May 3, 2007
4 mins read

Three weeks after the electoral process that has been condemned as the most fraudulent in Nigeria’s history that fate of our dear country hangs in the balance. Of course those alleged to have attained victory continue as if they reside on an alien planet; they are planning for life after May 29th when they will inherit power. But they carry on with their bravado with a huge amount of question mark about the problem of legitimacy. Maybe that is even in the future.

In the present, there are pertinent questions that should disturb every patriot. In the first, can this charade endure? Will the brazen rape of the electoral will of the Nigerian people subsist? Is it possible to build an enduring political system on a foundation of deceit, fraud and illegitimacy? What is the depth of the body blow that the democratic has suffered since the fraud which returned Obasanjo in 2003 but which was left to develop to the gangster manner that the 2007 elections were conducted? Many observers have noticed a declining enthusiasm for the routines of electoral democracy in Africa, because it is becoming clear that the people’s votes hardly ever count; incumbents hardly ever get redeemed.

In Nigeria’s tortuous route of the last few years, especially since the 2003 elections, a new fact is emerging which should give us the pause, because they seem to foreclose the possibility of our ever achieving free and fair elections as a basis of change. The logic is a simple one: Obasanjo was massively rigged into power in 2003, and he never had legitimacy the people’s will did not matter and his programmes in government were not in the interest of the Nigerian people.

The regime was conscious that an eight-year period of power has generally been wasted, it is very unpopular with the Nigerian people and if elections were genuinely free and fair, it was not likely to be returned to power. It had to massively and fraudulently compromise the process. It is almost like a law-governed process of nature; that a president that is the product of fraud cannot be expected to midwife a clean process. It is very strange that Nigerians who know the way Obasanjo came to power would have expected to have a clean process from the man.

Unfortunately, we have to extrapolate all that we know now into the future. I am afraid that the 2007 elections, if allowed to stand, mean that in foreseeable future, we shall NEVER have a genuinely democratic process in Nigeria. I am not sounding pessimistic or alarmist; but with due respect to the man, let us examine Umar Yar’ Adua’s own antecedents in Katsina, and the electoral process which has thrown him up as president-elect.

We must also remember that his emergence as the PDP’s candidate was a product of an undemocratic, cloak-and- dagger operation by the Obasanjo clique. He also imposed Ibrahim Shema, a very unpopular candidate, as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Katsina and as the election results show, he presided over the massive rigging that has returned Ibrahim Shema as Katsina’s governor elect.

As I indicated earlier, this is absolutely without disrespect for all the strong points that Alhaji Umar Yar’ Adua is said to possess; he has shown a ruthless streak of his own in his state away from the searchlight of most of Nigeria, and cannot, therefore, be expected to preside over the process which will be free or fair, because of fear that he lose such an election. This  is why I say that Nigeria faces a bleak future where the PDP has literally turned the country into a one-party state, has the power to change the constitution, because most of the states now have assemblies packed with only members of one political party.

The prospect is that in 2011, Umar Yar’ Adua will organize his own elections and they can only be worse than they can only be worse than the process that brought him to power in 2007 if we allow the charade to be legally instituted. Nigeria will then join other African countries where the society goes through the ritualistic motions of elections a lot of motions without movement, where the more things change, the more they remain the same! And of course, an incumbent will not organize an election he might lose. The present is full of disappointment because the people saw their eagerness to participate in the process of change subverted in broad daylight by a gangster alliance of the Obasanjo regime, the PDP, INEC and the security forces.

In response, they voted with their feet and chose to stay away, which did not stop the PDP from manufacturing for itself millions of fictitious votes in the presidential and National Assembly elections. The future is similarly bleak, because the country will be saddled with a government which will not have legitimacy and therefore will be unable to muster support for its programmes. To worsen matters further, the regime would also have a running battle with the departing despot, Obasanjo, who would want to rule by remote control. This broadly negative canvass is the consequences, intended or unintended, which flows from the fraudulent electoral process of the past few weeks in our country. Events often have unforeseen consequences, but in this case, the consequences as well worked out by the PDP which is determined to be in power into the foreseeable future in Nigeria.

Most people who have expressed their frustration, disappointment and anger about the 2007 elections did it against the backdrop of the analysis that has been done here. What I have attempted to do is to quote from some of the various statements made about the elections, and to underscore, as the title of the piece itself has said, that the whole world cannot be wrong about the fraud which General Obasanjo, PDP, INEC, PDP thugs security forces perpetrated during the charade they called the 2007 general elections:

“There is a hybrid democracy in Nigeria. Hybrid in the sense that it was not totally free and fair because you still find soldiers carrying guns, running  about on an election day. There are still elements of highbrow rigging going on. Anybody can tell you it is free and fair. Yes, you can use the term free and fair, but I don’t know how free and fair it is…And I think this must be because of the flaws and manipulated primaries. Emergence of candidates during the primaries has the problem of legitimacy. You don’t carry the people along, you force them using soldiers or mobile policemen, flogging people into shape”.-Senator Ken Nnamani, Senate President

“Our monitors throughout the country noted and documented numerous lapses, massive irregularities that characterized the elections in many states. Based on the widespread and the far-reaching nature of these lapses, irregularities and electoral malpractices, we have come to the conclusion that on the whole, the elections were a charade and did not meet the minimum standards required for required democratic elections. We therefore reject the elections and call for their cancellation. The Federal Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have failed woefully in their responsibility to conduct free, fair and credible elections. We do not believe that any outcome of the elections can represent the will of the people. A democratic arrangement founded on such fraud can have no legitimacy”- Nigerian

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