Pseudo Democracy, Pseudo Democrats! By SOC Okenwa
The much-anticipated normal elections in Nigeria had come and gone with controversies nonetheless trailing them. To the shock of some amongst us maybe the presidential, legislative and gubernatorial polls produced violence, demise, accidents and injustices. Typically native or nationwide elections in Africa typically characterize sources of blood-letting, thuggery, electoral violence and manipulation of votes and voters. Nigeria isn’t an exception on this regard. Generally electoral seasons signalled a return to war-zones within the cities and villages as ‘prisoners’ are taken and booty carted away because it have been.
In Nigeria it was the identical previous story of lack of full independence of the electoral umpire (INEC), the deployment of incumbency issue to the benefit of these in energy, vote-buying and ballot-box snatching and many others. Since independence in 1960 there was no election held in Nigeria with out a lot to speak about by way of rigging, under-age voting, importation of foreigners (particularly within the far-north) to vote and logistical failures.
Final February 23rd and March ninth respectively Nigerians went to the polls to resolve who ruled them on the federal and states’ ranges. This 12 months’s electoral version gave delivery to more controversies and surprises than the earlier train 4 years in the past. Then in 2015 the then President Goodluck Jonathan had performed a statesman by gracefully acknowledging his humiliating defeat — calling the winner (now President Muhammadu Buhari) to supply his congratulatory finest needs. However whether or not he would have executed in any other case remains to be left within the realm of conjecture.
However the presidential ballot of this 12 months that includes Buhari and the opposition PDP’s Atiku Abubakar as frontrunners generated more political warmth, hits and misses. Atiku formally ‘misplaced’ and Buhari ‘received’ by an enormous margin of over 4 million votes, or so we have been made to consider. Atiku has doggedly refused to just accept his destiny denouncing militarisation of the method and manipulation of outcomes by the ruling APC and the forces behind them.
The Wazirin Adamawa is at present locked in a probably protracted litigation on the Election Petition Tribunal to reclaim the “stolen mandate”. The worldwide neighborhood are watching and following occasions as they unfold with severe consideration. It’s agreed typically that it’s inside Atiku’s proper to hunt rdress in a court docket of competent jurisdiction moderately than settling for self-help or violence.
The Nigerian democratic house has witnessed currently a complete lot of actions bordering on recriminations linked to the end result of the polls. And the Nigerian issue has reared its ugly head within the course of. Former Vice-President Atiku’s resolution to problem the re-election of the incumbent President will surely enrich our democracy moderately than threatening identical. Whereas the Election Petition Tribunal has commenced sitting they’re but to ship the ultimate binding verdict.
However expectations are excessive in lots of quarters that the Tribunal might not ship justice to the Atiku camp given the Nigerian issue. Justice in Nigeria will not be solely corrupt however the powers that be typically manipulate identical for his or her egocentric political pursuits. Moreover, one can ‘purchase’ justice with cash and/or connections. If in any doubt then ask the previous Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, an professional in judicial merchandise!
So little or no hope exists of the potential for the Tribunal doing justice, doing the correct factor by emulating the Kenyan Supreme Courtroom. Final 12 months in Nairobi, it could be recalled, the Supreme Courtroom had delivered a monumental judgement annulling the controversial re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta thereby vindicating the place of the opposition chief Raila Odinga who declared and proved that the presidential ballot was systematically manipulated in favour of the incumbent Head of State.
The Kenyan presidential ballot was re-done however surprisingly Odinga renounced his re-presentation or participation for cogent causes he had elaborated. He had backed out of the ballot due to the existence of a non-level taking part in discipline and the repeat of what he had denounced as a fraudulent course of. But rumours had began flying round, upon the sudden withdrawal from the race, that Raila might have been blackmailed into submission!
Ever since President Buhari received re-election in a controversial vogue few weeks in the past the nebulous Nigerian issue has come into play, to wit: politicians paying homage and congratulating him hypocritically, conventional rulers visiting Aso Rock to pledge their loyalty to the system, political teams, of their notoriety, struggling to outdo each other to register their adherence to Buharism. All of whom, with out exception, had been urging Atiku Abubakar to forgo his authorized problem to the Buhari victory for ‘peace to reign’. Utter balderdash!
Pray, did the person they have been visiting in Abuja on three consecutive events not reject his evident defeat at successive presidential contests involving him and took issues to the court docket for redress? Did he not unconvincingly blame the PDP rigging equipment every time he was handed a powerful quick finish of the stick? Did he not go to the violent excessive of promising ominously that the baboons and monkeys can be soaked in blood within the occasion of the 2015 presidential election not going his approach?
It’s unlucky that we now have a semblance of democracy (irrespective of how ugly its face) however one with out democrats! From each stretch of creativeness President Buhari himself, with all due respect due him because the primary citizen, can’t be described as a democrat. As a former army tyrant Buhari has continuously manifested, out and in of energy, anti-democratic tendencies and attitudes inimical to the development of the democratic dream. He all the time spoke glowingly about his army exploits even in a supposedly democratic setting! Moreover, true democrats are by no means concerned in coup-plotting but Buhari was a proud coup plotter that after truncated democracy!
Since 1999 Nigeria could possibly be described as a democracy struggling to search out her ft. As the most important democracy within the sub-Saharan Africa challenges lie forward as by no means earlier than. Although imperfect from virtually all indications the large of Africa has miraculously weathered the democratic storm post-June 12, that day of infamy in 1993 when democracy triumphed however was criminally killed by the Babangidaised hubris. As we speak, although abused right here and there, every now and then, democracy has come to remain in our land.
Nigeria is hopelessly working a poorly-rated mediocre democracy manned by poorly-rated mediocre ‘democrats’! Pseudo democracy and pseudo democrats! Fairly than being remembered for high quality providers to the nation they’re moderately remembered for the thousands and thousands and billions of they looted from the state treasuries! Pity! From the person on the very high right down to the political thugs and killers on the streets the hope for a greater nation is already compromised in our reckoning.
If democracy apart which means authorities of the individuals by the individuals and for the individuals could possibly be related to spreading freedom, pursuing justice and fostering nationwide integration then we now have collectively did not dwell as much as that expectation.
For Adesanmi: Fare Thee Nicely!
Penultimate Sunday I used to be terribly shocked to be taught on-line of the tragic passing of the prolific author, instructor and thinker, Prof. Pius Adesanmi. He was amongst 157 people who perished within the Boeing’s 737 Max eight Ethiopian Airways flight that crashed fatally quickly after take-off on the worldwide airport in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.
Few years in the past whereas on a sabbatical in Paris, France, I had exchanged some emails with Pius. We by no means had the chance to fulfill one-on-one. He learn my articles religiously and I learn his as nicely. The ‘pious’ Pius had left us too quickly too early for anybody to recollect the which means of the final word leveller.
It was certainly a tragic loss to his family and friends, to us the critics who love our nation and to the nation of our delivery. We will all miss you, Pius!
Fare thee nicely, huge brother! ‘One factor should kill a person’ because the layman’s slogan goes. Adieu!
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