Democracy or Riggocracy: You Can’t Have Both

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Once the element of free consent is absent in an electoral process, then the outcome is no longer a democracy, but a dictatorship. We are in an era where political parties promote the neo-liberal culture of celebrating the cult of the individual, selfishness, greed, and the validation of electoral riggers as winners.

An election either primary or not is said to be fair if the process shows no favor to a person, party, or side. Fairness here means acting in an honest and honorable manner which is what is desirable according to rules.

Painfully enough, we are in the Holy Month of Ramadan. We are told, “When Ramadan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). While it’s true that the devils are chained up during Ramadan, in Kogi state it is the direct opposite.

The simple primary election result is doctored, laced, cut, and tailored to fit the interest of a cult of individuals at the expense of the yearnings and aspirations of the masses. It shows an empty confession of faith. In the holy month of Ramadan, you are turning black to white in politics. The fear of God is not in you. You are a mistake to your generation and a disappointment to your creator.

One has to remember that the source of peace is Allah, and one of his beautiful names is that He is The Peace. In becoming a Muslim, “you will do your best to stop all types of exploitations in all their forms: economic, biological, mental, spiritual, psychological, political, etc”. You will also work to liberate people and give them freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression. You will be a leader and help lead people to peace, tranquility, and happiness. 

Accordingly, during the hours of fasting Muslims refrain not only from food and drink, but also from tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behavior, devoting themselves instead to salat (prayer) and study of the Quran. However, the reverse seems to be the case among the principal actors who are core Muslims – the so-called Alhajis in the just concluded April 14  All Progressive Congress (APC) primary election.

You will agree with me on the selection, sorry election in Kogi State, democracy was stripped of its sanctity and replaced with aristocracy. The tens of thousands of electorates who showed up in the just concluded All Progressive Congress (APC) April 14 primary election to protect democracy suddenly became silent. It was as if Prince Abubakar Audu died a second death when the popular vote was traded for a plate of porridge or populism.

If the Kogi APC-led Alhaji Yahaya Bello government truly wants to spread democracy around the state, we must stop funding such blatant dehumanization and human rights violations by not allowing the outcome of an election to directly reflect the people’s vote from the Ward level. You simply cannot have democracy and aristocracy; both ways at once.

Bello, you are laying the wrong foundation for accountability to your successor with its devastating negative blow waiting for you in the future. In retrospect, you were once humble, reserved, and bashful when you were made Kogi governor exactly like your anointed son, imagine what you are now. Where are your benefactors after the demise of Prince Abu and godfathers who thought you could be controlled to meet up their fancies and caprices  You shouldn’t expect the anointed political son to behave otherwise.  You are replicating the same spirit that will in turn manifest again.

Kogites need help and badly wished for an opportunity to decide the type of leadership they desire for a new season. There is no better way to encourage everyone than to want the same thing the people wanted: credible free and fair elections. He who chose to ride on the back of a tiger will soon end up in the stomach of the same creature. Evil begets evil likewise the reverse side. Bello this is me to write your name in the sand of time rather than in the mud.

The vision of democracy is not necessarily interchangeable with elections; however, a credible, free, and fair election is generally accepted to be at the heart of democracy. I am not talking about selection and endorsement by Godfather without a genuine primary election. A free and fair election is a requirement for the existence of democracy and a God-fearing fellow.

– Inah Stephen wrote from Ajaka.

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