I am watching the national convention of the People's Democratic Party,PDP, Nigeria' ruling party on television. They are electing their presidential candidate for the next general election! It is all calm on the surface, but beneath are powerful riptides!
To the uninformed observer, it is the genteel,civilized, art of one man, one vote: democracy in action.
Nothing could be more alien from the truth.
What we are witnessing, is the unveiling of the results of diabolical political prostitution,skulduggery,and fraud!
There were allegations in the media, that the incumbent president, Jonathan Goodluck, bribed each of the delegates with $7,000.00 for their votes. His challenger, Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, was only able to afford $5,000.00!
When computed, they had both spent over three million dollars!
I live in Abuja, and I heard a lot of vehicular movement last night, many of them escorted by siren blaring vehicles! The media alleged that it was the bribe money that was circulating then.
No matter what the outcome of this patently perfidious parody is tonight, one thing is sure:if we were under any illusions before on our practicing democracy, that myth is now shattered!
What we have is a travesty of everything democratic, and a celebration of political sleight of hand, and arcane thievery!
The two candidates have not stolen from each other, they have stolen from us, the ordinary Nigerians who wish to have a say in who becomes our leader!
They have robbed us of our money, because the money used to bribe delegates, was stolen from Nigerians, and more importantly, they have robbed us of our most important right, our inalienable right to choose!
There was a third candidate in the race, the affable, erudite, and ebullient Sarah Jubril.
In almost all of the states so far, she got no votes at all!
In my opinion, this lady is more intelligent, articulate, and morally upright, than the two pachyderms throwing their financial weights around! But that is what our democracy has been reduced to, an auction at London's Sotheby's, where the highest bidder wins!
With all that is unfolding, I am under no illusions that the next general elections are going to be free, or fair!
I had argued earlier that for the elections to have any hope of being free, and fair, the umpire had to be someone unbiased! That is hard to see now.
We have witnessed the precursor, and dress rehearsal, of the next general elections, the recently concluded Delta State election. It was riddled with fraud to the extent that Professor Jega, the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, could only throw up his hands in frustration, and exculpate his commission from all blame!
He acknowledged the manifest fraud, but blamed others for it, since he was not in control of security, or the behaviour of others!
While we await the final outcome of the comedy in Abuja,
MAY GOD BLESS NIGERIA,OUR NIGERIA,FOREVER!