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Our mumu never do

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AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

In February 2019 the federal presidential and governorship elections will take place. There will also be elections to the National Assembly and the state houses of assembly. Of course the presidential elections are going to be the highlight of the series of elections. The emergence of a two party system is almost on us. Almost on us because, in spite of the great number of competent and promising young men and women contesting for the position of president, the competition is a two horse race. It is between the incumbent president who at age of 76 wants another four year term, and the candidate of the opposition party who comes from the experience of being a two term Vice President to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The two party system is also confirmed by the failure of former President Obasanjo to raise a third party candidate to contest the election. Rather than that, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo declared support for his former Vice President. Who will win the presidential election: Muhammadu Buhari or Atiku Abubakar?

Nobody looking at the disaster that is Nigeria today would bet on President Buhari being voted back into power. The indiscipline on the roads is gotten worse as the roads have rotted further. Criminalities of indescribable horror are a daily occurrence. Kidnappings, trafficking in humans and human parts are there. Our educational institutions are in utter paralysis. Projects aimed at helping to make life better for ordinary Nigerians are abandoned easily and monies meant to help small business entrepreneurs are cut short by those in charge of disbursing the money.

None of these criminalities began under President Buhari. They were there before he came into the presidency. But, during his campaign for the position, he promised heaven on Earth, how he would reduce mountains to playing fields and fill the valleys for the good of all. After all, it was touted that he is a man of integrity. Particularly, he was coming to deal with corruption. Today he would claim that he took some steps to stem the tide of corruption but, wonder of wonders, corruption fought back! He obviously was not expecting such a thing. But give him his second term, and those corruptions will know who is boss, them or him. But will the voters listen to him? When Atiku is there as an alternative promising to restructure the whole country and re-visit the national conference. Buhari hates restructuring. He detests the national conference.

What does Atiku offer? Atiku is promising to do all the things that Buhari and his government have not done. The Igbo say they have been marginalised by Buhari. Atiku picks an Igbo for his vice presidential candidate. With a heart beat away from the presidency why would Igbo complain again. The Yoruba are clamouring for restructuring and the national conference. Atiku promises to restructure the country and revisit the national conference.

Both candidates promise to finally end Boko Haram. Many voters do not believe either of them. Boko Haram is a continuous source of unchecked funds for security. For the government, this is something to whip the country with. From time to time incompetent soldiers badly armed are sent near wherever they are and there are pictures in the papers. More internally displayed persons are produced and more relief dates and other goodies are available to be stolen and sold in the open markets across the country. Boko Haram is part and parcel of the chaos that is Nigeria and there are people in government, in the civil service, in the armed forces and in non governmental organisations who benefit from its existence. As it is for Buhari so will it be for Atiku.

But can we ask a question? And the question is: will the voting matter?
Recently a book was published detailing with how to rig elections. No Nigerian pirate of books was interested in bringing a copy into Nigeria. Never ask what you can teach Nigerians about rigging elections. Ask what Nigeria can teach the world about rigging elections.

Make sure your opponent does not get any chance of voting. This can be done by creating a general atmosphere of insecurity at the voting stations. Ensure that the voters’ list does not exist and if it does that the names of known members of your party are not on the list. Make sure the list is full of people who are dead or non existent.

If for any reason and in spite of your efforts the voter finally queues up to vote you can buy his vote. Hundreds of your party thugs are around with Ghana must go bags of money to buy votes. To ensure you vote for them you must use your cell phone to photograph where you marked on the ballot paper.

It is because of this possibility that the police, not the INEC, that banned cell phones from voting stations. But what about the need to record misbehaviour at the polling stations? We need our cell phones! Ok, cell phones can come to polling stations. Victory for the commonman.

So, the votes have been cast. And the counting can soon start. At this time precisely, some people rush, gun shots are heard and the ballot boxes are stolen, taken away and end of story. It now becomes a debate if in fact there was any voting in that ward or not.

All the international observers are united in reporting that, well, yes, the elections were free and fair as far as such elections are in Africa South of the Sahara and other developing economies. Violence was kept to a minimum and voting went smoothly in a greater number of places across the country. And remember the advantages of incumbency and no one can deny the influence of money on both sides of the voting. And at the end President Buhari is re-elected because, as Charly-Boy said when he married the woman he had lived with for forty years, because our mumu never do! And where now are Obasanjo and Babangida who voted against Buhari? Where will marginalisation come from now that Buhari is back? From whence comets the next president of Nigeria?
bankole.omotoso@elizadeuniversity.edu.ng


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