By Mohammed Adamu
These are truly interesting times interesting democratic times, I should say. And, such that one actually wonders what exactly to be analytical about: ‘democracy in action’ or the ridiculous actions of politicians in democracy. ACN’s Akande said that the South-West did not vote PDP.
It voted Jonathan. Which to me sounded not any more democratic than if he had bare-facedly admitted that the South- West voted against its own, ACN. Or, that it voted PDP in spite of her own ACN. That way we do not get to split any democratic hairs with Akande as many now do seeing that he wants to make a dexterous fetish of hiding a bloated body turgid with ‘self’ betrayal behind a ridiculously lean electoral finger. And, the danger in ignoring a man hiding behind his own finger is that observers may not know the difference; they already know what he is, and only a little hint to them you do not know, makes you one with him, foolish!
Because, in actual sense, the two references in question, namely- voting for PDP or voting Jonathan, are actually mutually in-exclusive. In a sense, they are one and the same thing! Because, between the extreme of PDP as a party and the extreme of Jonathan as a candidate, you cannot confer voting benefits on one to the total exclusion of the drawing rights of the other. You can only aid one either because of the other; or assist one in spite of the other.
But, either way, you are in aid of one thing: namely what they both stand for. In the case of Jonathan and PDP- to conquer as always and to despoil Nigeria. And, to that extent, you are not any different from them, nor can you dissociate or extricate yourself from the national malaise that they brew.
And, so, maybe, what Akande should have said was: ‘we voted PDP because of Jonathan; and in which case he’ll have, if not the ‘moral’ at the very least the conscientious burden of proving that Jonathan is more competent to deliver or more passionate about ‘good governance’ than Ribadu, their party’s candidate; or the very Shekarau that every one said won the debate that Jonathan hadn’t the liver to attend; or yet Buhari whose impeccable credentials the ACN’s desperate efforts to ally with via a merger, was more than eloquent testimonial.
In fact, if the South-West had voted Buhari, Akande would’ve made more democratic sense arguing that it did so because of Buhari and in spite of ACN; because in that case even Ribadu (their candidate) who, in recognition of Buhari’s superior qualities, was ready to step down for the alliance, would’ve perfectly understood.
Not now, he does not! Nor will he ever understand; that the very object of the ACN’s political marauding, namely as they have said severally, that “inept”, “incompetent”, “corruptly permissive” Jonathan, was now a more preferred choice than he, Ribadu! That insults the integrity of the internationally-recognised anti-corruption Czar, Ribadu, more than it betrays the politician, Nuhu.
Again, to say that ‘we did not vote PDP. We voted Jonathan’. Or ‘we voted Jonathan. Not PDP’, is no less hypocritical than Abraham Lincoln’s murderer who killed both his parents and pleaded for mercy on compassionate grounds that he was an orphan. In fact, Akande’s hypocritical defence is as Thomas Paine said about ‘hypocrisy.’ “It is with pious fraud as with a bad action; it begets a calamitous necessity of going on.”
But, the truth is that, the democratic firmaments are as endless in their extent as they are infinite in their border-lessness. How in the wide expanse of this world of democratic possibilities, the South-West or Akande or ACN would find no pillar or post fatter than a measly blushing finger of lie to hide behind, beats all right-thinking Nigerians silly!!
The South-West or ACN is at liberty to throw ideological caution to the wind of geo-politics by hanging on simply to democracy’s choice-driven credentials: which includes the right to vote even the wrong candidate; or the right to elect the party with the worst manifesto. None of these electoral behaviours are considered democratically-aberrant. The South-West can choose to do any.
Only the South-West cannot eat her democratic cake and then have it. She must accept that elevating the choice-driven credentials of democracy over and above the merit-driven credentials of democracy comes with a premium. It comes at the expense of the collapse of the South-West’s claim to all puritanical hold of any ideas of political progressiveness. Because progressives do not, under any circumstances, act regressively.
It is democratic, we concede, to opt willingly to vote the wrong candidate or the worst party. And, maybe –just maybe- it is not even ideologically regressive to do so; yet it cannot be denied that consciously voting the wrong candidate or party –and, especially a party with an albatross of 12 years of non-performance-, is most definitely not a ‘progressive’ idea! It cannot be any more ideologically wrong or hypocritical than say, Smith of colonial Rhodesia being right to claim: “These blacks” (Zimbabweans) are spoiling my democracy.”
And, so, under normal circumstances, neither Akande nor ACN nor any South-Westerner for that matter, should owe any sections of this country any explanation as to how and why the South- West voted the way the South-West voted! Yet, if they choose to hazard an explanation, by God, it is a free world; and, a ‘democratic’ one for that matter; but they should spare us the nimble-witted, insulting, logic-defying, hypocritical claim that they voted Jonathan, not PDP; or that they voted PDP because of Jonathan!
Because we know that they know that we know why the South-West voted the way they voted!