It’s a terrible Nigerian fate that every so-called democratic election is delivered like a ticking time-bomb primed to explode with fatal menace. The unfathomable aspect of the matter is that some Nigerians dance to the ticking of the time-bomb thinking it is sweet music.
It’s noteworthy that the candidate who was eventually declared the winner of the Nigerian presidential election made this statement: “Grab it! Snatch it! And run with it!”
The ready advice for anybody who feels that his mandate has been stolen runs thusly: “Go to court!”
There is the farcical dimension that the justices that justified the contrived election wrote their judgement on a paper with the chosen candidate’s header. The defence of the ruling party is that the judgement was only watermarked by the party’s apparatchiks rather than being written on its header, whatever that means.
There’s this book by Peter Enahoro, aka Peter Pan, entitled You Gotta Laugh to Cry. Why is it that all the highly ballyhooed democratic elections in Nigeria almost always end up making all Nigerians laugh to cry?
Let’s start from Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 during which an army ruler handed over to a former army ruler who had pulled off his army uniform. Before the 1999 presidential election, the American journalist, Karl Maier, who was on a tour of Nigeria to write his book This House Has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis told me that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had been chosen by the powers-that-be to return as the elected leader of Nigeria. Imagine an American journalist knowing the result of a Nigerian presidential election even when it had not been conducted!
The pre-eminent politicians of the era in the G-34 Group that formed the PDP had put it as a rule that anybody who aspired to contest for the presidency must first win his local government election.
Obasanjo could not win his ward but the rule had to perforce be put away for the erstwhile imprisoned man from Otta to become PDP presidential candidate over the futile efforts of Chief Alex Ekwueme in the primaries.
The Obasanjo machine was so heavily funded that it made the challenge of Chief Olu Falae in the presidential election proper to look like a side-show. Even so, not a few observers stressed that the underdog actually won the election, and the legal challenge had to get up to the Supreme Court.
Many years later, to borrow the opening words of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua told the world that the election that brought him to Nigerian presidential power was flawed.
In my book, the only good thing about Nigerian elections was President Goodluck Jonathan’s personal sacrifice to cede power in 2015.
Any talk of the elections being free, fair and credible belongs to fiction of the magical realism type of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The buying and selling of Nigerian elections have abiding partners in the mischievously named Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a pathetic judiciary, crooked politicians, and their foreign and local allies.
Like American TV wrestling, Nigerian elections are always fixed. The then American Secretary of State John Kerry had to come to Nigeria to supervise the “Anything but Jonathan” 2015 election that brought in the disaster named Buhari.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu told the world that Obasanjo had been hired as the “Navigator” for the ousting of the hapless Jonathan. In the turn-by-turn setup, Tinubu cried to the hearing of all and sundry; “Emilokan! Yoruba Lokan!”
Nasir el-Rufai revealed that he joined the bandwagon because it fitted the Muslim-Muslim ticket contrivance.
When an election result is announced in the ungodly wee hour of 4am, trust controversy to do a jig or two. The ready resort of the beneficiaries of the deadly hour heist was the repetitive and repeated declaration: “Go to court!”
The former Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili was very handy and forthcoming with her partisan praise-songs for the attorneys of the powers-that-be. It turned out to be a judgement not unlike a Xerox copy of the chosen ruling party’s handout complete with header!
Shamelessness is the vilest disease! The time-bomb is ticking, and the excited winners are dancing to its music with agility belying their ages. Democracy has been translated to mean
“coup at the polls” and justice has become the last resort of miscreants.
To fulfil all righteousness, the candidates who are appealing against the election results have been advised to take their cases to the finality of the Supreme Court. It is not in my constitution to beat about the bush now that the Nigerian Constitution has been transferred to a new shelf: Fiction!
All the money wasted on BVAS, iREV, PVC, the Electoral Act, and all that jazz are neither here nor there in a land where so-called justices of the law are jaundiced lackeys of power.
The INEC is in cahoots with the compromised lieutenants of snatched power, dodgy politicians, shady judiciary, and the scandalous “orders from above” thus reducing democracy at all levels in Nigeria to a purchasable farce.
Meantime, the time-bomb ticks on as the music of the death of democracy to welcome dancers on the Nigerian leadership floor not unlike Paul Biya of Cameroun.
Welcome to the Age of Shamelessness in Nigeria.