“If free and fair elections were held today (even though PDP will never permit free and fair elections) chances are that President Jonathan will emerge victorious. I say this with every sense of responsibility.” - Chido Onumah

My brother Chido Onumah is a gifted writer. Please give it to him. He is one of the vigorous advocates of the peoples’ cause, an activist, a thinker, author and a committed Nigerian. His Book: Time To Reclaim Nigeria is a popular idea whose time has come. Chido’s contribution to the project Nigeria cannot just be dismissed by any sensible person. However his latest article posted on various internet forums, with the title, 2015: WHO WILL DEFEAT JONATHAN? has just caught my attention and I need to take him up on the statements above. I do not know what led Chido Onumah to believe that PDP led by anybody in Nigeria today can win a presidential election in a free and fair process. I tried without success to figure out why he made the statement above and believe you me I was left with no option than to write this rejoinder.

Now the question is this: On what basis is PDP going to win this election? Is it based on performance? What is the basis? How good have we fared in the past 14years to warrant Chido to make this egregious forecast? Are we getting better? If you still give PDP 50 years can it do anything better than what we have seen? Again, is endless crisis and unending strife that is afflicting PDP at present a recipe to winning election in Nigeria? Did it escape Chido Onumah that what is known as PDP is a house divided through the seam, with inchoate interests battling each other in a deadly struggle to win the upper hand and take control of the nation’s resources, as we are seeing at present? What could have Chido Onumah to gloss over the critical importance of performance in winning elections or the issue of party unity. Did Chido miss all these or did he deliberately ignore them in the thinking that Nigerians don’t notice these imperatives in winning elections? The intellectual in Chido would have protested this negligence for these critical issues remain at the soul of democracy, founded on one-man-one-vote principle.

I would not have quarreled with Chido Onumah if he had posited that PDP will always win elections the way it professes to know best-through outright gerrymandering and rigging. This has been the tradition PDP has invested and reaped heavily from since 1999. No one would have quarreled if an intellectual, after a careful analysis of the present political realities posited that PDP will win every election by the way it knows best-purloining electoral results and writing its own results-as we have been experiencing since 1999 but there is a lot to quarrel with an intellectual who comes up with the strange permutation that a PDP that is knocking on death’s doors, with a well known history of incompetent governance and mind boggling corruption, will win a free and fair election. I guess that whoever believes this is deliberately taking liberty with the truth for reasons best known to him. One sees the biggest challenge facing the Nigerian position as stopping PDP’s notorious rigging machine and I believe the Nigerians opposition is working on this. PDP has neither conducted nor won any free and fair election since 1999 and this remains the single greatest threat to democracy in Nigeria. Suffice it to say that any democracy founded on the type of horrendous manipulation the PDP has come to impose on the current democratic system in Nigeria has lost its essence and rivals any other undemocratic rule.

Now talking about APC, how can Chido tie the future of APC to one man, General Buhari(Rtd) in a nation of 150 million people? Is Chido saying that if anything happens to Buhari today, APC will not fill a presidential candidate in 2015? Don’t we have more than 50 presidential candidates who can do better than Buhari if we search for them? Can Chido with every sense of responsibility say that he has not seen the sacrifices being made by the progenitors of APC to provide an alternative to PDP? Is Chido saying that he has not seen the mines and bombs PDP mercenaries have been sowing on APC’s highway to reclaim Nigeria? Does Chido think that it is that easy for ACN, ANPP, CPC and APGA to come together in today’s Nigeria to challenge PDP? Ina way I wanted to run away with the thinking that the write up sounds like a job for PDP but…… If we must sack PDP it is going to be a collective responsibility, and defeatism approach cannot help us. We just have to take a stand on where we are going and stick to it head on.

Those who think that keeping President Jonathan without performance is a way of addressing the minority question in Nigeria cannot get it. More money has gone to South South in the past 14 years more than the total of what went to South East, South West, and North East put together and yet there is not much to show in terms of development in the Niger Delta. Other Nigerians see this as a blackmail that cannot stand. We cannot continue to sacrifice the future of this country on the altar of mediocrity and comprehensive emptiness.

Now if the question is “Is the opposition ready to compete in 2015? Please take notice that the answer is yes and this is final. A lot of sacrifices are being made, lots and lots of structures are being put in place, lots and lots of engagements are going, interests are being taken into consideration, human and material resources are being deployed to bring about this change and all APC needs is support and encourage and not to be pulled down.

But most importantly,

A football team that cannot score goals must be disbanded. If PDP cannot do something tangible in 14 years, it has to be defeated and sacked not minding the so-called national spread

Joe Igbokwe
Lagos

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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