In Nigeria, there are certain basic things that happen but nobody seems to have clear idea on; and one such thing is who the real winner of the 2011 presidential election was. Fact is, even Prof Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not know, and neither can he be trusted, because obviously he never cared to count votes. Yar’adua or Jonathan did not want to know, because that was something they would hate to know and Buhari cannot know, because of obvious constraints, while the rest of the nation were not sure. The only person, to whom it was in fact revealed, any way, is Barr. Ahmed Gulak, a ‘prophet’ of a certain world called Htrae [eartH in the reverse] or Bizaro. Unfortunately however, this world only exists in the comic literatures; it is directly opposite to this world, rectangular in shape and where everything is done in the reverse: insult is their compliment, false is their truth, [and] the known is their unknown… vice versa. But nonetheless, some folks in this country have insisted on dwelling in it; and therefore, having given themselves the liberty to live in both worlds at the same time, in situations where things are unknown to the ‘earth’, they just switch to Htrae. Such a genius!
However, this is for the Gulaks of this world to afford. For us, ordinary mortals, we stop at: ‘we are not sure’. In truth, we have wasted much time in making unnecessary noise about rigging against the defunct Congress For Progressive Change (CPC), as obvious as that was; but we do not allocate enough time to analyze what would have been for it had there been no rigging—because the party against whom it was rigged may not have won [without it]. What had it, for instance, done to have made it fit enough to boot out an incumbent government? Choosing where to go for campaigns and disrespecting A REGION and its people? Oh, touring across cities and abandoning rural areas? Or is it raising alarms for possible manipulations of results way before the election?
Any serious party aspiring for national office in any country—even Banana Republics—in this world must accord everyone, irrespective of any religious, regional or ethnic differences due and equal regard and respect in that nation—and if for any reason it feels it cannot, it will do a great deal to as well feel it should give up dreaming!
There are many ways to fail, but just one to succeed: hard work. And in the case of the former: is to be, one, very lazy; two, unready; three, is to go into things for the wrongs reasons; four, to be uncompromising and CPC had perfected on the art of all these and lavishly brought them to the open in the last election for the spectacle of whoever that cared to be entertained. Unfortunately for CPC—or at least its supporters—the election was not about the nation, but the North and South, or even South South, Muslims and Christians… While to the PDP, even more unfortunately, it was for none of these, rather, for maintaining the status quo—and so truly, INEC was for it as well. But in truth, it was not even about Buhari and Goodluck; it was, and will forever be, about two or more distinct plans for the future of this country. This is why throughout this democratic dispensation—not as if there is anything good about democracy—this country has never been a witness of a situation where the ruling party and the opposition come together and harmonize into one ideological bloc for the good of this country.
And unless the country learns to play politics by its rule and for the sake of the nation, by way of sacrificing self ego and the ‘doctrine of isms’, the opposition will always suffer one fate: defeat; and for the wrong reasons—but not too wrong reasons.
For APC, circumstances have changed, and could be an advantage, if handled well; but in most occasions oppositions fail elections not only because the existing circumstances place them in a disadvantage, but because they play an infantile politics. The ruling party besides its most effective mechanism of rigging, has, as it should, a better understanding of the kind of politics that suits the settings of this country. Of course they tour across the nation for rallies and effectively use the media—and all the same, the media as well uses itself for them; and this is so much because it has become a sort of festivity—stealing festival—in this country where party stalwarts ‘merry’ in [stolen] money, even in parties less endowed. In all honesty, they do that to, one, waste monies stolen over the years they spent in office; two, just because other parties do and three because, at the end, no one can say they had done less than could have been enough to facilitate winning. Besides rigging, they know where the power of the votes lays—the rural areas, where it could be purchased very cheaply. It is every body’s knowledge that in this country, rural population is larger than urban, which of course is not by coincidence. It is not for nothing that urbanization policies in this country are ignored.
It is ironical that, while providing basic necessities of a people’s life is to be the factor that will endear you to electorates and a means for ensuring future successes; here in this republic it is not the case. Give people good education and your failure is assured! This is not less ridiculous as the same person who, travelling to Damaturu from Maiduguri, boarded on a flight in Maiduguri, landed in Abuja and drove back to Yobe! The fact is that, educated people can never vote a government as corrupt as Jonathan’s, which is why PDP does not bother in substance, rather than on surface, campaigning in the cities; the cities are for opposition to get fooled. And the opposition foolishly measures its strength by the number of supporters that turn up to their rallies in the cities they tour, while the ruling party knows where suits it most.
Then, the second area is women. For apolitical on-looking folks, the First Lady’s office may seem downright irrelevant, and to me, it is a conduit pipe; but for politicians, it is one of the most effective mechanisms that could be unleashed, in a way, against the opposition to consume them. Simply, they use the state resources at the disposal of their “horsebands” pockets to corner the votes of the majority of the women in the country, and that, by the way, is not unclean politics! It is not unlikely to spot a wife of an opposition aspirant in this fold! So, where—pretexts aside—Buhari’s wife is kept behind the public screen, even when he was the presido, much as that is just what it should be, 35% space for women, to them, and with campaigns of calumny, is hardly realizable.
Then third, Buhari—I hope it suffices to say he represents the face of opposition politics in Nigeria—has another reason for his defeats. There are many rich people even more in number here in the North, who do not like the ruling PDP, but at the same time cannot afford to stand Buhari’s presidency; and therefore inject unmentionable amount of wealth against it. I heard with one ear that some people had had to burn their hard-earned hard currencies hid in their houses in those sweat-provoking moments of Buhari’s rule; some were even said to have given out their cars in ‘charity’ [and most were declined…]. Ha-ha-haaaa.
There is also what is called implantation, which to surgeons means the insertion of some tissue in the body; but to politicians, means the infiltration of opponents’ ranks in a bid to sabotage and undermine their efforts. If CPC had truly failed in that 2011 election, this was no doubt one of the reasons; and if APC fails in this line, it will be for the same reason.
These are some of the factors APC today must have to consider, because those of us, who have no other country than this, cann ot stand another four years of pillage, massacres and cluelessness. With the unfolding scenarios dramatically now, all to the advantage of the opposition, 2015 is an opportunity that must not be missed. Going back to who actually won the 2011 presidential election, what we are so certain is that, PDP had not won by the difference of 10million votes. And even if we will pretend to believe that it did, then, to APC it has finally come to discern how to close the gap. Already, we have heard that 1million PDP members are decamping to APC—closing it to 9million. With five state governors, all together with their supporters and loyalists decamping to APC, I am afraid Prof. Jega will have to overshoot the gap to 50million next election. Thank you wo, Messi.
Abdulhamid Al-Gazali is a political activist, writer, and member Borno Writers Forum. He writes in from Yerwa, Borno State.
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