Abiola 's Emergence Not Democratic

By Nwokedi Nworisara

Abiola may have been just another military experiment that went wrong. Some of us pioneer Presidential aspirants in the SDP before the advent of Moshood Abiola era would tell you that the real hero's of democracy was not Abiola who only seemed to have came to reap where he did not sow in SDP ...just after the blanket ban on the pioneers happened. What you are going to celebrate in June 12 like the May 29 cannot truly be referred to as Nigeria's democracy day. But I reserved this view until you have kicked off another merry go round on this issue which was resurrected to help the military contraception known as democracy extend its stay in this firmament. There is nothing truly democratic about Abiola's emergence and even the election nor should there ever be.

It is understandable now that the chorus has come to stay that military rule was set back and disaster to Nigeria and that post military democracy may have become even more disastrous to this country and people want out of this nonsense. Nigerians are no longer safe in their homes. So there are now visibly forced activity in the two major camps of the so called cabal in Nigeria. As you may have discerned,the two camps were the "extreme" and the "moderate".Let us refer them as that. The "moderate"only recently instituted an action to shift the blame of all the woes of Nigeria on their "extreme"brother in power as responsible for the seemingly total loss of faith on this Nigeria's packaged post military diarchy known as civilian rule. Now it appears that most people are yearning for the return of the unambiguous 1963 constitution to bring back sanity to the polity. People are now convinced that the little things done at the top have cumulative effect on the wellbeing of Nigerians and should no longer be tolerated.

And the "liberal" cabal in reviewing the situation ostensibly designs an exit strategy. They may have read the hand writing on the wall. The "extreme" should have done better in keeping the legacy and as punishments may have instigated their arrowhead to act. As usual its always going to be a thread mark fire brigade style,but this time cloaked in the usual respect of "civilian" party politics to salvage the wreck of their diarchy. Yet the extreme cannot be undone here sensing the competition uptight on it so it hurriedly abandons its first strategy of completing its" long standing war" successfully and suddenly under political campaign spotlight faced the "liberal" with its arsenal. Its indeed a difficult fight. The cabals are digging up its backyard. Revisiting the past for each opponent. A time to go for broke since in reality this whole war is likely to be a lost cause for both sides. Now she may have decided to leave no stone unturned. Applying its destructive teeth on everything on everything .Press,social media,Generals,political,social and ethnic opposition and in the process turns involuntarily even a force for good. So the idea seems to be find something on everyone; expose historical mistakes by the" liberal"cabal. The most visible one of course with political and ethnic consequences happens to be June 12. So this appears to me the major reason for revisiting this era.

Shortly before this time,the Liberal cabal had completed what looks like a plan to seize power via various avenues. The idea may have been to take advantage of the current situation and promise heaven and earth to come to power. Let me ask you the questions here.Is it through the laughably "democratic" wealth consuming national Assembly? Is it the "third force" movements made up of genuine hopes and aspirations hanging miserable on stilt legs? Or is it the "Youth agenda" hijacked and hurriedly refurbished without proper references? I can go on and on. But unfortunately these hopes lie in a wasteland of unworkable constitution and structure of governance and yet these infantile "presidential hopefuls" cannot even discern the very minimum of bases for aspiring. I mean do they ever ask stop for a while to themselves the question; what am I even going to swear to? What system am I now supporting by my aspiration? What constitution? Does it align with our flag ,the anthem, the coat of arm?

So now we arrive yet again at the verge of another charade wasting our time. These bunch of excited and sometimes refined "dealers" claiming to want to "lead"are just going to heighten and postpone their own present high misery index not mine. You cannot aspire to lead a country that has no proper structure as basis for establishing your direction. The first objective would have been to restructure it. But if eventually you ascend the position by hook or crook, you will have no other objective but to defend it! I mean defend the hook or crook!!

Anyway back to the main subject:the war of attrition between the two "military" or "ex military" blocks whose trial and error policies historically brought this country to her knees and now holding her there. The "civilians" are merely tools! OK you do not believe me? Try aspiring for any position and your credentials will first be confirmed by the never changing military intelligence" before you proceed. They call it security clearance. So the civilian authority cannot even confirm their own candidates?

In 1991, I was the 8th person to declare for President under the SDP. I passed through so much subtle intimidation. Of course then it was full blown military. Everything appeared to have been done to discourage my aspiration but to no avail. Rumours were the tool. It passed round at first that I was not serious. Then I began to tour Nigeria visiting governors and addressing press conferences marshalling an unassailable position and solution to the nations malaise that won SDP its now legendary mass appeal. Then they set the next trap. I was too young,and not rich enough. Then I began to outdo all the others on the campaign trail at less cost. I picked my shadow cabinet and established a unique communication system that was cost effective in my campaigns using the youth Agenda to cut across the nation via the campuses. Then they agreed that money was not the big issue. What about your security? Perhaps a police orderly but we respectfully turned down the offer. Reason: we didn't need it. While others offices were stationary and needed security,mine was mobile. We started the first virtual communication pattern that belied the internet. Each state received keywords that passed as codes so that our State campaigners only gave it flesh according to their location to solve problems. Overall we were saying the same thing nation wide and our campaign message was everywhere real time.

We just photocopied the few posters released by our Surulere Lagos office and it was everywhere in Nigeria. Radio jingles were being run and translated into local languages by complete strangers. After the intelligence found it impossible to produce further arguments against the candidature they decided to use the Party Structure. The SDP party hierarchy were jittery, but happy,not knowing how to proceed. Our first meeting for Presidential aspirants at Federal Palace Hotel revealed the true head of then cabal. We waited for the meeting to take off until nearly midday each looking over his or her shoulder as if expecting someone to arrive. Well it was the late Alhaji Musa Yar Adua. As soon as he came into the hall, everything began in a frenzy and only selected of us could speak or be spoken to ..presided by Alhaji Kingibe. I was sited in one corner close to Nzeribe. My colleagues were probably taken aback that I could make the meeting and you could read derision in their eyes. It was understandable. I had arrived via "Molue" while perhaps the least of the others may have arrived in a convoy or even limousine. In the meeting, as expected, my raised hand was ignored by Kingibe. In essense,they had agreed for me that "we" should not speak to press about our decision. The decision was that some of us should please step down to give way to other candidates with fatter bank accounts. That was the democracy!! Since I did not agree with them,and was not allowed to say it even as a Presidential Aspirant,I decided to address the world press on their behalf. So on coming out the world Press rushed on us and others escaped and when I looked up I was facing CNN and BBC with other wire services. The photographers were literally blinding my eyes and calmly I told them my impression .That I was convinced after the meeting I was the most likely to emerge the President of Nigeria. To cut a long story short,when the party failed to force us out for Yar Adua,the favoured,IBB felt this learning Process needed to close so we were banned end masse!! This was after unsuccessfully introducing a jumbo gate fee.Then another style was woven. Option A4. I threatened to go to court over this new undemocratic system designed to pick two favoured military candidates to face each other. So as expected that was how the pioneers were unwholesomely sidelined making way for Abiola and Tofa. But then the military, developed cold feet over their own and June 12 happened !

* Nworisara was an SDP presidential aspirant 1992

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."