Opinion: 2015 elections and the impunity of the prince

by Kingsley Charles

president-goodluck-jonathan-2_2The change and transformation propagated by the political actors is the onus of every Nigerian—it is in our capacity. The Independent National Electoral Commission, which we considered a disinterested judge in the gladiatorial contest, has lost its independence (if it was ever independent)

When the news of the postponement of the elections went viral on social networking sites, I dismissed it as a canard and furphy disseminated by the disingenuous and partisan online media sites.

However, the verity of the news became confirmed when INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, made an official announcement of the shifts in polls. I’m galled, and deeply saddened, at the abrupt change in the election timetable; I’m disillusioned and disenchanted with INEC’s postponement of the polls and Jega‘s breach of the pledge to conduct the elections in February. In our society, and even on the African continent, it has become expedient and necessary to keep record of political leaders’ words and statements so as to make reference to them when politicians deviate from, or renege on, their pledges. Attahiru Jega had, prior to the postponement, maintained swashbuckling resoluteness and doggedness towards conducting the elections in February. He had appeared as a disinterested judge who was bent on achieving fairness in the elections. That just mission appears to be only a parody of it now. Then, I ask: Whatever happened to that pledge which was backed up with unrelenting determination?

I’m not loathe to believe that the shift in election is borne out of pressure from the bowler-hatted man and the service chiefs. I’m not disinclined to accept the underlying fact that the sudden change in the election timetable, especially when so many plans have been made and huge sums of money have been dissipated, is a stratagem by the ruling party to carefully orchestrate massive rigging in the elections. It is patently obvious, even to the sightless. With the groundswell of opposition against his re-election bid and seeing the not much prospect of ascending the throne of presidency again, the bowler-hatted man, through the National security Adviser, press-ganged Jega into shifting the polls by presenting a rather thoughtless reason. What a Machiavellian feat!

The need to subvert insurgency in the north-eastern flank of the country is the flimsiest and most asinine excuse to have been ever thought about. It is also laughable and smacks of muddled thinking. The Nigerian space has been beset by the scourge of insurgency for more than five years, and the federal government has demonstrated no success in its combat against it. Instead, the terrorists’ attacks have continued unabated and unchecked, with more orgies of barbarous killings and kidnappings on an unprecedented scale. Now the electoral commission wants to hoodwink the rabble into believing that the Nigerian troops will stem the tide of insurgency in six weeks! Isn’t that laughable? If anything, it is crazy. Nigerians are not as gullible and credulous as they think.

The unfolding scenes of Nigeria’s election drama lend verisimilitude to the gloomy prognostication of the Americans of the country’s disintegration. Every passing day in this season, which leaves us to gape in wonder, confirms the veracity of the prediction. The words of the prophets of doom are coming alive, for our geopolitical landscape is coming to the verge of a political maelstrom.

But why would a man be overwhelmed by such devouring quest for power as to unleash destruction upon the state over which he presides? What demon must have possessed a man that he would wish to subject an independent commission to his whims? This desperation for power makes me of a man whose livelihood is dependent upon public slush fund. This makes me think of Agathocles (King of Syracuse) and Oliverotto of Fermo in Machiavelli’s The Prince, who subjugated republics and cities with brutal cruelty and resisted opposition to their sole authorities with absolute ferocity. We are embroiled in a republic governed by a Machiavellian prince. Is this the machismo with which he would rule over the Nigerian citizenry in the next four years should he be re-elected?

The transformation propagated by the bowler-hatted prince seems, to me, a smokescreen that is intended to conceal his Mephistophelian intentions, as evidenced by his unraveling schemes. Nothing is so galling as to disparage and demean the rights of a citizenry. The warnings of outright fascism in the offing are inscribed upon the walls of the nation. Not again shall we endorse another four years of misrule and maladministration by a fascist. It is barbaric, condemnable, uncharitable, uncivilized, rebarbative, retrogressive, egregious and, above all, unspeakable. It is covert despotism in a democratic dispensation.

The change and transformation propagated by the political actors is the onus of every Nigerian—it is in our capacity. The Independent National Electoral Commission, which we considered a disinterested judge in the gladiatorial contest, has lost its independence (if it was ever independent) and has ultimately become a travesty of itself.

The demons which underlie all these political troubles must be exorcised willy-nilly. Therefore, now that our attempts at extricating ourselves from the grip of the fascist have been stymied, starting a revolt would be out of place. Nigerians must gear themselves up and boycott the elections. That is our passport to a new Nigeria.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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