The election grievance in Nigeria can be likened to a weapon of mass destruction by political thought. Nigerians eligible voters have been misled: There is virtually never any legitimacy to the April 2007 elections held. But probably the most appalling aspect of the grievance process is its result. Successful aggrieved aspirant has been attended to, their ballots reviewed and subsequently sworn in by different Nigerian law courts. But what baffles our contributors is “Mr Umpire Iwu” is yet singing inside his bathroom in anticipation to stay beyond 2011. By then he would had released another bombshell that could put Nigerian unity in pieces. I ashamed his rented “supporters club” tend to have the same consequence for those they are siege against: silencing.
Because the election is so short, and its consequences of “damages” is utterly unascertainable, the powers that be usually respond to dignity of Nigeria was maimed in that process by somehow stifling the campaign rights of the ruling party candidates, instead of developing and articulating an effective response to a candidate with an opposing point of view, they used intimidations and foul plots to seize the peoples mandate in broad day light. See what it often resort to; using the open process to try to simply shut up their opponent. Thank God most of them were again sidelined. Atiku blew up, Orji Kalu raised alarm, Odili withdrew, Buhari went to court. This, to me, represents a malignant trend in Nigerian politics that is by no means confined to the lofty – or um, less than lofty – halls of this government.
This kind of silencing strategy is much more subtle than blatant calls to cut publications’ funding or talk show guests’ microphones. Usually it comes in the form of an intellectual response, but the response itself actually spends its time targeting the speaker’s right to speak. The most prevalent example of this we see today might be the “support our troops” logic of responses to anti-graft sentiments. Those articulating arguments against the graft are met not with a reasoned justification for the insurgency but instead an accusation that the act of making an argument against the war might somehow demoralize, insult or disrespect the memories of those fighting and dying in the Niger Delta. And while this may or may not be the case, it suffers the disease of implicating that the argument they disagree with is somehow forbidden.
Even Mr. President has used language like “it’s unacceptable to think” when responding to critics. Everyone can think of an example, I’m sure, of when you’ve had your character attacked for making an argument that disagrees with the position of the attacker. Perfectly valid arguments for border security are accused as “tribalist;” legitimate concerns about foreign policy are challenged as “anti-Nigerian;” even reasonable claims challenging the discrimination of over-taxation is attacked as “hating people of faith.”
This is bad for both sides involved. Those silenced lose their right to freely speak their minds, or have that right threatened. Those silencing lose the ability to defend their positions on their own merit, choosing instead to simply shut up their critics. Ultimately, if their position ends up being flawed they won’t find out until much later, as those who might have pointed out the problems with it have been effectively removed from the discussion. Speech of the candidates “is a fault.
The Nigerian system of governance is wide open to fraud and any would-be political fraudster knows that. There is likelihood that the forthcoming general election in 2011 will be blighted by postal vote fraud. Evidence of “massive, systematic and organized fraud” in the pending campaign is likely to make a mockery of that election and ruled that not less than 1,500 votes is making a headlong to be a fraudulent cast using state power.
The system looks “hopelessly insecure”, the regret is that if the electoral reform committee recommendation fails implementation before second quarter of 2010, the coast may seem blurred. Recent warnings about the failings had been dismissed by this government as “scaremongering”. This government’s insistence that the current voting system was working, appears flattering .Anybody that has studied through these elections agitations cases and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising.
There is likelihood, that the forthcoming general election would be blighted by the 2007 voting tradition. This is our fear that “Nigeria4betterrule” participants ask for urgent action as a prerequisite, needed to protect and maintain confidence in the Nigeria’s INEC voting system and modalities.