By Achike Chude
The only reason the ghosts of the just concluded national elections still linger and will not go away is down to the novelty of the method and strategy used to achieve intended results. It was not so much about the tactics – the motivation was the same old greed and lust for power that excludes any consideration for democratic ideals and ethos in the attainment of political power. The execution was atavistic and Machiavellian in its purest form. There was nothing new in the method applied. It was as crude as they come and as brazen as it could be – a reflection of the thinking by the old guards that things had remained the same.
That thinking was obviously wrong. There was, and there still is a problem because new socio-political dynamics have arisen to keep the momentum of the current motionless movement going.
The general belief still persists that a stolen product is still in the hands of the thief and must be given back. An election is supposed to have a starting point and end point. We knew the starting point of the last general elections but the end point is unknown, and might not be known even after the Supreme Court decision depending on what they do as arbiters under very domestic and international scrutiny.
But what is obvious about the intervention of the court this time around is that its decision will finally sink the entire judiciary in the country in the estimation of many and mire it in the cesspool of almost irretrievable infamy or, conversely, resurrect hope in many that judicial debauchery of the vilest kind can be overcome, and dignity and respect restored to a once respected and dignified institution in which people once dared to believe that the hope of the common man rested.
More than any other election in our country’s annals, at least since 1999, the ghouls, and fiendish creatures exhumed from Mahmoud Yakubu‘s electoral brew are hovering around our nation and are baying for blood. They will not be satiated until the chaos is complete.
But there is a countervailing force that is very much at work right now in the country, a force that is refusing to let by bygones be bygones, that is insistent that this time around, those with a stolen mandate must relinquish it. It is a battle between the forces of good and evil – a battle for the soul of Nigeria.
That is why, weeks after the elections, the so called victors of the presidential election are still in propaganda mode, battling to pull down every vestige of resistance, and failing miserably in the process.
It is why the DSS, Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda, the Obidients et al are all engaging in open confrontations, brick bats, and what nots.
In fact, the DSS recently claimed that they were perturbed about an insidious plot by some people to ‘set aside civil rule and plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.’
They made the fraudulent assertion that the elections were well conducted, barring a few insignificant disturbances.
In their words; “This is even more so that the machination (for civil disturbances) is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”
Peaceful conduct? Most parts of the country?
They have therefore read the riot act once again to those hell bent on destabilizing the country.
The same way the police and army read the riot act to election hoodlums and ballot box snatchers before the elections.
And we saw the consequences of their intervention or non-intervention. The hoodlums, ballot box snatchers, and unconscionable politicians are all enjoying the heist from a discredited election obtained while the security services including the DSS looked on.
But we must forgive the DSS. They have no serious powers over ballot box snatchers, hooligans, and dubious politicians – especially politicians that are properly ‘aligned.’ The real powers over electoral security lie with the politicians who dispense it as they like. The DSS is very much aware of this but likes to give us the impression that they are in charge of their areas of influence and authority.
When the DSS tells you that they are resolved to ensuring internal stability, what they are talking about is the maintenance and protection of a decadent and moribund political order led by the old brigade whose time should have expired a long time ago but for their amoral grip on power through indecent and impious acts.
The first and primary responsibility of the men of cloak and dagger (DSS) should be the preservation of the Nigerian state – under the supposition that the state is run by decent men and women. But it does happen that ever so often, a country’s socio-political contradictions throws up a group of armed robbers and conmen as political leaders (quoting Goodluck Jonathan) to run the state. This has in reality, been the rule since 1999 to date. Though we have had a marginally fair number of decent politicians during this period, the vast majority have been conmen and armed robbers.
And because the DSS is supposed to protect the state even when the state is run by conmen and illegitimate grabbers of political powers, we then have a situation where the loyalty of the DSS is to the conmen and robbers in charge of the state. Presidents and governments are not necessarily the state nor do they always represent the state. The Nigerian people themselves make up the state because in an ideal situation, power flows from the people to those who hold power on their behalf.
Sometimes, therefore, the biggest threats against the state come from those who hold the levers of state, or the politicians who hold control over those who hold control of the levers of the state. When rogue elements occupy the top echelons of the Nigerian state, the responsibility of the Department of State Services becomes one of loyalty to the criminally minded state officials even as they exploit the system for personal benefits.
This truth does not only apply to the Directorate of State Security Services, but extends to all other security agencies including the military and the police. The sabotage, entrapment and manipulation of the electoral processes and the consolidation of the illegal victory obtained therefrom cannot be achieved without the cooperation and collaborations of highly placed security personnel within these institutions. It has been suggested severally in different media that the instructions to aid and abet electoral malfeasance go as high as the highest echelons of these institutions who then delegate instructions to junior officers to either interfere in the process to further specific political ends, or ensure noninterference for the same ends.
Every successful political electoral heist or banditry must have the input of the security services, just as every ideally, democratic-conforming election must have the input of these same institutions. It speaks volumes about the man who has been in occupation of centralized political power in Aso Rock. It speaks volumes about, not just his capacity, but his patriotism to our country.
His considered traducer for most of his eight years in power, Bishop Hassan Kukah in wishing him a good retirement from office asked the president an important question – does the president feel fulfilled in retirement?
I mean, how can a person fail so spectacularly in virtually all the promises he made to his country?
All of these fault lines within our polity must change if we must move our country forward. But first, the Supreme Court.
To glory or infamy.
It can’t be both.