Anambra: Of Saints And Serpents…

But I dare ask –are we not in this country when the name of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was missing in the voters’ register in his ward? What did we do? Was a winner not declared in that election? Anambra should not be an isolated case irrespective of the dirty deals and shameful act of the INEC commissioner witnessed on November 16.

Could there be a perfect election? Not even our political and democratic role model and teacher–USA has been able to guarantee a perfect election in spite of the make belief efforts and political razzmatazz the world witnesses each time Americans vote. Americans have been able to effectively use the media to paint and present a picture of a near perfect situation during their elections. They have successfully conjured the world to believe and trust their electioneering, democratic and political process as the best with the Cable News Network (CNN) leading the media buzz of exposition of the positives in the manipulations, power plays and intrigues of the whole exercise.

Here, I mean in our clime it is a different ball game. The media is relegated to the background by those in power. Not even INEC with all the generosity of government in funding its activities could carry the media along in electioneering process and exercises. With the N98b coughed out by the Presidency for the 2011 election, how much was committed to media by the election arbiters? And what do we get in the end of every election –noise, catcalls and boos of rejections. In fact the media is always in the fore front of the exposition of the negatives, ills and foul plays of every election held in this country. I don’t and will never blame my constituency.

I hope I will not be crucified just like Chief Festus Odimegwu, the former chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) for daring to say that no census in the country is credible. I hope I won’t be condemned to say that no election in Nigeria has been generally adjudged or accepted as free, fair and credible because every winner sees the loser as a ‘vanquished villain.’ And every loser does not believe that he lost gallantly or to a better candidate. It is only after he or she is defeated that he or she starts picking holes in the whole process or exercise of election. I am yet to see an election which a candidate enters with protest. It is after the election that they rush into hurriedly arranged Press Conferences to disagree with the results, cast aspersions on INEC and condemn the winners for aiding electoral offences and paving way for corrupt practices during the elections that saw them emerging winners.

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) does not believe that the 2011 election was free, fair and credible. The same goes for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The leadership of the former ACN (now APC) has never accepted the result of the election that ushered in Gov. Abdulfatah into office in Kwara State or the re-election of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko in Ondo State.  That is our kind of politics –politics and democracy of protests. It was protests that took the then ACN to the Appellate Court from where it recovered the lost mandates in Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Edo and Ogun States. We have come to learn the bitter political lesson of “if you are aggrieved then, go to court.”

Buhari has been in court trying to stop President Goodluck Jonathan’s victory in April 2011. There are several other court cases here and there with politicians expressing their displeasure over the victories of their opponents and of course seeking redress. It is an exercise and a satanic political culture that we have come to accept. It is our political way of life. It is a political setting built by the system which most of the past and present governors, senators and honorable members of the House of Representatives have benefitted from. Therefore I should think that the situation created by the November 11 Gubernatorial election in Anambra is not strange and should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Senator Chris Ngige who is crying himself hoax at the moment was a beneficiary of this systemic failure when he emerged governor of Anambra under the political machinery of the Ubah brothers or family. But for the court Peter Obi won’t have got his stolen mandate by Ngige and his godfathers back. It is really unfortunate but the truth and reality on ground is that after the supplementary election on November 30, Willie Obiano will still emerge governor and I expect all aggrieved candidates and parties to follow the due process of seeking redress by going to court. The aggrieved candidates will have their say by going to court while Obiano and his godfather Peter Obi will have their way.

Yes the election in Anambra has been described as fraudulent and Prof. Attahiru Jega’s INEC as corrupt. In fact Jega is now compared with his predecessor, Prof. Maurice Iwu. Some even say that Iwu is a saint compared to Jega. A section of the media is taking side and sympathizing with Ngige, Ifeanyi Ubah and Tony Nwoye for being robbed at the poll. One of the talking points of the election is Nwoye’s missing name on the voters register in his very hometown. But I dare ask –are we not in this country when the name of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was missing in the voters’ register in his ward? What did we do? Was a winner not declared in that election? Anambra should not be an isolated case irrespective of the dirty deals and shameful act of the INEC commissioner witnessed on November 16. Has anyone dare ask why Senator Andy Ubah was schemed out of this election by the super-powers of the PDP? Was it not clear to all that Andy Ubah lost the PDP ticket because of his family’s (which includes his brothers) closeness to former President Olusegun Obasanjo? Why are we not addressing the real issues before and behind this election? Why are we leaving out the object and chasing shadows?

From the utterances of some political commentators one wonders if the November 16 election in Anambra was contested by just five candidates. Why is it that 19 others have accepted defeat and withdrawn to their private businesses thus leaving the three or four aggrieved candidates to pursue the cancellation agenda of the election? Some of us sympathizing with Labour Party candidate Ifeanyi Ubah are doing so because of what they have got from the ‘free giving’ Nnewi-born youthful business mogul who spent most among the 23 candidates.  He should have been wiser with lessons from the larger political circle. He was told in clear terms that politics is not for gentlemen like him but he chose to try his luck, ruffle feathers and test his popularity among his people. Those milking this young man all in the name of political advisors are bent on sucking him dry by pushing him into legal battles which may not end soon. And such legal battles are money consuming. Ubah be wise now!

Jega is insisting that INEC will not cancel the election since it does not have the right and capacity to do so hence, it is going ahead with the supplementary election on November 30. Nothing will change after the supplementary election because Obiano will still emerge winner and will be so duly declared. That is Nigeria for us all. Obiano has the backing of a godfather who is a sitting governor. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu did it in Lagos and installed Raji Fashola, hell was not let loose. James Ibori did it in Delta to install Emmanuel Uduaghan, Senator Bukola Saraki installed Ahmed Abdulfatah in Kwara, Chimaroke Nnamani installed Sullivan Chime in Enugu and Orji Uzor Kalu installed Theodore Orji in Abia. So who and where are the saints and serpents?


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