Less than one week after the APC led federal government threatened fire and brimstone, warning foreign countries to steer clear of its internal affairs, we saw the same APC federal led government heartily threw its arms open to welcome foreigners in its election campaign.
Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, had in the wake of the recent coup by the executive branch, against the judicial arm by unilaterally removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, warned the United States of America and the United Kingdom against interfering in Nigeria’s domestic problems.
The US and the UK had issued separate statements condemning the unilateral removal of Justice Walter Onnoghen by the executive branch without involving the legislative branch, contrary to the letter and spirit of the Nigerian constitution, but the Nigerian government reacted angrily, and asked the two countries to leave Nigeria alone, because she is capable of handling her internal problems.
Paradoxically, just last Thursday, at the APC presidential campaign rally in Kano, we saw two governors from Niger Republic fully dressed in APC regalia at the rally, which was to drum support for the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the past, it had been in the realm of speculation or allegation, that some foreigners were usually imported into the country during election periods, to vote for some particular candidates, which many people believe had cast very dark shadow on the credibility of such exercises.
The presence of these two governors from Niger Republic at the APC Presidential campaign rally in Kano, goes to confirm the allegation that foreigners had been voting in our elections, which must be condemned and deprecated by well meaning Nigerians.
Why did the APC controlled federal government thought it wise to invite these two foreign governors to take part in its election campaign, and perhaps, allow foreigners to vote during the actual election?
Since it is very safe to believe that the two Nigerien governors were not the only foreigners at the Kano rally, which might include thousands of other foreign nationals who accompanied them, does it then mean that the APC has become jittery and are no longer sure of local support? Or was Governor Ganduje merely out to impress President Buhari that he was capable of mobilizing a very crowd of people?
Is the importation of foreigners from neighbouring countries to vote in our election part of Governor Ganduje’s promise to President Muhammadu Buhari that he would deliver five million votes for him in Kano?
We also want to know the role of the immigration and other security agencies in the whole saga? All along, have they been part of allowing foreigners to infiltrate the country and consequently vote in our elections, or were they simply overwhelmed, due to the porous nature of our borders? These need to be seriously investigated.
Aside of these, does the involvement of foreigners in our elections not amount to foreign interference in the domestic affairs of our country, thus infringing on our sovereignty as an independent nation capable of handling our internal affairs, and deciding who should govern us?
The other time in Kano, it was the issue of underage voters, where nearly two million votes were raked in for Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 Presidential election. This time around, we are being treated with importation of foreign nationals to vote in our election. This is very serious, and must be resisted.
We would want the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the immigration and the security agencies, to rise to the occasion and urgently deal with this ugly situation. Nigerians are capable of deciding who should govern them, and not by importing voters from Niger, Togo and Chad.