We shall not cease from exploring
And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
– T. S. Eliot
As I walked into a pulling station to cast my vote in the 2003 Presidential and Gubernatorial elections, a sister of mine who happened to be a Returning Officer called me out and said I should not bother to vote. When I asked why, she told me that some PDP political tugs had just left the station with the original of the result slip after bribing and intimidating the agents of the other political parties and INEC official. I still voted for NDP and NCP for the gubernatorial and presidential elections respectively. As I was voting, the policemen that were watching me thumb print looked at me with pity and surprise. When the result finally got to the ward and local government collection centre, NDP and NCP failed to register a single vote from my pooling station. The above experience happened throughout the state and most of the states in the South. It was similar to what happened in the 1999 election. Now, that the truth has been revealed, what is left are only questions begging for answers.
If Chris Ngige did not win the 2003 election as we all know, did any of the PDP Senators, House of Rep. Members and State House of Assembly members win their respective elections? What of the PDP Governors in the whole of the South? Most importantly, did OBJ win the presidential election in 2003? Judgment and fairness to all. Was Chris Ngige singled out for punishment for refusing to share the state treasury with his political godfather who happens to be working for Mr., President? Where does this leave us and the state of our rule of law and justice to all? What will happen in 2007? If Ojukwu and Buhari can lose their cases in the Supreme Court over this same election that was clearly rigged, do we have a different courts and judges for different people and different cases? The question can go on and on.
Now, OBJ is saying we shouldn’t allow the current democratic process to be truncated. He is saying that in the face of injustice we should be patient. He is saying that in the face of raw aggression and oppression, we should be smiling. He persuaded the former Attorney General of the Federation, who prevailed on the national assembly to allow one Federal House Member to proceed to the ECOWAS court on losing his appeal at the on the election while retaining his seat. This is the same court that should have been the last resort to a common man.
Mahatma Gandhi said “We must become the change we want to be.” Albert Einstein said “Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted with the important matters.” The question of free and fair election is not a small matter in the first place and there is the need to be truthful in all aspect of governance. Change, that ought to have been the first word in making sense from the present nonsense. Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who will give you little love, a little affection, a little tenderness? It means you are in the wrong house, that’s what it means. We have been getting little justice, little equity, little development and no care at all. And you know what that means? We are in the right country with the wrong people in government.
To every thesis there is an antithesis and to this a synthesis. However, truth is a never dying process. The truth is that there was no election in Nigeria in 2003 and there won’t be one come 2007.
We have been exploring with the democratic process and experiment, mixing political assassination, blackmail and corruption as reagents, rigging elections and pretending as if nothing happened. We will arrive where we started by 2007 election (rigging) or few steps back and maybe then we will know the place for the first time. The images of what has happened, is happening and will still happen is beginning to emerge with utter clarity. – And I am worried