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By: Promise Adiele PhD.
Mountain Top University.
A new strand of neurosis seems to pervade Nigeria’s political sphere compelling victims to embrace bipolar conditions with relish. Indeed, political exchanges before and after the recently concluded general elections convey a degree of rational deficiency among some observers, especially those sympathetic to power desperado’s inclination to State Capture.
These developments force one to ask the all-important question reminiscent of Sunny Okosun’s timeless song – Which Way Nigeria? The current election season has exposed many people, hitherto perceived as sensible, in their stark, irreconcilable idiocy which calls to question public perception of individuals.
For some Nigerians, the meaning of politics is distilled in shamelessness, dishonour, debauchery, and the subtle inauguration of treacherous culture across the country. Gradually, Nigerian political discourse is sliding into the abyss of rhetoric confusion where people freely speak at cross-purposes, contradicting themselves and reducing political engagements to kindergarten, puerile pastime.
Of course, in politics, people are free to say whatever tickles their reprobate fancy even if it imperils the lives of millions of people since there are no defining parameters to gauge public opinion. In politics, everyone is free to vomit obscenity as long as it serves the interest of the government in power.
After the presidential election marred by criminal indulgences and colossal manipulations, INEC, in all its disreputable potential, chaired by Mr. Mahmoud Yakubu, nocturnally, while people slept, announced Bola Tinubu of the APC as the winner. Expectedly, the opposition parties, Labour Party and PDP cried blue murder, insisting that APC massively rigged the election.
Many Nigerians urged them to go to Court and they did, legitimately. Inexplicably, those who advised the opposition parties to go to court were stung by the bee of confusion as they audaciously lead the campaign for the opposition to withdraw from the court. Curiously, Labour Party and Peter Obi’s petition seem to be stuck in APC’s throat, suffocating their apologists.
Therefore, the focus is more on Peter Obi to withdraw his petition from the court. The question is, why are these people, some of them federal government officials, urging Peter Obi to withdraw his petition from the Court?
Peter Obi has said that he won the election and will prove it in court. It defeats every democratic purpose to ask a petitioner to withdraw his case from the court. We must examine the mental state of those urging Peter Obi to withdraw his case from the court after advising him to head to the Court.
Is the APC afraid that its pyrrhic victory will be upturned by the Court? Already, information available on INEC’s iRev indicates ominous and worrisome developments for the APC.
If the APC is convinced that Peter Obi will lose in Court, let them allow the judiciary to do its job. Nigeria’s garrulous Information Minister Mr. Lai Muhammed has avowed that the opposition lost the election woefully.
It is thus an illustration of justice in parody for the Minister to turn around and ask the opposition to withdraw their cases from the Court.
Chimaroke Nnamani, former governor of Enugu State, has advised Peter Obi to withdraw his case from the Court and join hands with Bola Tinubu to build a new Nigeria. Nothing could be more ridiculous.
Ted Nwoko, a billionaire businessman has also joined the fray to assert that Peter Obi’s journey to the Court is an exercise in futility. Many Nigerians, who initially advised the opposition to head to the court, have turned around to advise them to withdraw from the court.
It negates every complexion of democratic principle to ask aggrieved electoral participants to go to Court and turn around to advise them to withdraw from the court. Something must be wrong somewhere.
For obvious reasons, the Labour Party’s Presidential candidate Peter Obi and the multi-dimensional unease he ushered into Nigeria’s political equation before and after the elections will not go away. Before the election, his popularity reached a crescendo, attaining a feverish decibel which unsettled political mercenaries in the country.
He drew a followership never witnessed in Africa before except perhaps in South-Africa following the emergence of the late Nelson Mandela. Obi was dismissed as a rabble-rouser who would fizzle out before daybreak. He didn’t fizzle out and the election came.
To the surprise of many who ridiculed him for not having political structures, he performed way above expectations winning across the major metropolis including Lagos the economic capital and Abuja the political capital.
Many Nigerians are convinced that the election is inconclusive given all the chicanery on display during the exercise. As things stand now, the court must critically examine all the issues before it to decide the real winner of the presidential election.
To attempt to persuade Labour Party and Peter Obi to quit from the Court further degrades Nigeria’s anemic electoral value which has kept us together, albeit on a fragile trajectory.
We must commend Peter Obi for keeping his Obidient army in check and always suing for peace at all times. He deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize for not replicating Yemi Osinbajo’s threat to form a parallel government in 2015 if the elections did not favour APC.
Millions of youths across the country, exacerbated by the charade that took place during the last elections, are itching to toe the part of infamy to vent their anger against the government. But Peter Obi has always preached peace with a popular refrain-let the Courts decide.
The desperation of some persons and power blocks in the country has led to the infiltration of the Labour Party with a rogue faction threatening to withdraw Peter Obi’s petition from the Court. One can profitably argue that this maniac proclivity to withdraw Peter Obi’s petition from the court inheres from an innate conviction that the APC victory is precariously standing with one leg on a slippery slope. APC and its candidate should have the confidence to go to Court if their hands are clean.
Their second channel of confidence should be based on the reputation of Nigeria’s judiciary for recreating magical realistic sensibilities, the type that saw the emergence of the Imo State governor Hope Uzodinma.
‘Go to Court’ has become a popular refrain in Nigeria since the conclusion of the elections. Comedians and skit makers have appropriated the phrase to nourish their comic expertise by turning obvious realities on their heads and urging the audience to ‘go to Court’.
Such is the ridiculous height the Nigerian judiciary has fallen. But ‘withdraw from the court’ has not achieved the same penetration as its counterpart. Peter Obi has vowed to pursue his petition to a logical conclusion and accept the outcome.
The government in power, firmly in control of all the power levers, should also echo the same sentiment. That is democracy in action. Certainly, at no time in the history of Nigeria did Nigerians witness a combination of moral baggage and electoral fraud personified in one candidate as we have it in 2023.
In 1979, NPN may have rigged the election but Alhaji Shehu Shagari did not ooze so much moral decay in character, history, and disposition.
As we patiently wait for the Court, every Nigerian of equitable conscience, Christians and Muslims, all those who subscribe to various religions and moral codes, should be weighed down by the burden of value-decadence and wanton depravity which characterized the last elections.
It is a moral burden for everyone until justice prevails. Although a section of the Nigerian media has acquired an incredible capacity to mislead and misinform, the press has a responsibility to protect the country’s democracy by objectively updating the people with unbiased proceedings in the court.
The globally discredited general elections in Nigeria and the impending May 29 inauguration will usher in a process of continuity which only entrenches retrogressive patterns and benighted formulations in the body politic. Of course, the judiciary is the highest decision-making body in the land.
Everyone has no choice but to abide by its proclamation. However, divine powers can burst the integument of their seeming invincibility.
In this case, let history be our guide.
Promise Adiele Ph.D
Mountain Top University
Twitter: @Drpee4

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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