Sunday, 19 May 2013
Still Rely On Political Godfatherism? Think Again By Caesar Onuoha
Analyzing critically the political evolution in this nation from the First Republic in the 1960’s till date, it is no fallacy stating that Nigeria and indeed Nigerians have witnessed at one period or another an electoral process which ushered in either an abruptly truncated or a stillbirth democratic dispensation; hence, the mention of an “Electoral System” and its accompanying political brouhaha eludes not an average Nigerian, whether young or elderly.
The return of democracy to the shores of Nigeria in 1999, after long years of military truncation of various governments, brought with it waves of horrendous political misconducts and with do or die political manoeuvering reigning supreme, electoral rigging became the political fashion in vogue. The subsequent castings of ballots in 2003 and 2007 elections were mere ceremonial because before the D-day, ‘selections’ of political godsons by their untouchable political godfathers, to the detriment of election by the people and for the people, would have been decided and won in secrecy.
Hence accompanying the charade called voting in the aforementioned years were political bulldozing of anticipated strong oppositions, ballot snatching and stuffing, and falsification of electoral results- even in broad day light- so as to achieve one aim “ shove the godfather(s)’ already anointed candidate down the throat of the masses”. Actualization of this heinous stride, therefore, ushered in the fruition of “he who pays the piper calls the tune” at various levels of government functionaries in the country.
Suffice to say not only did this single act subject the poor to an unimaginable precarious livelihood but also the absolute disregard for the provision of basic social amenities for the masses and the fragrant embezzlement of funds made for these amenities to appease the callous godfathers progressed unabated. More so, attainment of political offices by merits of plausible manifestoes, individual pedigrees either in personal achievements or in previously held political offices became an illusion and was, rather, supplanted with ‘which godson has the highest tendency of turning the government coffer into an ATM machine for himself and his cohorts?’
Conversely, who could have rescued the masses who on their part were naïve to their electoral rights, hence, willing to even sacrifice these rights on the alter of N100, 3 cups of rice and few tubers of yam (all which would evanesce even before it reached their homes). Gosh! It was indeed a pathetic era of sheer ignorance and sure bet was well utilized by unscrupulous politicians and their cohorts.
Alas! Change being the only facet of life constant, our electoral system and the Nigerian people have started to feel slowly but surely the dwindle of ineptitude over adroitness, selection over election, godfather supported electoral victory over genuine upright performance in political offices. In recent times, the indomitable Nigerian people have risen to the occasion and have claimed back that which is theirs “vote them out if they are puppets of a godfather(s) and have woefully underperformed in office.” With the re-election of the perspicacious governors of Edo and Ondo as against the absolute trouncing of the ‘strong men’ and their wimps, in addition to the 2011 general electoral tsunami that hit incumbents of Imo and some States in the South west, the ever resilient Nigerian people vividly expressed and will continue to express their loathe for politicians without scruples of conscience to their everyday plights. Unlike in the past, we have become wiser to collect the N100, 3 cups of rice and few tubers of yam from them but vote for “performance” as against the ephemeral gifts.
Slowly but steadily we have and will never cease with the power of our votes to tell them their nauseous, intemperate, and inane mannerism is an absolute slap to the integrity of this nation and to our person. Guess with the overwhelming defeat of perfidious godfathers and their wimps in the polls, they are slowly acclimatizing with the political climate change in the country (godfatherism nor mere gifts doesn’t any more guarantee victory in polls but performance does) and to the fact they can fool some of us all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but can never fool all of us all of the time.
It is, therefore, no news to the mainstream politicians and the potentials that Nigeria and Nigerians can no longer condone their churlish demeanor while in office as it is deleterious to us and the future generations of this great country.
As the 2015 general election is slowly encroaching, there is still time for inept political office holders to sit up, put on their thinking caps, and give to the masses the dividends of democracy or risk “vote them out”. There is no doubt the great people of this country will lose no sleep to be perfect judges and juries come 2015 in the election polls for ineptitude and complete disregard of their inalienable rights to having basic amenities.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters