By Adeola Aderounmu
This year 2011 Nigerians will go to the polls. At they have always done since 1959 Nigerians will be unprepared for these elections. There are a lot of optimists urging people to go out and register. In a sane country there is no harm for such a call. It is genuine and noble. In Nigeria, in my own opinion, and as I have argued times without number, the call is dubious, unnecessary and stupid. Votes will be counted in manners that will not portray respect for human dignity. Since 1959 Nigerians have wasted their time and energy on votes and elections that have been rigged and doctored. This year will not be different.
As recent as 2007 Mr. Obasanjo urged Nigerians to participate in a do-or-die election. That election ushered in the illegal regime of late Mr. Yar Adua and the beneficiary today is one Goodluck Jonathan whose political career has been steered more by his name than his vision because he doesn’t seem to have any vision in any case. He is now the candidate to be presented by the PDP- the party- that has given corruption his deepest foundation in the history of Nigeria. PDP was founded by crooks and nurtured by well-known corrupt ex-military and ex-civilian gangsters.
In the recent primaries PDP voters sold their souls for porridge and gave the votes to Jonathan. He paid the most with monies stolen from the Nigerian treasury. Nigerian politicians have not seen anything wrong with stealing and looting. And they always get away because it is accepted in Nigeria to be a thief slash politician. The primaries done by most of other political parties are laughable. One useless party has even co-adopted Goodluck as its flag bearer. Nonsense and ingredients!
I continue to advocate for a corrupt-free Nigeria. I will shout to the top of the roof for a government of merit. National character has destroyed the essence of Nigeria. People are called into government for the purpose of looting and cutting of the national cake as they used to joke. But it is not a joke; these fundamental issues must be addressed. Our politics is rubbish.
The charade been prosecuted by INEC is not turning out to be funny at all. In previous essays I have mentioned that the job and machines are not for INEC but for the National Population Commission. We don’t need these useless registration processes. What we need is a genuine population monitoring process. The implication is that we should be receiving voter’s cards by post or at collection centres at home and abroad. This process of registration is more than 2 000 years old, is archaic, irresponsible and absolutely dehumanizing. It reduces humans to animals.
Among millions of dehumanizing examples, one man left his job and for more than 2 days he was unable to register! Some people get lucky after 12 hours on a queue. There are complains across the nation. In some states DDC machines are in homes of politicians and crooks. In Anambra State, some machines were found in the forest or some sort of shrine. When you apply a system that is more than 2 00 years ago and you think it is modern because you use computers to re-enact the same process, you really need to do a reality check on your mentality. I argued that Nigerians are modern in several aspects of their lives but when you tell them to address these issues of elections once and for all, they tell you that they will get there some day. When?
Electoral processes in Nigeria are tragic occurrences. They present us as a people with extremely low intellectual capacity and defective IQs. With the rulers we have, these are no near surprises. I condemn the registration process just the same way I condemn in advance all the malpractices that will come with it.
There is turmoil in Tunisia and it has spread to Egypt. A serious wind of change is blowing across Africa. Ivory Coast is on the brink whether foreign influence or not.. Africans are wondering what is wrong and the world is amazed. The truth is Africa lacks the sort of leadership that is trustworthy and sincere. Those who considered themselves superpowers gave support to oppressive regimes in some parts of Africa. Those regimes will continue to fall as pan-Africanism continues to find its strength. One day Africa will be where it really belongs to as I argue in a previous post.
The real struggle for the emancipation of Africa is gaining momentum. Nigeria will not be left out. Never!
The wind of change will blow and this can be interpreted in different ways depending on who is making the point and from what perspective. People are talking about Register, Select, Vote and Preserve. This could make a lot of sense if it will happen in Nigeria. But serious minded people will tell you that you can’t sow maize and reap cassava. Wishful thinking has taken away the minds of people from the reality of the lives that they lead. If you live in Nigeria, you know how things are done. The parameters for successful elections and sound democracy are missing.
But those who make peaceful change impossible in Tunisia and Egypt are getting a feel of another type of change. I’m so certain that change will come to Nigeria. What I am not certain of is the preservation of the entity called Nigeria.
Indeed there are serious flashpoints as we approach the 2011 elections in Nigeria. Jos and Maiduguri have now overtaken the Niger Delta as potentially fatal and fragile hotspots. From time to time pockets of riots and violence leave hundreds and sometimes scores of people dead. It will be foolishness to ignore the growth and spread of terrorism in Nigeria. Even Abuja can feel the heat.
As this threat grows our politicians continue to improve their personal securities while targeting self-preservation and perpetuation in offices. No one has been formally charged for all the terrorist acts in Nigeria. Boko Haram looks set to take over Northern Nigeria.
No one has yet claimed to be responsible for the killing of a leading governorship candidate in Borno State. Modu Fannami Gubio was gunned downed along with 6 other persons by gunmen on motorbikes. The unfortunate incident took place outside of his home.
As usual when the evils deeds are done security patrols stormed the streets. The Nigerian government has not made adequate provisions for the prevention of these types of assassinations. Over the decades many Nigerians and politicians have been killed because they are in the opposition party, or they are opposed to tyranny or just aspiring for political offices. Usually no arrests are made. On rare occasions the police make false arrests and then we don’t hear anything again.
This political assassination is unfortunate. It is not the first. It adds up to the pile of unsolved murder cases. It’s a sad situation to belong to a helpless system where the focus is on politics and stealing from government.
The rest of us, in all that we do, we must ensure that our actions, comments and body languages are unified in condemning the type of government in present day Nigeria. A government borne of illegality has no moral standard to steer the course of West Africa or Africa. On what moral pedestal is Jonathan championing the military action in Ivory Coast? Who voted for Mr. Jonathan? Do Nigerians have short memories? Or they just chose to ignore the fact that in 2007 Iwu and Obasanjo messed Nigeria and Africa up? Time does not heal illegality. Being sworn in by a corrupt system or a Chief Justice does not translate that votes have been counted. Let us not mix these issues up.
Let us be clear. Those who live in glass houses cannot afford the cost of stone throwing. If you want to make me a dress, I have the right to view the one you are putting on. Nigeria is not fit to lead Africa based on the glories that predate 1960.
We must put our house in order. We still have the time and the opportunity for adjustments. The early signs for the 2011 elections are catastrophic. The price-winner takes it all- remains a recipe for dissent and violent outcomes.
In a country where the rule of men is far above the rule of law, where social justice remains a mirage and where corruption runs side-a-side a generally disorganized electoral process, it will be sheer recklessness to underestimate the consequences of the forthcoming [likely-to-be-fraudulent] elections in Nigeria in April 2011.
The outcome of this year’s elections may bring changes.
One of the greatest fears is, not knowing how the wind of change will blow. From Liberia, to Tunisia, to Egypt-the wind of change has blown and is still blowing across Africa. The forthcoming elections in Nigeria may serve as a whirlwind or catalyst for the needed or even unnecessary changes in Nigeria. Imagine a change influenced or prescribed by Boko Haram and the terrorists from Northern Nigeria. They are on the loose and the helpless government is applying medicine after each death, if you know what I mean.
It will appear that the resiliency of Nigerians is a momentum gathering phase that has lasted for ever. But like a snow ball rolling down a steep slope it must have gathered loads of additional masses on its way. The impacts will definitely be shattering.
We should never wish for a war. But we must support the types of demonstrations that will lead to the fall of fake and illegal governments that have dominated Nigeria since 1999. We must support all voices of reasoning that will ensure that the stolen loots are returned, to the last kobo. We must support all forms of actions that we ensure that all the houses that Nigerian politicians and public servants have abroad are sold and the proceeds returned to people of Nigeria.
We must attempt to reclaim and rebuild Nigeria. Nigeria is the greatest potential of a superpower from Africa but the foreign influences have ensured that we remain subdued and that our heroes never emerged. It is possible to emerge and it is not impossible to reestablish the greatness of the African mind even if we returned to our tents. [Fear of change is the greatest obstacle to our real freedom-Adeola Aderounmu]