OF all the things in the world, our politicians are bickering over the conduct of American politicians during their elections. They are accusing each other of not following the American way of accepting defeat and congratulating the winner.
“The swift manner of congratulations and the graceful conduct of the defeated candidate is a shining example of patriotism and submission to the overall will of the people,” Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said in a statement that recommended similar conduct to the opposition.
Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in separate statements hit back. “There is no lesson to learn except that if elections are free and fair, the losers will be willing to congratulate the winner,” ACN said.
“Indeed, if elections are fair, we shall imbibe the culture of congratulating winners immediately. Can PDP really learn from this?,” CPC asked.
“President Jonathan also hopes that the millions of people across the world, especially those in developing nations who watched the beauty and strength of democracy unfold in the United States presidential elections will come to a greater and better appreciation of democracy as the key to building peaceful, stable and progressive societies,” a presidential statement enthused.
The plaudits awarded the US elections may not be more than a routine of governments and political parties issuing statements to leverage relevance from global matters. How have the four US elections that we have seen from 2000 affected our politics?
If democracy is “the key to building peaceful, stable and progressive societies,” is the President agreeing with those who propose we have had elections since 1999 and not democratic governments? Is he suggesting we are barred from the benefits of democracy?
The issues are that Nigerians have to believe they have a nation and the authorities need to apply national resources in ways that engender welfare of the people. There must be rights that accrue to Nigerians.
Where the rights are elevated to fundamental issues in the affairs of governments, as Section 14 (2b) of the Constitution intended by stating, “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” then we would be “building peaceful, stable and progressive societies.”
American politicians understand the importance of the security and welfare of the people. They are the main issues canvassed at elections. Are American politicians perfect? They are human with all the foibles, but humane. Our politicians are only concerned about power for themselves.
They showed their greed again in their expectation that once opponents concede elections quickly, Nigerian democracy would have attained the same ranking with America’s. They conveniently never noticed the American campaigns centred on the people.