BY REV FR GERALD NWAFOR
We have witnessed in the last few days the trajectory of the Nigerian government to create a one-party system. The appeal court is sacking the governor of Kano state, who is NNPP (New Nigerian Peoples Party) to replace it with APC (All Progressive Congress), which is the ruling party. In Zamfara state, the appeal court sacked the PDP (People Democratic Party) governor to replace him with the APC candidate.
A one-party state is another name for dictatorship. I do not want to sound like a broken record, but now I wonder why Buhari said we will miss him when he must have left office. I should not blame God, but I should ask the question: why the punishment? Look at what happened in Imo state during the off-cycle election, where a whole local government area was shot down, and no voting happened. Still, the INEC officials announced a number that was bigger than the number of accredited voters.
This is a sign of what comes in a one-party state system. Impunity would reign without question because there is no opposition. How can you explain what happened in Kogi state, where the electoral officials came from EC8E and had results in them already before the voting started? What is all this recklessness in the quest for power? Do not think that any of the political gladiators are saints because Bayelsa was a PDP state, and look at what the governor did in the southern Ijaw to win the election.
No voting materials were sent there because no speed boat was available, but results were announced, and he was returned as the winner.The population of Nigeria is over 200 million, and the people of Nigeria are sitting on crude oil, gold, and natural gas. Why should we be poor by any measure? The only reason, as we have discussed from the beginning of time, was bad management of resources. And bad management of people.
When the labor president was beaten black and blue in Imo state because he went over there for a peaceful demonstration, the government lied that he was beaten by thugs and hoodlums. When labor decided to go on strike and crumble the economy, the government retracted the former statement that it was thugs, and said it was the police and some government officials.
We all know that the beating was orchestrated by the government of Imo state, which came fourth in the election and yet was declared the winner by the court. The court could have known that even if the people voted for a candidate who was not properly registered by the party, there was no way a fourth person could be declared winner because democracy, by definition, is the government of the people by the people for the people.
A rerun could have placed Imo State in a better position compared to what they have now.Anyways, back to the main issue of the labor strike that cleaned up the lies of the government that the labor president was beaten by the people who were supposed to protect him, I mean the police and the DSS (Department of State Security). The statement of some politicians like Adams Oshomole was disappointing, to say the least. An ex-president of NLC himself, one could have expected a reasonable statement from him, but no, he has joined the political thieves and brigands.The way we are going now leads to destruction. Now INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) says that IRVE (INEC Result Viewing Portal) is just nothing important, and I ask myself the simple question, “Why BIVAS?”
We were all jubilating that the result would no longer change numbers since whatever happened in the voting center would be transmitted to the IREV, and the movement from the voting center to the collation center that changed numbers would be eliminated. Now, we know that we were deceived by Yakubu and his cohorts. The result of Nigerian elections was manually collected, and the public was crying because from the voting center to the local government to the state capital, the papers were changed and switched and manipulated so that the voter would continue to say, “What went wrong?” So, the people clamored for a change in collation and accreditation, and the BIVAS (Bimodal Voter Accreditation System) and IREV were born. Suddenly, the hope has been dashed by the INEC and the Supreme Court of Nigeria that the electronic collation and BIVAS are not recognized by law.
The IREV was disallowed in the Zamfara election, and the BIVAS has been suspended in Imo state, and everything goes back to manual. Why can’t we move forward at least once in a lifetime? There is no progress in anything we are doing in Nigeria. One step forward, two steps backward. The situation in Niger and Burkina Faso, and Mali was born out of the recklessness of the political class. This one-party system that the APC is breathing would destroy the unity of Nigeria, and the consequence would be disastrous.
Finally, I hope Yakubu will go down in history as one of the worst INEC chairmen to have lived. He would have collected enough bribes to spend in his lifetime, but he has collected enough hate to share in eternity. The current president was in opposition for 16 years and was saying all the good things; now he is in power, none of the good things he said in his days as an opposition has been implemented, not even one of them. All the juicy positions went to his tribesmen; now we know better.
The Senate was a rubber stamp; now we know better. The judgment of the appeal courts and the Supreme Court suggests the danger of a one-party system that will ultimately divide Nigeria into six countries. How long this would last, I do not know, but I have read a lot of history books that try to explain revolution; they all concluded that it happens when the government thinks the people are weak and cannot act. Surprise is the hallmark of revolution, and it’s always organic.