Politics especially in this part of the world have been elevated to a smart game of the clever. It is full of intrigues and sharp practices. It is a game of dog eats dog. What we have or are doing is anything but politics. In the kind of politics or democracy that we practice everything adopted is fair. Rules are made but the umpires in the game are the worst making nonsense of the rules of the game. Elections are supposed to represent the choice of the people but more often the people do not count as the actors find ingenious ways to deviously impose themselves on the people.
Worst, the people so called are helpless and cannot even help themselves. Have you ever seen anywhere in Nigeria where the electorates ever protested that they never elected any impostor and insisted till the person is removed? They appear comfortable with whoever imposes himself on them. Is there any record anywhere of a successful attempt that has recalled any legislator either at the state or national assembly? What we see in our politics is a situation where all the actors are involved in some kind of crimes against the society but clothed in some form of legitimacy called elections.
All of us are co-partners in this game of deceit we call it democracy. All of us the actors know that we are all cheating but only cries out when we have been out manoeuvred by the other. When we protest it is not because we are free of any guilt or free of any foul play. We are only shouting because someone has beaten us to our own game or were smarter. What is the meaning of all these ranting you care to ask? And what is it that I want to say I can hear you are already curiously asking about?
It is all about the protracted election in the Imo North or Okigwe Zone. The contest it is known narrowed down to the incumbent, Senator Uwajumuogu and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Patrick Ndubueze. Mid-way into the election news which later turned out fake had it that Senator Benjamin Uwajumuogu has retained his seat by winning back the Okigwe Senate seat. The results were not clear and got more confusing when some areas in the zone were declared inconclusive at least in two local governments. The confusion continued when it was learnt that the guy who did the dirty job, the Returning Officer, is on the run.
Information glimpsed from the drama indicates that he was allegedly hired for a fee to do the hatchet job midway on the road to the collation centre. When INEC was yet to declare any result news had gone round in the print and social media that Uwajumuogu has been returned. It went beyond that. It was as if there is a fifth columnist lurking somewhere and dishing out the propaganda to further lend credence to untruth. There was already a quick Press briefing at the Rockview Hotel by a group styled South East Media practitioners purporting to be calling and tipping the Okigwe Senator for the Senate Presidency.
In the mind and hearts of many this was an ambition driven too far. Perhaps he wanted to take advantage of being the only APC Senator in the South East. How would any one dream of Senate Presidency for the Okigwe North Senator if things are done meritoriously. Even where claims of ranking is made by almost all aspirants, is he the highest ranking from the South East where you have the likes of Ekweremadu, Abaribe, etc who are ready to jump ship to APC to assume such position. Even if they are not keen and the former Imo Assembly Speaker remains the lone ranger, the question is how did he emerge? This kind of abracadabra victory is part of the issues that have continued to make mockery of the 2019 elections.
You may just reason with me for a minute. Random checks plus common sense would tell anybody that the entire South East remained the back bone of the (PDP). Out of the over five hundred thousand votes cast in Imo State, President Buhari just managed to secure a quarter of the votes. And if this is spread across Imo State you can imagine the number of votes that was received from Okigwe Zone where the national assembly election and presidential election took place same time. The votes Buhari received in Okigwe naturally is expected to reflect closely on the Senate.
Now assuming you did not yield to the above argument for whatever reason, can you indicate what is so wonderful about the candidature of the incumbent to win the hearts of Okigwe people in an Imo State where the APC is considered so leprous to the extent it could not win an assembly seat. The ruling party suddenly became so unpopular among Imolites that it appears to have retired the party by placing it a distant 4th position behind the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) which dominated the Okigwe Zone. If Senator Araraume could not win in Imo he showed strength in his home zone by stamping his feet strongly there.
The funny angle to the contention of Uwajumogu is that he reportedly did not vote for himself, lost in his booth and won marginally in his local government. If a contestant does not vote for himself in an election for whatever reason who does he hope to vote for him? INEC has been allegedly fingered in some of these issues as it is reported that most of the results declared fraudulently were made with Form EC8G. The question is how does this forms get to the perpetrators all of who are brandishing genuine forms showing the fake results.
Uwajumogu case again can be likened to the petition of a governorship candidate who jumped ship from another party few months to the election and wrestled the candidature of his party that was in crisis with the support of its national leadership. The candidate was never known to have campaigned anywhere nor is his programs or manifesto known to anybody just like those who only say that they came to work. Having being retired by Imo electorates they are alleging that they were rigged out and have gone to the tribunal.
These professional politicians should give us a breathing space. They should not attempt to rock the boat for others. They should not pull others down because they were rejected or were out smarted. They should allow peace to reign. There are still other lives outside politics. INEC should do the proper thing by allowing the people’s choice to prevail not those who want to grab it by hook or crook. That is not the meaning of democracy.