The electoral scuffles and external interference in the electoral process in Nigeria seems not to have an end any time soon. This calls for a great concern and eternal vigilance. One of the worst things to have happened to any nation is to sit back while her sovereignty is trifled with and wantonly assaulted by the external forces.
It is sad to maintain that Nigeria as a nation is painfully bereaved of a potent and virile foreign policy. I have often canvass a point that the working of foreign policy is alien to Nigeria. Nigeria being a giant of Africa is not taking this advantage at the international center to wrought its benefits to the people of Nigeria and the African continent. This is one the reasons Nigeria is taken for granted at the international scene and more often than not, Nigeria appears like a sterile spectator rather than an active international actor or player.
There is no gainsay that electoral process in any democratic nation is regarded as a sacred and important process. This is because whatever have the ability to interfere in the electoral process will have the ability to determine the destiny of the nation. This is one of the reasons the electoral process and its outcome cannot and should not be treated with anything that looks like disdain.
The allegation that Russian government interfered in the 2016 United States Presidential election led to the impeachment of President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives. This has brought a great stain on the integrity of American democracy and electoral process. This American democracy was birthed more than 200 years ago and as it is today, the Americans are still up with their sleeves fighting for the soul of their democracy and the integrity of their electoral process.
The United States of America raised so much ado about electoral process around the world not sparing any nation they considered to have mismanaged its electoral process and at the same time acting as an umpire to meet out sanctions on any nation or state they considered to have erred, in most cases, not minding the position of the legal machinery to address any grievance from the result of the election. It is on this general impression that on the 14 September, 2020, the United States through a Press release on their website indicted and imposed visa restriction and travel ban on the unnamed persons alleged to have undermined democratic process during the Governorship elections in Bayelsa State and Kogi State and planning same sanction on the prospective defaulters in the not yet conducted elections in Edo State and Ondo State.
It is quite amazing that United States which pride itself as a nation of law chose to ignored and despised the outcome of allegations of violence as judged by the apex court as lacking proofs. The allegation of the electoral violence in the said elections was not even made against specific or named individuals and one is surprised why the United States chose to place travel ban or visa restriction on the unnamed individuals they perceived to have been guilty of the electoral violence or undermining electoral process. This should beg for serious questions.
The Nigerian government whose one of the constitutional responsibilities is to defend the sovereignty of Nigeria kept mute at the U.S assault against her tenet of democracy. The Kogi State being one of the States fingered protested against the unjust verdict. The Governor being the protector of Kogi State’s innocence rose to the occasion to challenge a brutal violation of the electoral integrity and the dignity of his people. The Governor raised salient points and successfully impeached the stand of the U.S irrespective of the party alignment of the unnamed individuals that will be affected by the sanctions. This is what stands out Governor Yahaya Bello amongst other Governors; his uncommon courage and audacity to stand against injustice and his fearlessness to stand against any form of wrongs done against his people.
The naysayers who have been waiting for what to use to paint the Governor and Kogi State black went hysterical and running amok with a most twisted version of the Governor’s defense. They ignored the boldly written American press release about banning unnamed individuals and talk loudly about how Governor Yahaya Bello protested against his travel ban by the U.S. This is a pointer that whatever indices used by the U.S in arriving at that verdict deserves a second look.
For the record, Governor Yahaya Bello is a kind of leader we should crave for in this Country. A leader that stand against foreign intimidation and ridicule; a leader that will confront concocted lies with daunting truth; a leader whose passion is the interest of his people and a leader who will not stand to watch his subjects condemn without a cause.
Barr. Shadrach EmmanuelNaijaBlog.ng