Close observation of the Nigerian political climate at the moment tell tales one hanging in the balance. Nigerians are tired of the vicious circle of poor governance which short-changes them while some politicians appear undisturbed about altering this existing state of affairs. These supposed vanguards of change ooze with desperation which sparks fear that adoption of Machiavellian principle “The end justifies the means” would be unrestrained. This possibility solves the puzzle of nonchalance of some parts of the citizenry about obtaining their voter’s cards and voting. “My vote won’t count” they say, resigning to passivity which entitles them to mere crumbs.
It is clear that the 2019 Presidential Elections is between the two big wigs, President Buhari of APC and Former Vice President Atiku of PDP. However, there are other technocrats in the race, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu and Dr. Oby Ezekwesili.
Suggestions of electoral impropriety as a given,particularly rigging, should disconcert any well-meaning Nigerian. How did we get here? PDP chairman Uche Secondus’ recent comment that anarchy could slip into the nation if rigging is resorted to is a warning that must not go unheeded.
Power is indeed sweet, perhaps more than any sugary food you can think of. Only a minuscule in history have let it go without being impelled by either constitution or sheer force. Nelson Mandela was literally pleaded with by most of his people to continue as South-Africa’s president in the 1990s as his term was winding up, but he declined for entrenchment of a democracy that dignified negroes, too he fought so hard for. He is a proof that an African leader can place the masses ahead of himself. As the 2019 presidential elections draws closer, it behooves President Muhammadu Buhari and APC to borrow a leaf from Madiba. This means resisting the temptation to in anyway interfere with INEC’s job of conducting a free and fair election which truly reflects Nigerians’ choice. This is the answer to sustaining the country’s fledgling democracy.
As clever as manipulating voting figures, buying permanent voters’ cards, direct/indirect bribery and intimidation with security personnels may seem, it beckons on chaos to hold sway in a nation we call home.During the recent North-Central PDP presidential campaign in Ilorin, Kwara State, Uche Secondus reiterated that “Let us warn Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, if you want to cause crisis in Nigeria, rig the election, if you want peace in Nigeria, the 2019 presidential elections must be free and fair.” With how heated the polity is getting by the day, you will agree with him. Dismissing such probability with a wave of the hand is tantamount to narrow-mindedness.That it hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean it wouldn’t if the necessary and sufficient conditions are present.
Finally, there is nothing illicit about President Buhari and ruling party desiring to enjoy beyond 2019 the flavour of power. Although some Nigerians are skeptical of the rationale, owing to the much contrast between what is and what should be, the Buhari-administration have a constitutional green light. That want, however, must not override electoral rubric before, during, and after election.
If what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, emulating former President Goodluck Jonathan by not scuttling the democratic process to remain in power and honorably conceding defeat if the odds are in APC’s disfavour would nourish our democracy plus preserve Nigeria.