Anambra Polls: Hacking into the Foundation of the Nigerian State
I once travelled with my boss to his home town of Abia inUdi local government area of Enugu state. He owns and operates a marine company and was doing pretty well. While in the village, he dedicated a portable duplex and afterwards made out time to receive visitors in my company.
One of the visitors who happened to be his childhood friend told us of his intention to contest for the chairmanship of Nike south local government council wherehe hails from. My boss being an honest man tried to dissuade him and rather encouraged him to face his career. The young man went away angry, resigned his job and enrolled with the defunct Social Democratic Party(SDP). From our calculation he had a chance because he is a good person and to an extent popular in his home town.
However, a year after I met him in a shopping mall in coal city where he narrated his ordeal. According to him, he had mobilized a group of friends and supporters who wanted him and earnestly desired change and meaningful leadership for the LGA. He knew the capability of his opponent and his god-father, how that they control the political atmosphere in the state. On the day of primaries he could see that he had more supporters in the school hall where it held.Immediately the state party officials arrived, the election started. Shortly after, armed and fierce looking boys stormed the hall and started shooting at random. “I quickly dived under the table and lay down flat on my belly.” He said. They agreed to his plea and spared his life. He crawled out of the hall and swore never to contest again. His opponent was later declared the winner. The terror of that deadly incident appeared glued to his eyes as he narrated his ordeal.
This is one out of many elections in the country usually with inconsistencies but yet adopted as free and fair, fulfilling the postulation of Joseph Stalin (1878-1953),“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
Nigeria has witnessed a number of elections from independence in 1960to the third republic in 1999 when she retraced her steps and returned to democracy. The very first election in the country though judiciously supervised by the British colonial masters was hugely interrupted by violence in some parts of the country and that has continuously haunted the country’selectoral system. The reason is simple, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968).
Nevertheless, the only election unanimously agreed to be void of such unholy intervention by greedy mortals is the popular “June 12” election. Though the winner M.K.O Abiola was maliciously murdered, his achievement towards the development of democracy cannot be easily forgotten by honest Nigerians. Till date the so called elite constantly manipulate the masses with dangerous tools such as hunger, homelessness, starvation, poverty, joblessness and in the end practically write election result before voting begins.
Anambra polls are coming in the heels of the quest for the establishment of the Biafran state, followed by the demand for referendum by the people of south east origin. If anyone thinks that achieving freedom is going to be easy that person should think again. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968),“freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.”The journey to freedom is usually a protracted struggle, a long trek to a golden future. To achieve it tough painful decisions must be made. It is basically so because the oppressor oftenly sustain their advantage only through tougher decisions.
When Major General Yakubu Gowon decided to block access to food for the young Biafran state in 1967, it was because he had to be tough to use all methods to win the war. He didn’t mind the starving to death of over two million women and children. To bring about Biafra, tough decisions must be made. The planned boycott of Anambra polls is one of such. I understand some Ibo elites overwhelmed by North-Muslim domination are nervous so they think the Pro-Biafra movement is taking it too far, but they exonerate the leadership of Nigeria for murdering in cold blood over 3,000 unarmed protesters in the south east in the last two years(Amnesty report 2016). Defeated already, they will rather acknowledge Biafra only as a narrative. Though Prof. Wole Soyinka described Biafra as an Idea that cannot be defeated by guns, the truth must be told. Biafra is more than an idea, Biafra is a people, Biafra is a place, Biafra is our reality.
To say the least, Anambra polls is another bet to the leadership of Nigeria. A tough decision the Ibo’s have to take to muscle their freedom from the cheating cowards of the North.If Gowon could kill over two million women and children to achieve the false unity of the south and the north, nothing will stop the Ibo’s from boycotting the election in Anambra to defeat Nigeria. After all an unjust law is itself a species of violence MahatmaGandhi (1869-1948).
Come November 18, 2017 the Ibos will show the world in full glare the age long injustice they have suffered through the evil diplomacy of the British, the betrayal of the Yorubas and the murderous resentment of the North-Muslim. That day the light of “Chukwu-okikeAbiama” will shine and darkness will give way. As my father will always say “Ikukukuo, ewe fuikeokuko” when the breeze arises everyone will see the anus of the fowl. There will be no hiding place for the perpetrators of injustice in Nigeria and their cohorts in the south-east who will rather call white black. That day Nigeria will die.
Udeh writes from Port-Harcourt Rivers state Nigeria.