News agency, Reuters has just unveiled a plot by some powers that be
to kidnap everyone’s favorite man in Nigeria (at the moment), Prof.
According to the report, the attempt by a former Minister of Niger
Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, on March 31 to scuttle the
announcement of the March 28 presidential election results, was a plot
to use hired thugs to kidnap the Chairman of the Independent National
Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and consequently stall the
Reuters however said it found no evidence to suggest that Jonathan, who accepted defeat in the election, was involved in the plot.
The news agency quoted unnamed pro-democracy advocates and a
Nigeria-based diplomat as saying that one of Jega’s aides unearthed the
It said that the aide had sent a text message to an independent
voting monitor, “warning of an imminent threat to the electoral
Reuters said it pieced the information together from the
text message, events on the ground during the announcement of the
results and interviews with pro-democracy advocates and diplomats in
It added that when the independent voting monitor sent the SMS, he
hoped the outside world would hear of the plot and the text of the
“Fellow countrymen, Nigeria on Trial,” read the SMS sent on the
morning of March 31 to the head of the Situation Room, an Abuja-based
coalition of human rights groups and pro-democracy advocates monitoring
“Plans are on storm [sic] the podium at the ICC Collation Centre and
disrupt the process. Nobody is sue [sic] what will happen. Please share
this as widely as possible,” the text read further.
At that moment, Jega was about to preside over the announcement of the results.
As tallies from around the country showed that the All Progressives
Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, was leading, “unidentified
PDP(Peoples Democratic Party) hard-liners started to panic, seeking ways
of manipulating the count,” the boss of the Situation Room and the
diplomat said, citing political contacts in the Niger Delta and Abuja.
Realising they could not engineer an outright win, the PDP agents
set about doctoring the tally at collation centres in pro- (Goodluck)
Jonathan areas to ensure Buhari failed to meet a requirement for 25 per
cent support in two-thirds of the states, the head of the Situation Room
said, citing reports from election monitors on the ground.
Reuters said its reporter witnessed and photographed one
tally list in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with suspiciously similar
totals for registered voters at polling stations: 500, 500, 500, 500,
500, 500, 500, 500, 450.
In another tally centre in the city, 17,594 valid votes were recorded out of a registered voter population of 11,757, the Reuters reporter said.
However, as Buhari’s lead grew, some PDP supporters from the Niger
Delta, including Orubebe, decided on a final gamble: to create a
disturbance in the main INEC hall and have “thugs snatch Jega from the
stage, Reuters quoted the Head of the Situation Room and the Abuja-based diplomat.
What the group planned to do after the abduction was unclear, they said.
“It was a desperate thing, mostly by a group of people from the Niger
Delta who were in the room,” the Situation Room head said, describing
events that unfolded publicly in the minutes after he received the SMS.
When Jega opened proceedings on the morning of March 31, Orubebe had
grabbed a microphone and launched into an 11-minute tirade accusing Jega
“Mr. chairman, we have lost confidence in you,” he shouted, pushing
away officials trying to make him surrender the microphone. “You are
being very, very selective. You are partial,” he continued, surrounded
by three or four supporters. “You are tribalistic. We cannot take it.”
At this point, according to the Head of the Situation Room and the
diplomat, Jega’s security details were approached by unidentified
individuals telling them to stand down but they declined.
“Some of the guards who had been guarding Jega for years demanded a written order,” the Head of the Situation Room said.
Jega later rebuked Orubebe, saying, “Let us not disrupt a process
that has ended peacefully,” he said as Orubebe slumped in his chair.
“Mr. Orubebe, you are a former minister of the Federal Republic. You
are a statesman in your own right. You should be careful about what you
say or about what allegations you make,” he said.
Orubebe later congratulated Buhari on Twitter, expressing his “apologies to fellow Nigerians.”