These were the welcoming remarks by Professor Itse Sagay when Sunday Trust visited his office in Lagos for this interview: “I have every reason to be worried. Since I made a remark criticizing the last elections especially in the South East and South-south as not being credible, I have not rested.
I have received calls from people in power asking why I made such remarks. Nigeria is not the safest country in the world and that was why when I saw your huge group, I began to be worried if you are truly a media team.” In this explosive interview, the Delta state born legal luminary who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), though expressed fears for his life but stuck to his guns that elections in the two regions were essentially rigged by what he described as ‘unintelligent riggers’ and ‘barbarians’ who were bent on pleasing President Jonathan with block votes.
The votes should have been cancelled, he insisted. He spoke on the post-election violence in some northern states, the investigative panel set up by the federal government, the contentious zoning and other issues. Excerpts:
We are taking you up on the same issues you spoke about a few days ago; I mean your criticism of the last elections. Nigerians require more clarifications.
I am limiting my criticism to the South-East and the South-South basically. The elections in the South-West were almost perfect. In fact, the standard of election in the Yoruba states is equivalent to what you can find in Europe. I voted throughout and I know what I saw. People were so relaxed and we waited for the votes to be counted. Some residents in my area brought large coolers containing drinks for people to drink. Some brought chairs for people to sit on after the accreditation before voting commenced.