Friday, 24 May 2013
Nigeria: Donald Duke. An Eureka moment? (S)elections And Smoking Guns…
Donald Duke - a former state governor in Nigeria used to intrigue me. Intrigue in the context that I know so little of him not having visited Cross Rivers, or in fact anywhere in the East beyond Benin City, yet he comes across as a pretty privileged model, compared to the rest of his crew - political gangsters that run - or used to run the show in Nigeria.
The most enduring recollection of Donald Duke I have is one of him performing the welcoming speech of that ill-fated Miss World contest that Silverbird Entertainment group was hosting back in the day.
But, I was not going to read his latest expose - and its as frightening ( for those who didn't know) as it is hilarious - on the modus operandi of (s)Elections in Nigeria until it was posted to one of Nigeria's fledgling on-line communities, that I happen to subscribe.
A full report of crook Donald Duke's expose is over here@SaharaReporters.com
Donald Duke, sounding almost as if he found, or woke up with an eureka moment (for a Nigerian thief) begins with the kind of reflection that you do not associate with his class of Nigerians. I mean, a reality based assessment of their own personal existence.
We the elite, I am one of them, we send our kids to the best schools around the World, when they come back they are misfits, they cannot fit in and so ultimately we are designing a system that would destroy us in the end.
I do not have the time to do a lengthier rant one how much price we pay for his class of gangsters who do not have enough elastic medulla, or simply put, brains to be that reflective.
You might argue that this is all too easy for him to say, since he is out of political office, but the fact of him contextualising the result of Nigeria's elites and their grade-A designs-of-illogicality in relation to himself and the ultimate failures of their children, is an interesting admission that is worth a treatise on its own...but another day.
But the real meat of the entire Donald Duke bomb! of an expose lies in this summation:
The Presiding Officer sits down and calls a few guys and says, ‘hey, there are a few hundred papers here, let’s thumbprint. This is the real election. Well, this is not a PDP thing. I am not here to castigate the PDP; it’s a Nigerian thing. This process may sound comical and jovial, it happens throughout the country, whether its Action Congress or APGA it’s the same thing. We are all the same. They start thumb-printing, some are overzealous. So at the end of the day you find some voting more than the number of people that were registered to vote.
If you are willing to discountenance motive - because the fact of admission of guilt does not exonerate crime - and frankly, given the near death of present day Nigeria, that is insignificant, Donald Duke's statement up there is the most correct assessment of what's been passed on and passed on, and passed on, and passed on, as democratic elections in namespace Nigeria from day 0. With the probably exception of Hope 1993 elections, which brought the country to the throes of electioneering rebirth but for a a mad idiot in Minna of an International Born Bastard...
The tragi-comedic reality of the entire situation was best summed up in Fela Anikulapo Kuti's most endearing musical essay of what Democrazy is all about: Teacher don't teach me Nonsense (video below)
in that frighteningly ingenious and awesomely delivered creative passage -of a political commentary:-
"/who be our teacher. na ooooooyinbo...
/ Na the 2nd election na im worse pass
/ babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Im pass rigging mo...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Im pass corruption...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Which Kain election be dis ?...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ people no go vote ...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ deeem com get big big numbers...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Thousand to thousands ...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Millions to Millions...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Which Kain elections...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Babanla nonsense...babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense
/ Na Dem-all-Crazy be that dat ooooooooooo....babanla nonsense....Babanla nonsense "
And that was bad way to reference what was the triumph of musical expression, but excuse that...
Fela's summation was performed in the the 80s. The thought of it all - let's not even mention the last disgrace, of an elections most tragically validated by Nigeria's Ghana-must-go Supreme court - makes for insane humour when you hear such goons like ex-general Olusegun Obasanjo, going around the place with delusional pretences to self-praise: Father of modern democratic Nigeria etc. etc.
You are struggling not to have a laugh.
Still, the entire Mr. Duke's speech nearly goes into Masterclass mode if not for the fact that he had benefited immensely from the scam he was sermonizing, and as such does not enjoy the right to be assessed with utmost altruism.
"Sometimes, we behave as if we invented democracy. We always want to draw new rules. We should know the day of elections..."
Aaaaaaargha! I am tempted with thoughts of oh! the chicken is coming home, but that is being emotional.
The pressing question remains who are the we ?
And why hasn't Mr. Duke been bold with these radically refreshing if long known rhetorical questions in the days we have to deal with monster Obasanjo, Iwu and yeah himself ?
Still, faced with impending doom and death, there must always be space and heart ,and time for rational tolerance. For the benefit of the many thousand of Nigerians who did not understand the prophetic and spot-on diagnosis of Fela, I think Mr. Duke's revelations would come as a shocker!
It is no use hoping that Nigeria has one last shot at democratic experimentation. It will be next year. Hope won't be good enough.
It is clear that whether or not Nigeria as a name-space will exist and the evolution of what comes thereafter rests on how much Donald's gang-mates interpret the existential realities - total collapse of security, infrastructure and a loss of faith - of today's Nigeria that forces, even a Duke to come to terms with his own reality, as to make these statements, and how prepared they are to let go of their insatiable thirst for blood; The blood of millions of hapless souls so unfortunately tagged Nigerians - seeking meaning and escape home and away...
It is a refreshing read, which leaves you with wondering what guns former governor was smoking on. But its best part was in this paragraph:
The REC now goes down and says, ‘we need to conduct a training programme for the presiding officers and em, headquarters hasn’t sent us any money yet, you know.’
And the governor is like: ‘How much would that cost?’
REC replies: ‘N25million for the first batch, we may have about three batches.’ Governor: ‘Ok, the Chief of Staff will see you.’
Now, the Chief of Staff, you call him: ‘Make sure, that we arrange N25 million this week and in two weeks time another N25 million and Seventy-Five million in all.’
Chief of Staff: ‘Your Excellency, how do we do it?’
Governor: ‘Put it under Security Vote.
In other words, its cash, ok, now, cash in huge Ghana Must Go bags – some of my colleagues will shoot me- (turns to the audience) is any former governor here?
To paraphase Da Grin, of blessed memory: They knew what they do; They [all] know what they did...