REACTIONS to the visit of Mrs. Hillary  Clinton, the  American Secretary of State, will continue with the same vacuity the visit re-emphasised guaranteed to continue. The anger that is running through the land after the visit  has reached new level in official matters.

Senate President, David Mark , is among those who are angry over Mrs. Clinton’s comments. He was emphatic in his condemnation of her interference in a purely domestic affair.

Mr. Mark told journalists in Lagos: “The country is ours, we will decide what form of democracy we want. I think she was very clear on that, that every country will decide the form of democracy; we will decide for ourselves what we want as a democratic system,” in reaction to Mrs. Clinton.

“What is the problem with the electoral system?  I have read the Electoral Act. What is the problem with it?  People just criticise because they want to do so. Nothing in the Electoral Act allows you to snatch the ballot box, and run away with it.”

The problem with the Electoral Act is that it is doubtful if more than a handful of the people who are in elected offices today, complied with it. Their various acts that subverted the Electoral Act, is a problem.

Another way that the Act (along with the Constitution) failed to ensure transparent elections, is that those who are elected fraudulently remain in office, hiding behind the law that permits them to run offices that they did not win, earning all the rights and privileges of the office. The law frowns at rigging and other electoral malpractices but there are many cases of the courts removing people who were illegally in office, and they just walk away.

They and their cohorts are not punished.

How do we talk about electoral malpractices, disqualify an elected official from the national contingent, yet failed to tell people if I was coming.

“Rather than face the real issue of functionally educating the people, we keep beating about the bush. Nothing is wrong with the Electoral Act. All the acts that people complain about today are not encouraged; they are not encouraged in the Electoral Act,” Mr. Mark continued.

“I heard the United States Secretary of State, Mrs Hillary Clinton, saying that in Nigeria people are not registered to vote. Is that correct? That is the height of misinformation, and that is the sort of things we get ourselves into when we do not educate those who come publicly to run us down.”

This sort of education would not be helpful. Mr. Mark operates at a level of high-octane decisions. He, as the influential Senate President, can rally the National Assembly to have the interest of Nigerians at heart in its decision. He can make the President and his ministers more in tune with the challenges of the people.

Actions along these lines have higher chances of the people forgetting the charade called elections and the arrogance of those who win them.


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