Virtually every argument coming from the men on the side of the table alleges that there is a grand design by the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party to rig itself in again for another four years. Every propaganda is being employed in this regard in a bid to convince us to part ways with the new PDP and aver that we always have the choice to vote for the mainstream opposition who will somehow change things and introduce radical reforms, and that the election of their candidate amounts to a new lease of life for ‘pauperised’ Nigerians. Put simply, the fact that the generality of Nigerians voted for President Jonathan amounts to permission to run the federal government, but this they still contest to this day which sparked off riot in the north as Jonathan was declared winner in the 2011 presidential election. Many Nigerians doubtless lost their lives in the imbroglio that ensued.
One can easily challenge the logic behind such a claim. But beyond that simple fallacy lies a greater issue, one that until now has never been fully and properly examined. And that is whether the public really voted for those who are in power at all. Are our elections truly fair, or are they simply an illusion that the public approves of whatever despot has cheated his or her way to power?
Osun State is a good example. It’s now generally acknowledged by Nigerians that the election keeping Aregbesola in power was rigged following the ongoing findings of the election petition tribunal. The APC is known to have rigged the election in numerous states around the Nigeria to put in governments friendly to the APC cabal which we now find detrimental to the people of those states. This eventually became an eye-opener to President Jonathan who had no option but to delve in action to ensure a free and fair elections for the first time in Nigeria. A search through the news reports of elections around the world shows that a truly fair and honest election is indeed a rarity, but it has become increasingly obvious that President Jonathan is out resolutely to reverse the ignoble trend in our part of the globe.
Are the elections in Nigeria free and fair? A review of the facts is far less than reassuring. Ample evidences abound in massive vote fraud in the making which was swiftly uncovered by registration of millions of the under-aged in the north, a ploy to rig the incumbent president out of power. Who chooses what government we live under? Those who cast the votes, or as Stalin observed, those who count them? Do we the people pick those who govern us. Has Professor Jega come with a solution or still a part of the problem? Why did he threaten to resign the other day in the event of any polls shift? Just think about it; it really means plans were and still under-way to rig the elections on a massive scale in favour of the opposition with the irregularities uncovered so far ahead of the presidential election.
It means that the contract between INEC and electorates is broken. I, for one, do not trust Jega to give us a government via credible and transparent process. I foresee a government on the horizon likely to be foisted on us by treachery and deception. The crown to be worn would be a stolen one, usurped from the people.
In the light of the numerous incidents of vote fraud uncovered through the years and the quite obvious stonewall on the subject by the officials who benefit from rigged elections and the media that at least helps in the rigging, it is dangerous to assume that the forthcoming elections will be honest in view of the irregularities that have been discovered in the registration and distribution of Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC). It behoves Jega has to reassure us that the forthcoming elections would be free and fair, in fact, the burden of proof lies with him and he must be put to task to prove his honesty.
In an atmosphere of doubt about the validity of the voting process, it appears that the entire voting process would be a sham, a trick to fool the Nigerian people into accepting whatever is done to them by creating the illusion that the people somehow voted for and approved of whatever is being done. That’s how Batista fooled the Cuban people. That’s how the USSR fooled the Soviet citizens. And that’s how Prof. Jega intends to fool Nigerians. Buhari will only rule Nigeria again with the consent of those who will count the vote and not with the consent of the generality of Nigerians. I, therefore, adjure Your Excellency to beware the ides of March. Ay, March 28 has come but not gone! Buhari likes thee not, so is Tinubu, the Bourdillon overlord, trust not Jega. These men are of but one mind.
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan, a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.