not have any business disqualifying candidates and invidiously giving leverages to the perpetuation of political intrigues.

If at all, the only justification for INEC to intervene in the self constituting process of a political party is if, ONLY IF, such process runs contrary to its own base for existence – which is none other than the facilitation of the democratic process. Not only did Maurice Iwu misinterpret this mandate, and hence perverted the very basis of INEC’s existence, and thereby making him more inexcusably culpable than anybody else, but he was actively appurtenant to the subversion of the democratic ethos which INEC is meant to uphold. He disdained the electoral law he swore to defend.

For instance, Iwu’s partisanship to the PDP is not a secret and, in the course of the electioneering, he made the disqualification and frustration of its major contenders an art. When the PDP declared that the Former Vice president Atiku Abubakar would not be allowed to contest the presidential election, Maurice Iwu was the mercenary that was to make that act of perfidy a possibility. Even when the court made it abundantly clear that INEC lacked the power to disqualify Atiku Abubakar, Maurice Iwu thumbed his nose at the court, saying, “court judgement or no court judgement, Atiku remains disqualified”!

He demonstrated the same hideous intransigence in Anambra State where he, with a litany of jiggery-pokery, barred Governor Peter Obi and ex-Governor Chris Ngige from contesting the gubernatorial election, and thereby paving way for Obasanjo’s notorious factotum, “Dr” Andy Uba, to win in a landslide. Not only did Andy Uba, an “Oluwole Ph.D” poseur, win in a landslide, but he was, thanks to Maurice Iwu, said to have had more votes than the number of registered voters in Anambra State!

But thank goodness. The rejuvenated judiciary put paid to Andy’s landslide by ruthlessly kicking him out of office barely two weeks he usurped the gubernatorial seat of Anambra State. Like I once wrote in my piece when some Uba’s Rottweilers mindlessly laid siege on Professor Okey Ndibe for making truthfulness his forte, “He (Andy Uba) was kicked out like David Becham kicked away the ball when he played that infamous penalty kick against Portugal in Euro-2004 Nation’s cup!”

The same judicial bravery was repeated in River State where Rotimi Amaechi, who was initially unjustly disqualified by Maurice Iwu, was propelled to his rightful position as the governor of River State by the Supreme Court.

The apex of intrepidity so far demonstrated by the judiciary has no example and we must remain thankful to these honorable men of the judiciary for rekindling our democratic hope and political aspiration. The Tribunals have fearlessly sacked three other governors who were criminally allowed to coast to undeserved victory by Maurice Iwu. Innumerable Senators, House of Representative members, as well as uncountable members of various States Houses of Assembly, have been dismissed by the Tribunals, with more assuredly expected to come.

Despite all these, Maurice Iwu still, like Obasanjo, dey kampe. Sometime last week, he idiotically declared that the April 21 presidential election was far better than June 12 1993 election, in the sense that, the former led to “transition from civilian to civilian”! When I read Maurice Iwu blathering this galling drivel, I finally gave up on him but found succor in a Yoruba expression: “Won ti sa si”, meaning, in that tradition of blame passing, that the enemies of the afflicted individual have finally got through to him psychically and scrambled his brains. Who can still argue that Maurice Iwu is not quite compos mentis?

Maurice Iwu’s odious madness always reminds me of a prescription once made by Professor Thomas Lambo(of blessed memory). The then Deputy Director of World Health Organization, Professor Thomas Lambo, once made a witty proposition, but to which I most respectfully differ. Said he, inter alia, “all political leaders should be subjected to an annual psychiatric examination while they remain in office”.

Whilst I believe that, given the insanity that animates some African leaders when they are in power and sensitive positions of authority, there is a need to occasionally subject them to some kind of psychiatric examination, I think that approach is a, to borrow an expression of local wisdom, “medicine after death”. Like we have witnessed in the case of Maurice Iwu, the monumental havocs wrecked by such madmen are always incorrigible and irreversible. It is, I think, far better and safer not to allow a mad bull into a China shop in the first place.

Personally, I propose that this psychiatric examination be made a preludial pre-condition before appointing or electing public officers in Nigeria, nay Africa. With my proposition, I have no doubt that, in the future, we would have precluded the recrudescence of being hopelessly beleaguered by yet another looney like Maurice Iwu who is spirited to demonstrate and thereupon celebrate his congenital insanity at the expense of our collective national dignity.

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