HEAD OR TAIL YOU WIN
There are three likely outcomes from the forthcoming April 9thElections in Nigeria and it does not deviate from my last year analysis titled “What the 2011 elections portend for Nigeria”. All the outcomes indicate a first ballot victory for President Goodluck Jonathan. We may not go deeply here to unravel why it is so but suffix it to say that it will not be a surprise outcome for watchers of the Nigerian political system.
The first scenario is a peaceful conduct of the elections with adequate security, all the ballot materials arrive on time and all political are satisfied with arrangements made under transparent conditions with election observers pleased. Here the likely outcome will be a landslide victory for the President in 24 States with neck to neck performance in the remaining 6 states while the entire opposition will carry the last 6 states. The President is likely to post 25 percent votes in all the States.
The second scenario is where there is trouble in States arising from delayed materials delivery, violent clash of opponents, missing ballot boxes after voting, underage or hired voters in party strongholds, disenfranchisement of voters, fear of harm etc. In this case, the President will await the release of the last results to confirm his first ballot victory in the polls. All other will not fare any better because some states and local government area results will be delayed with the President maintaining a wide lead over the others but not yet sure of first ballot victory.
The final scenario comes about where the opposition boycotts some of or all the elections claiming bias from the security providers, or lack of transparency in collation of results and many of them have recorded evidence of irregularities which the international observers attest to. In that case there were fear of harm from voters and the turn out is low because of fuel scarcity, no movement imposition, banking failure, striking workers, terrorist threats, etc; then the President will win a landslide victory sweeping 29 States. If the election result is cancelled as not free and fair, and there is clamor for a rerun of the polls, the President returns to power for another span and will preside over the next preparations.
In the unlikely case that another political Party claims to have won the election and it is backed by the Independent Electoral Commission [INEC] then an independent arbitration is constituted to do a recount and they will accept some states and call for cancellation of other States with a more transparent arrangement put in place for the elections in six months or less. The President remains in Office with majority of the States in the bag until the arbitration confirms that actually the President had won the election with a larger figure than declared earlier and he would be congratulated by the opposition. At that time the President is magnanimous to announce a government of national unity in which the lieutenants of top opposition parties will accept appointment prior to decamping to PDP The above is the scenario that has been accepted by all the parties when they decided to join the process with eyes wide open realizing that it is likely to be the way it is. No one needs shed a tear for any one because every one was forewarned. This game is authored by the PDP and you don't expect ton play it better than this party under the same circumstances. When this writer was shouting himself hoarse last year, calling for a fundamental change in rules, I was regarded as not articulate enough and while I protested against constitutional bottlenecks as well as shallow electoral law, some of those who joined me to call for a Nigerian revolution sidelined me in their rush for positions. Refer to my articles “Nigeria needs a revolution”, “The constitutional basis for the rule of law in Nigeria” and “What the Nigerian Revolution is not about” I argued against the dangers of half hearted reform in Nigeria. To prove my conviction I stayed away from the process always but always providing guidance to ensure that we would at least have another chance to learn our lessons. I called for a peaceful revolution whereby the National assembly and the political class would come together to change all the obnoxious laws as well as the constitution in one fell swoop. While we agreed across board that a revolution was needed we disagreed over whether it should be peaceful or violent? Some believed that revolution comes with progressive elements in power and they yearned to take over through any means, the other school of thought wanted to pretend to join them so that as they get in there they would change things. I argued that it was better we did not hand the ruling party a blank cheque by endorsing their style, that it was better we forced their hands now we had the power to make concessions in terms of constitutional changes aimed at totally restructuring the polity before going into an election. I was promptly accused even though indirectly of wrong ideas. I remember vividly that Sahara Reporter literally barred my further contribution to their site, the same site where as columnist I called for a Nigerian Revolution. My offence was that I swarm against the tide seemingly. The tide ironically was the Jonathan empowerment which the site championed. I had urged for caution because I was there before but perhaps I was seen as trying to shine and many small would be greats did not see that happening in their site. Today this site [unfortunately] has changed its swan song almost going on 180 degrees within one year to becoming the biggest antagonist of the Jonathan Presidency. It goes to prove who was right at the outset and indicates how unsustainable these seemingly “bright” ideas are for Nigeria.
Today I am still saying the same thing despite the attack I received from all sides concerned. I am still saying that we should have used the rare opportunity of that time to write a brands new constitution unaffected by selfish desires or mediocrity.That we must revisit the constitiutional reform in President Jonathan's coming dispensation as the basis for any sustainable progress. I am still in support of a peaceful revolution not the Arab revolution which remains very uncertain of success despite the modicum of sacrifice expended. These Countries may either become Military dynasties or Islamic nations. If they toe the middle line they may not be better than they were before that is if they don't go through painful long drawn civil wars.We never wanted that for Nigeria.
*Mr Nworisara is a former Presidential Aspirant in Nigeria