Elections in my dear Nigeria have become a matter of growing concern to me, and should be to every right thinking citizen-Nigerian and non-Nigerian. Elections in Nigeria have taken on a new plot, yet retaining their overall old theme of ‘largest provider takes all.’ It had began with tidal underpinnings of inducing electorates to sell their birthrights for paltry sums, then it tenously progressed to such seismic fissures of inducing them with morsels of food. Going-ons prior to recent polls in the country are as worrisome as the Hamas insurgent group was to the state of Israel to warrant carrying out extraconstitutional measures of tackling them. When were we bequeathed with such level of utter stupefaction that we now as much as sell our votes to the highest upholder of jaw-jaw ideology? How and what caused thumbs at polling booths to obey the one who provided stomach infrastructure as against the one who would guarantee constant light, good roads, better healthcare and the lots? What a height of gluttony! Hopeless hope! Mediocrity of the highest order! It doesn’t even matter on what platform you contest anymore. So long as you can bring bags of rice, money or packs of fufu, ride on majestically into government house, the public treasury is all yours to loot as you wish. And there appears to be no difference between the broom-wielding ones and the umbrella-imprinted ones. They’ve now shown to be all the same. I dare anybody who holds the contrary to prove such.
Yes, I guess by now you must have been acquainted with the facts from the state of Osun. Don’t be deceived by the ‘votes counted, free and fair’ noise. The votes were only tilted in favour of the one who could provide more stomach infrastructure! The much-made ‘one man one vote’ noise can be rightly interpreted as ‘one man, one fufu, one vote. The people of Osun cannot be as heartless as to forgetting the one who feathered their nest in the rainy season now that it is dry season. If he could provide packs as promissory consideration before the elections, he will certainly provide bags once in office. Prior to the elections, it was widely reported that Ogbeni riced up to expectations by fu(l)fuing his objectives to the people of Osun. Ogbeni had seen how the umbrella party captured Ekiti from under the very nose of his co broom-carrier by inducing the voters with rice, thus, he was not to be caught trousers down. Days before the polls, it was reported how members of the APC had gone round Osun, distributing packs of fufu to registered voters, so as to secure a landslide victory for Ogbeni. And it worked! The election in Osun state was keenly contested, in regards to the candidate who could provide more rice or fufu to the people of the state. Stomach-wisely, the various contestants proved their mettle. Ogbeni’s fufu certainly worked its magical prowess. I really don’t understand from whence we’ve degenerated to the level of our votes being our rice in this country, or as in the case of Osun, our votes being the fufullers of our destinies. No, this certainly wasn’t what our very good father, Awolowo intended when he proposed the socialist and welfaric theory of politics for our dear country, Nigeria. I bet even dear old Wole Soyinka never saw this level of absurdity when he wrote his ‘Season of Anomies.’
Once upon a time in Anambra state last year, the voters were selling their votes to the highest bidder in broad daylight! and security operatives turned suppressive operatives against anyone who dared vote against the party at the top. Money was flowing on November 16th, 2013 in Anambra like the biblical streams of water that never dry. Votes were being sold for as low as 500 naira or even bottles of beer. The common-parlance that reigned supreme during Anambra states’ last gubernatorial polls had been: “I jikwa the money?” The incumbent in Anambra had been more than ready to empty the state treasury in answer to this single question posed by the voters. Then followed Ekiti where the people keenly exercised their rights to vote for they believed their votes were their rice. Ekitians-old and young, alike-were more than eager to exercise their fundamental rice. So the trend went on unabated till it got to the turn of Osun. Did we at any point in time ever bargained for such in the first instance?
Of great aplomb and acclaim are the actions of Uncle Jonah, the Oga at the top, as regards the electioneering process. Uncle Jonah was more than prepared for those broom-wielding individuals, especially that preambulating, noise-making, jet-flying one from Rivers state. In his ‘pulling down your stronghold by all means’ philosophy against those who are not for him, I heard about 15,000 battalion of soldiers, 30,000 truckloads of policemen, 20,000 NSCDC(men at the top) and 8,000 DSS batch of operatives were deployed to Osun alone for the conduct of the polls. Time for war! Funny, but how many of such security operatives have been sent to sambisa forest to find our missing girls? Of course, our girls can wait till eternity. Osun, just like Ekiti is more than important to guarantee Uncle Jonah’s 2015 ambition. Shekau can go on selling the remaining girls-that’s if any are, or he might do whatever it is paedophilic men do to small and hapless girls that happen to be in secluded situations with them. Other parts of Bornu and Yobe, just like the whole country can do without security for a day. Of course, they’ve been doing without security for long! Chiboks can continue to be created from all parts of the country. For the now, Uncle Jonah was eager to secure Osun for his beloved CORNfused son, Omisore. Problem was they lacked creativity. They had set into motion the same plan that secured Ekiti, when unbeknownst to them, Ogbeni was a super-match for them by providing more than they could ever provide for the people of Osun. Ekitians had received rice, some even had theirs being measured on the hands, and that same strategy was outlaid for Osun. Alas! the Law of Constancy sadly did not hold here. Ogbeni was wiser than they ever adjudged him to be. He knew the people of Osun like, well, the front and back of his hands. He knew what they needed most, and he was going to provide it. Check it out from my Igbo kinsmen, it is proven that the energy content of fufu by far larger calories surpasses that of rice, thus Ogbeni provided “more” for the good people of Osun as against his PDP counterpart who distributed rice only. He strongly ‘energised’ the populace in preparation for the battle ahead. The rest, they say, is history.
At least, I knew of Esau in the bible. Esau, as the story went, was predestined to lose his birthright to his younger brother. So even if he hadn’t sold it for a pot of stew, he was surely going to give it up one way or the other. I refuse to accept that this fate as has befallen us was imposed by nature. Pointedly, as can be rightfully deduced from recent ongoings, the 2015 general elections in my dear country Nigeria, would be just as my philosopher-cum-singer friend, Olamide has said, “a story for the gods.”