Nigeria's Primitive Elections: Where Are The Western Democracy Defenders?

by John Iteshi

The New York Times editorial, “Nigeria’s Imperiled Elections” published on 11th April 2007, clearly highlighted the open secret that most western media and their governments only moan about democracy when it suits their selfish interests. The newspaper concluded in the following words, “…Washington and London have been far too tolerant of Mr. Obasanjo’s political machinations. Their silence does Nigeria no favors, and it certainly does not comport with the two countries’ own claims to be democracy’s defenders”. This conclusion clearly supports my article, “Zimbabwe is About White Supremacy” which many misguided Zimbabweans and white supremacists criticised. Interestingly, in further display of western media dubiousness, the most primitive and corrupt elections in Nigeria’s history (Saturday, 21 April would even be worst) took place on Saturday 14th April, 2007 (elections for the 36 State governors and Houses of Assembly Members) amidst widespread violence which left over 50 people dead across the country yet, it is not making any serious news in either BBC or CNN. The world is also watching the so-called international observers for their verdict on the ill-fated elections. It should be surprising that western media have maintained sketchy news about what happened in Nigeria on Saturday even though they have their reporters on the ground. What one is arguing is not that comments are not being made concerning the violent and fraudulent elections by western media, but the softly, softly tones reminiscent of the usual western accusations against President Mbeki on Zimbabwe is the disturbing issue here. While the BBC maintains regular information about events, it fails to draw clear cut conclusions where it maters most such as clearly spelling out who is destroying his country just as they would have easily done on Zimbabwe, the CNN appears not to be all that interested.

For those who believe the western world is moaning about Zimbabwe because they mean well for the Black race, the BBC and other western media have free access to all parts of Nigeria (unlike Zimbabwe where Mugabe has rightly forbidden them) and are supposed to have received or seen things themselves, but have clearly refrained from reporting the events as they could have done if it was Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans reading this must ask themselves if Mugabe has gotten so desperate to the extent of openly using the Police, Army and the national electoral commission to frustrate his enemies from standing elections or even voting? In Nigeria, the world has watched a so-called democratic president well respected by London and Washington as an ally, use state power to deny his enemies from exercising their rights to vote and be voted for. For the avoidance of doubt Saturday’s elections in Nigeria were so bad that apart from the killings and abductions that characterised it, prominent statesmen, like Odumegwu Ojukwu and the Senate President, Ken Nnamani including the celebrated chairman of NAFDAC (an agency regulating foods and pharmaceutical products in Nigeria), Prof. Akunyili were unable to cast their votes. Even from the run up to the elections, it was obvious there was not going to be any free and fair elections as the government openly displayed its desperation in ensuring that only those President Obasanjo wants to be “deemed elected” (as nobody ever really gets elected in Nigeria in any case) must emerge irrespective of what the people think.

Just two days to the elections, the so-called democratic president of Nigeria had to declare public holidays just for the sole purpose of preventing the supreme court from seating and hearing a case of his estranged vice president. BBC and other western media pretend they could not see foul play in this! If one may ask, has Zimbabwe which occupies most western news about Africa, gotten as bad as the electoral body disqualifying strong opponents of the ruling party to allow a smooth sailing fraudulent victory for the government candidates? Has Zimbabwe experienced anything like disqualifying opposition candidates on the eve of their elections just to frustrate them?. In Anambra State of Nigeria where the President’s right hand man is standing elections for governorship, the so-called Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) systematically disqualified all serious opponents of the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) and has even brazenly refused to obey two court orders to field a candidate dubiously disqualified. Also in both Adamawa and Kogi States, the so-called independent electoral body announced the disqualification of he candidates on the eve of the elections because they have strong chances of victory against he ruling party and the president would feel personally insulted if his party loses in those states.

Perhaps, the most shocking event has been the blunt refusal to accept the ruling of the Supreme court on the reinstatement of the PDP candidate for Imo State who was edged out despite winning the nomination, for not being a president’s man. This is particularly disturbing because it shows that even within his own party that it must be his personal friends and loyalists that occupy positions or nothing else. The so-called democratic President of Nigeria rather than obey the Supreme court order announced the automatic expulsion of the candidate for Imo State from the PDP. How can the democracy defenders of this world claim that a President that has never obeyed any unfavourable court order (even that of the supreme court) is democratic? How can the BBC and other Western Media claim they are not racist about Zimbabwe when they have refused to see evils in Nigeria simply because western interests are protected by the satanic government of Obasanjo.

For those who may not understand the standpoint of this writer on the bias of western media, one is not merely interested in western media changing their ways, but more concerned about Black (Negro) people organising themselves and sorting themselves out. Understanding that the BBC and other western media are biased and clearly entitled to be so is necessary for us to appreciate the need for self determination. We need to stop dancing for the attention of west in our internal affairs as they have vested interests. It does not require us to hate white people at all, but simply a matter of self awareness. Enlightened Black people must organise themselves and essentially establish our own BBC or CNN just as the Arabs and other Asians have done. One believes that Black people should either assert their independences or surrender to full-blown colonialism as we are worse of being neither here or there. The present situation where our own media and educated people rely on people in London and Washington to tell us whether we are right or wrong has not helped us at all. Enlightened Black people need to organise themselves irrespective of country or continent, at the highest level towards forging a way forward for the entire Black race. We must use the example of the western obsession about Zimbabwe (while ignoring far worse situations elsewhere) to understand that only us can sort ourselves out of our internal problems and not a non-existent international community or some dubious messiahs from the west.

You may also like

1 comment

Paul Odu April 17, 2007 - 8:24 pm

This election na abrakadabra on the collective sensibility of all Nigerians, I must tell you. The rigging exercise began when the INEC and the presidency fraudulently allocated several electoral machines to some powerful PDP members like Adedibu, Christ Uba, Chief Annenih etc, to ensure that all PDP cadidates in their states win this election. When that of Adedibu was uncovered, neither the presidency nor the INEC did anything tangible to arrest or prosecute him. Rather, the president told Nigerians to forgive and tolerate Adedibu because he is an old man. Even Adedibu himself boosted that he does not need the INEC or the people's votes to win elections for his chosen candidate, yet he was not sanctioned by the authority. The result of his arrogance behavior encouraged this fraudulent victory for all PDP candidates, even in situations where voting never took place at all in some polling stations. The fact of the matter is that, many INEC officials had already cooked up some voting figures for all the PDP candidates to ensure victory on the election day. As a result of this dubious mechanisation, the president was too confident that his PDP candidates would win this election by all means and on a very large scale. What Nigerians did not accept was the reality that Obasanjo and INEC have won the elections for their chosen candidates even before the first vote was put in the ballot box. Evidently, the president had already declared that the election would be a do or die affair for him and his party criminals. Based on the unwholesome power, indiscipline, arrogance and corruption showed by the president, INEC , EFCC and the SSS in this election, Nigerians should forget anything about credible elections in the country, not even in this century.


Leave a Comment