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Published On: Sun, Nov 23rd, 2014

Between PDP and APC in 2015: May the better party lose

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By Bolaji Eletta

I have a confession concerning 2015. I have been praying for a loser, yes! A good looser! I have been praying that between PDP and APC may the party that loves Nigeria the more be the party to lose the 2015 election. The political landscape towards 2015 general election is wearing a vibrant outlook and this should excite every student of Political Science. The recent cross carpeting being witnessed across both sides of our political divide is all that is to be expected in an election year in Nigeria. It is the season again. But students of political history in Nigeria will agree with me that the excitement of politicking at the critical moments approaching the electioneering season also comes with a lot of apprehension. Right from the first republic up until recently in 2011, elections have been accompanied by some form of bloodshed or the other. In other climes, politics is played according to the books. But in Nigeria things do not go with the books. Our politics has no science in it. Even the art has neither shape nor form. All previous elections qualify as excellent case study. At no time in the history of elections in Nigeria have I developed as much fear as I do now. The fear of what will be the turn of events when Attahiru Jega declares the winner of the Presidential election come February 2015 is nauseating.

We had a chance as a nation at making history when we developed a political formular called Option A4 under the enigmatic NECO Chairman Humphrey Nwosu, but all that was allowed to disintegrate in a power game that only the players could decipher. The deaths recorded under the misadventure of 1992 are still fresh. What we are doing right now bears semblance of a blind man groping in the dark. My stomach churns when I remember the events of 2011. The killings and the reprisals are all too graphic and fit only for horror movies. The scars of 2011 election and the violence that went with it are still very fresh. The aftermath of it all may be part of what we are witnessing with the security brouhaha being witnessed currently in the Northeast.

The subtle innuendos of how 2015 elections will be like is gradually turning into shrieks again and no one is taking them seriously. All the fundamental and technical indicators are glaring for all to see. The recent cases of Olympians in high-jump and pole-vaulting in the National Assembly are nothing but dress rehearsals. You definitely cannot deny the metaphor of the cockroaches in Katsina, the blood of the dogs and baboons, the Judge whose face was redesigned in Ekiti, what about the Kung Fu in River State House of Assembly? Surely you couldn’t have easily forgotten the beast in the white dress and his mastery at converting the hallowed Maze into a weapon of mass destruction? Go to Kogi State House of Assembly and ask all the lawmakers to count their teeth. I can tell you with all authority that some have less the number of teeth they were elected with. You can’t deny not hearing the voices in the market place of threats and bravado from Prof. Ango Abdullahi, JP Clark, Mujahid Asari Dokubo, Olisah Metu, Lai Mohammed, Reuben Abati, Doyin Okupe, and Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, Rotimi Amechi and Gov. Shema among many others.

Recent elections in Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Niger and others have changed the real meaning of free, fair, and credible elections as well as how to define an election as rigged. The definitions clearly depends on which party won and which party lost. I need no prophet to tell me that either APC or PDP will definitely loose in the February 2015 election. I know that as it concerns the 2015 election, the coin will not stand on its edge. It is either head or tail…PDP or APC, umbrella or broom.

Considering the fact that only the winning party considers an election to be free, fair and credible and the losing party always consider an election to be rigged, one can then say that February 2015 election will be free, fair, credible and rigged!

The US government once issued a warning about the state of our union in 2015 but we merely waived it aside as impossible insha allahu, in Jesus’ name. The reality of the warning is getting real each passing day and we are not bothered. That is why I have resulted into prayers! I am praying that may the party who fears more for the unity of Nigeria be the one to loose in the general election. For, if they lose, they will not revert to post-election reactions, after the order of rat and the soya beans. For the rat will not mind scattering the soya beans if denied access. I pray that the party that have deeper understanding of the essence of democracy loose. For, if they lose, they will form a better and more robust opposition that will keep the ruling government on their toes for effective governance and performance.

May the party that loves the youth of this country the more loose in the next election. For, if they lose, they will not result into mobilizing the youth with sticks and guns in order to cause mayhem.

I pray that the party that fears more for the future of our country loose in the next general election. For, if they lose, they will seek redress within constitutional means.

I pray that the more sincere and serious party loose the next election. For, if they lose, will merely examine critically what they didn’t do well during the campaigns and review their strategies for future elections rather than claim victory where they had none. Amen, somebody!

Dr. Bolaji Eletta, an academic, public commentator, wrote in from Kaduna

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