19 Jan 2015

Projecting 2015 Elections Cautiously - by Sunny Ikhioya

There is this general saying that; “if wishes were horses, beggars will ride”. We have started dreaming and assuming positions on what will be the outcome of the 2015 elections but like I have always noted, we have short memories in this country.

Our politics have not developed as expected since the attainment of independence. There is a clear replay of what happened in the early sixties; vindictiveness, stubbornness, judicial rascality, subterfuge, implacable opposition and so on. This was the situation when the military came in January 1966.

Since we have refused to learn our lessons, needlessly, lives would be lost and those who instigated and masterminded it, will find refuge in foreign countries to enjoy their booty.

Politics is a game for the politicians. It is the common folks who suffer. Already, there are fights in the streets and social media over the activities of the politicians. For me, that is not where the battle will be won. Winning elections goes beyond all the noise we hear and unfortunately, most of the analysis that I have read, seen and heard about the coming elections are based on faulty prognosis and lies. For example, Buhari will capture the whole north and south west, while Jonathan will win in the south south and eastern part of the country and because the population of the north in combination with the west is higher, victory will go to Buhari. I will return to this later.

There is no doubt that the PDP has fumbled as a party, it can be likened to a monster, destined to destroy itself. Chiefly, their inability to institutionalise democratic practices is their major undoing, unnecessary imposition of candidates across board have made them lose a large number of their followers and the in fighting is still going on presently. The inability of the party’s hierarchy to rein in the excesses of its members is another factor. Everyone is doing what he or she wants and there is no clear line of accountability. They have not been able to convince the populace that they are serious in tackling corruption that has almost crippled the economy. Situations where raw foreign currencies are shipped out of the country outside the official channels, have aided the current drop in the value of the naira or how else does one explain it? The economy is in a state that defies logic; the prices of petroleum products are going down all over the world, yet, the prices of our petroleum products have refused to come down. There is no right time as now to effect the much trumpeted deregulation of the petroleum sector but our officials are just watching.

In Delta state, the Ijaw brothers of President Jonathan are behaving as if the resources of the state belong to them alone and getting into unnecessary conflicts with their neighbours, the presidency seem not to be doing anything to douse this tension.

In normal democratic settings, we would have said with conviction that the 2015 elections is foregone conclusion for the opposition but the Nigerian situation is not so clear cut. This is so because, any serious analyst will discover that there is no difference between the two parties apart from their names. Populating the APC are people who had been strong members of the PDP and have contributed their own quota to the dire state the nation is today. So, their interest is not to solve the nation’s problems but to feather their own nests. Also, along with this group, are those who want power shift to the north by all means. If the electorate is wise, such persons should not be given consideration in the coming elections.

You cannot project the whole north for Buhari. What happens to Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Southern Kaduna? You cannot also configure the whole west for APC. What happens to Ondo and Ekiti?

People are fighting, threatening and invoking all sorts. If you are in the position of President Jonathan and the PDP hierarchy, what will you do under these circumstances? Will you just observe the scenarios as though they do not mean a thing or and take a back seat and relax?

We have at least four states engulfed by the Boko Haram crises. What type of elections will take place in these areas? Who will supervise the elections there?

Even if you threaten fire and brimstone, in this war been instigated, do its instigators have the superior manpower and tools to carry it out?

We must all project the 2015 elections with cautious optimism, so that, whatever the outcome, people will live with it, instead of it resulting to unnecessary deaths of innocent souls.

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