The Out And Incoming President: Failure Of Leadership And Democracy In Nigeria
“If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end”. Bayard Rustin.
And “Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process”. Hillary Clinton
Yes, it's important to have a ground-zero discussion about Nigeria's March 28, 2015 Presidential Elections that have been turned to a suicide pact for our young democracy.
There are no qualitative differences between a president that in unseemly haste concedes defeat to be on the side of public opinion, out of fear of violence and political muteness, despite; abundantly clear irrevocable evidence of fraud, irregularities, massive underage voting in strongholds of the fraudulently president-elect. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told us that “there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Today, I can confidently say President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's concession was for his safety, politics, for popularity, unconscionably not in the interest of the growth of democracy in Nigeria, miserably and morally failed “to ensure the integrity of our voting process”.
Nigeria's March 28, 2015 Presidential Elections were histrionically rigged and manipulated; thus, require thorough investigation and at least due process, rule of law according to the Nations Electoral Laws and Constitution.
And, the fraudulently president-elect, self perpetuating right-to-rule by all means necessary, that willingly accepted victory in an election that saw a section, group and people of the Southeast, Minorities and Christians of the Middle-Belt, North and South-South of Nigeria massively humiliated and disenfranchised for up to almost Eight (8) millions voters without any immediate investigation in contrast to Rivers State. This is not just stealing but corruption at its finest.
The March 28, 2015 fraudulent presidential elections cannot just be dismissed out of hand. Doing so, would be a victory for a blackmailing zealot that have come to use the threat of violence and violence as his modus operandi with a steady and permanent marginalization of a very significantly large numbers of voters in Nigeria.
PVC'S introduction into Nigeria's electoral process and its distribution and Card Reader's have added more daunting catalogue of electoral problems, which include systematic manipulation of distribution to unfairly favors not only for certain candidates, but to fraudulently and corruptly enrich the electoral voting numbers of some parts of the country. Whilst it deprives, undermines and reduces the electoral voting numbers of other parts of the country. Card Readers that are manipulative to accredit, accept underage voters in no time but reject genuine voters even the president's PVC, and program to function discriminatingly. This sort of PVC and Card Reader, have been an utter failure that is unhealthy in our young democracy.
The ex-dictator Grand Pa General M. Buhari who wears the anti-corruption toga, one would therefore think, would do the dignifying and honorable thing by rejecting a rigged and, fundamentally flawed elections? Which, just corruptly enriched himself with a stolen mandate bowed into power by under-aged voters and bloated unregistered unaccredited voters. We have all heard in excruciating details how voters were bullied, elections held in the dark, after-hours voting and massive voting irregularities carried out with impunity in Grand Pa General M. Buhari's north of Nigeria. Alas! The ex-dictator Grand Pa General M. Buhari had shamelessly accepted victory in a flawed election. Incongruousness! How dare such a person talk about CHANGE? How dare such a person tell you about CORRUPTION? How dare such a person fight CORRUPTION? How dare such a person tell you about RULE OF LAW AND DUE PROCESS? How dare such a person tell you about NON-VIOLENCE when he promotes VIOLENCE AND HIS RIGHTS TO VIOLENCE? How dare such a person tell you about RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE when he promotes ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM? How dare such a person tell about NATIONAL UNITY when he promotes SEPARATENESS BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND MOSLEMS? How dare such a person tell you about ONE NIGERIA when he cannot fathom why a MUSLIM should VOTE FOR A CHRISTIAN?
HOW DARE YOU FOLD YOUR HANDS, CLOSE YOUR EYES, BLOCK YOUR EARS TODAY TO BROADLIGHT ROBBERY?
HOW DARE YOU?
You and I must not complement the trends of these frauds of PVC'S and Card Readers by turning our back, closing our eyes, ears, mouth and quickly move on; but to adequately buck them like the late Great Rosa Louise McCauley Parks(February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) that refused to give up her seat for the back of the bus. So we must reject the back of the bus. And Luther Martin King that rejected unfair and cowardly concession but rather chose the honorable and dignifying route of marches, civil disobedience and protest against the threat of violence, death, brutality and jail. “Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man but, you refuse to hate him” Rev. Martin Luther King Jnr. Hash tag: #MYVOTEMATTERS!
You and I must not give up our seats in Nigeria for the back of the bus.
You and I should start the campaign for justice, free and fair elections without intimidation, against disenfranchisement and proper, correction and rerun of elections in all States with fraudulent practices in the March 28, 2015 presidential elections; to ensure the integrity of our voting process.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become SILENTabout things that matter” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jnr. #MYVOTEMATTERS therefore matters. We must refuse to be silent.
Ekiyorbomode A. Edotimi
Ijaw Institute of Strategic Studies
Ijaw Institute of Strategic Studies