Monday, 29th May 2023

About God and man’s will in democratic governance

By IkeChukwu U. Unegbe
21 March 2023   |   3:48 am
It was the usual jocularly greeting and exchange of banters with this my friend (name withheld) recently; followed with “O, boy, hope you are seeing the political campaigns and issues in our country?” It was meant both as a question and an open ended comment.


It was the usual jocularly greeting and exchange of banters with this my friend (name withheld) recently; followed with “O, boy, hope you are seeing the political campaigns and issues in our country?” It was meant both as a question and an open ended comment. My friend then responded: “Well, I am not involved, I don’t believe in democracy; it does not swing with the Will of The Almighty.” We didn’t go into any further discussions on this occasion, as we just dispersed to our various other engagements for the day. But the response occupied my head, my mind and my thoughts; refusing to disappear. That discussion was before the 25th February, 2023 Presidential elections which were held all over Nigeria.

Soon after, the 25th February, 2023 presidential and national assembly elections occurred. The planning, execution and collation of results threw up quite huge accusations and counter accusations bordering on the integrity, impartiality and transparency of the umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. In the heat of these accusations, INEC released the results, and announced a president-elect; asking those accusing her of improprieties to “go to court”.

This act was another rude shock to observers, since INEC’s conduct, impartiality and integrity were being put to question. While all that was on, various video clips emerged of alleged rigging at various polling centres, including INEC officers allegedly openly confessing that they compromised the integrity of the election. In her subtle acknowledgement of the lapses witnessed in the elections, INEC later made a public statement accepting that it experienced some technical glitches during the election, while assuring the populace that it would investigate the allegations of malpractices and punish any INEC officers found to have colluded with unscrupulous politicians to undermine the integrity of the elections.

In effect, INEC was saying that it would do a self audit, but that it should not matter to those who were not pleased with the conduct of the elections, as those ones should go to court.

As expected, those on the side of the announced president-elect candidate shouted in jubilation that ‘The Will of God has been fulfilled for them”, and are daring anyone who cared to listen not to challenge ‘God’, by attempting to question INEC’s verdict. In addition, press conferences were convened, and tendentious explanations are put out to explain why the results must be accepted, as “no election is perfect”, and “the BVAS machines used for the elections may experience glitches, as every machine does experience technical hiccups”.

Some even went as far as writing that in the entire history of the country and democratic dispensation it had never happened that a presidential election pronouncement was over-turned in any court. In addition, Nigerians were being reminded that the candidate declared president-elect worked for it, using his structures, and should not be denied the fruits of his efforts.

At this point, do not let us veer into the legal arguments, for or against, since the matter is already before the appropriate court. Also, this is not the moment to question whether INEC was complicit or not. It is also very well in the rights of those in support of the declared president-elect to put forward arguments to justify the outcome of the elections. Those crying wolves are also in their rights to do so.

However, the effort here is simply to take a look at how human beings generally view the Will of the Creator, and perceive its workings in human affairs. Is there really any difference between God’s Will and man’s will? Since man is in-charge of political arrangements on earth, could he ascribe the outcome of his efforts to becoming the Will of God? In the midst of the hullabaloo generated by the election, and positions taken by many, according to their interests, this writer again remembered the discussions referred to above. Is my friend then right in saying: ‘I do not believe in democracy; it does not swing with the Will of The Almighty’? Perhaps, yes.

Ever often, there is this blurriness of vision with respect to when God’s Will and man’s will are at play in human affairs. Many have assumed that whatever happens in human affairs or on earth is also, at same time, in accordance with the Will of The Almighty. In fact this is given a fine tone with the acclaimed statement: ‘Vox populi, Vox Dei’ which means ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’. This ‘voice of the people’ is assumed to be spoken during democratic processes of an election. Can that be correct? Certainly, it cannot be so.

As we are seeing already, many electoral choices are made on the basis of crude primordial sentiments bereft of sound objectivity. An abysmally poorly planned, executed and collated election processes, could never be taken as the ‘voice of the people’, not to talk of ‘voice of God’. It must be blasphemous to ascribe to The Almighty, in His Perfection and Justice, the products of a caricature of electoral processes, conducted by fraudulently compromised human beings. Such actions, processes, and the results arising from them must remain the outcome of the ‘will of men’. That has been the fate of any democratic arrangements anywhere in the world. Because man makes choices based on short term selfish interests, most times, the outcome always brings chaos and pain.

The Will of God reflects in the perfection we see in the operations of the Laws of Creation. It flows through pure, transparent and just channels, where human errors are totally avoided. God’s Will does not take into cognizance men’s opinions and plots, but simply yield to the waves of higher realities. An election fraught with irregularities would yield to the masses the outcome of human will, whilst God’s Will will be far away from the people. Yet, in reaping the consequences of their stubborn choices, men ultimately fulfill God’s Will in that Spiritual Law that says: ‘What you sow you shall reap.’

To summarize it: God’s Will allows man to express his choices, including during an election, no matter how poorly organized, but the outcome of that election must remain purely human; and no attempt should be made to arrogate to it Divine sanction. Men can choose leaders among themselves, but should never ascribe their choice as one directed by The Almighty.

However, if men desire peace, happiness and harmony in their affairs, they must seek to understand the Will of God, and strenuously align their ways to accord with the dictates of the Divine Will. At a crude electioneering level, it would require that the electoral umpire and the players or participants embrace truthfulness, transparency, fairness, and imbibe a sense of friendship or sportsmanship. Such a process would eschew hatred, bitterness, evil manipulations and crude partisanship.

A winner in that process should recognize that he/she has undertaken a spiritual oath to be fair and just, equally, to all. The process that brings winners would recognize that rigging undermines its purity and outcome.

So, yes, democracy is man’s will in desiring to govern human affairs; but it should be for the period when man continues in his groping to discover the Will of Almighty God.

Unegbe, Esq. can be reached on

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