Nigeria: Elections or A state of War?

Adeola Aderounmu

240 000 policemen will roam the length and breadth of Nigeria this April as Nigeria sets for elections to usher in a new dispensation in the faulty democratic process.

I have argued in several essays that Nigeria needs to become a truly democratic country and that she needs several radical reforms and citizen orientation to genuinely position herself as the giant of Africa.

It will be extremely sad- say in 2015, if Nigeria survived up to that point- to have the repetition of this system that will bring 240 000 policemen and an unknown number of military personnel to the streets to supervise another kangaroo process.

If you have 240 000 policemen/women supervising a process as simple as casting and counting votes then the implications are too severe to be ignored.

It partly implies that the people who are engineering the process and the people for whom it is made have very questionable levels of cognitive reasoning. It is as if the process is made for animals that need to be guided around a farm area or by nomads around undefined zones.

I want to always stand on the side of reason under these circumstances.

What is so complicated in casting a vote, going back home or to your business and trusting that the system works for you and for itself as a matter of fact?

Why is it impossible to create a system that works in Nigeria? Why does it have to be so hard?

There are uncountable arrangements and de-arrangements for these April elections in Nigeria. The Inspector General of Police will say one thing today and deny it tomorrow. The Minister of Police Affairs will state one thing now and change the tone at the next briefing. The Minister of Internal Affairs will issue a press release from nowhere to add to the mountains of confusion.

Wait, INEC will appear from the blues to say all what has been stated and corrected are wrong. That only two policemen out of the 6 500 per state will be at each polling booth. INEC has done at least 2 press briefings to state that military personnel will only be on stand-by.

From the charge and bail system that I know in Nigeria, I am too convinced that the Nigerian police and military personnel will create a number of fracases where there are none.

The National Security Adviser in Nigeria has said that people don’t need to defend any vote. He said it is only the party representatives that have reasons to stay at the polling stations.

Under the INEC arrangement, Nigeria is like “No Country For Old Men (and women)”. People are lining up before 12 and counted and so on. The procedures invariable have excluded the old and the weak. People who have other form of hindrances may as well forget about the elections altogether.

An electoral process that does not allow you to vote by walking in and out of voting centers is bound to fail.
In developed countries you can send your votes by post. The intelligence gap is not the only thing getting wider. Trust, accountability, reliability, probity and the pursuit of Common Good are light years apart when you compare the developed countries to pretentious continental giants like Nigeria.

My arguments are simplified further. Stupid people have no business in governance. Nigeria and indeed Africa must learn to entrust the affairs of their nations in capable hands through genuine democratic means. Nigeria needs functional democracy which can only be achieved by electoral reforms.

In Nigeria rulers must be replaced by leaders. Dictators must be replaced by civil people. Indeed the road to recovery for Nigeria on the political scene is not only long but extremely convoluted. The damage done has been farfetched and almost irredeemable. But hope must not be excluded from our undertakings.

There is no common sense in Nigeria’s political terrain. We must find it and make it a hallmark.

I don’t know if we need a miracle or an uncommon and yet to be defined radical change to transform the collective deformed mentalities and thinking faculties of Nigerians. Our views of politics are lost somewhere in the B.C years. Some of the things that emerge from Nigeria have not helped the perception of Africa from overseas.

People have already killed one another during campaigns, why should we expect less on election days? Even Jega does not even know how far the electorates should stay after casing their votes. He has now said that we should leave the decision in the hands of the security agents. Lawyers are arguing for the 300m provided by law. What a useless law?

That law is unnecessary if people use their senses and leave criminal attitudes for the socially misfits who are always negligible and easily taken care of by the law in normal civilized societies. Unfortunately poverty and ignorance have sent Nigerians on errands of slavery within their own very domain. Shame!

Nigerians must demand electoral reforms immediately after this useless electoral process is concluded. This nonsense situation must not be with us in 2015. If it does this country will never make it, never!

These Must Never Happen Again

By Adeola Aderounmu

In 1999, 2003 and 2007 PDP rigged elections in Nigeria. 2007 was the worst of them all. I have presented these facts before but it is election time and I should remind Nigerians that these things must never happen again.

In 2007 PDP chairmen in each state of Nigeria and in all the local governments across Nigeria supervised the biggest election scandal in the history of man.

PDP thugs and party members across Nigeria were armed to the teeth and they watched as the chairmen supervised the biggest and the most massive illegal thumb printing processes ever seen on planet earth.

These events took place across the length and breadth of Nigeria. It was the biggest charade known to man.

You can understand the frustration of Obasanjo that despite all the billions of naira spent on Lagos, the PDP lost to ACN.

Jonathan is the one now wasting federal funds just to capture Lagos.

ACN has also vowed that PDP will not capture Lagos for the next 50 years the same way that PDP boasted that it will be in power at the center for the next 60 years. Invariably this means that PDP has no intention of conceding power to any opposition party. Lagos and ACN is not going to do the same.

These acts of boasting put INEC on the spotlight. Just a few hours away, Nigerians will vote and history will have it on record if the votes tallied with the number of accredited voters or not. It will also be worthwhile if the votes counted are genuine.

We will see what it takes to protect our votes, blood or common civility.

The evil of 2007 perpetrated by Iwu, Ibori, and Obasanjo that brought in the third successive illegal civilian regimes now headed by Jonathan must be resisted by whatever means possible.