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Will politics of fear help Nigeria?

NIGERIA has been ruled by soldiers for most of our years of independence, and so we had become conditioned to doing things in fear of our rulers. Due to this fear, we accept and submit to the whims and caprices of the ruler.

As a result, we do not appreciate any level headed leader who hates violence and use of fear. Fifteen years of democratic governance, our political leaders take us for granted because fear remains their arsenal to subdue the people into accepting and voting for them, be they in the ruling PDP or opposition APC.

They have in the past rigged elections using violence to snatch ballot boxes, to kill and or kidnap opponents, without being held accountable. We have a long list of high profile, unresolved political killings since 1999. Politicians create an atmosphere of fear and use it to intimidate Nigerians whose correct attitude should be to despise them and never trust them.

Fear is only a weapon which can be used by any, whether from the North or South of Nigeria, depending on who is so motivated to use it successfully.

Some persons in the North have decided to stretch the use of fear without deep thought on whether it will pay off as an instrument for power negotiation in a democracy in a country like Nigeria. Muslims and Christians believe in one God, and the unquestionable ultimate discretion of that God in the affairs of man on earth and in Nigeria, but in politics and the game of power our leaders exclude God.

They should have asked why God allowed GEJ to be our President at a time like this. What is God’s purpose for bringing him in and the lessons Nigeria should learn from his Presidency. GEJ may have been sent by God to teach this nation how to conduct free and fair elections, and how to play politics without bitterness, acrimony, blood shed and to learn to accept defeat during elections, knowing that it is God that elevates one and brings down the other.

GEJ has consistently kept a good record of free and fair gubernatorial elections so far, with Prof.Attahiru Jega as the head of INEC. First was that of Edo State where his party was defeated, then Ondo State where the people again rejected political high handedness and fiefdom of the ACN at that time. Next was Anambra State early this year, where the people again rejected the APC, although Prof. Jega accepted some anomalies. True to type INEC corrected all that in the recently concluded Ekiti governorship election which has been roundly adjudged to be the freest and fairest election since 1999.

GEJ provided the enabling conditions for these awesome milestones. We prayerfully expect that the people of Osun State will speak come August this year, irrespective of the recent call by their APC Governor that charms should be used against political opponents, who in any case are his own Osun people. This message of peaceful elections seems lost on APC completely. Until our politicians learn that no Nigerian blood is worth their ambition to hold or get power, they will continue to rely on the use of fear to their own peril

We are beginning to expect free and fair elections once again, and there is therefore no reasons not to expect same come 2015.

No development of any type can be sustained without the security of life and property and this is where the use of fear by the North and opposition APC must be re-assessed by the North and the APC.

While it may be easier to blame GEJ, after all the buck stops at his desk, but we need to look deeper. First, the first National Security Adviser to GEJ told us that the Boko Haram was in the government, and that man died with the Christian Governor of Kaduna State.While we mourned their death, some Northern Muslim clerics were quoted in the print media and the social media as acknowledging that the enemies of their religion had died well deserved deaths, just to instill fear in the people.

Secondly, the Northern elders in ACF are clearly in support of the Boko Haram, and they are not hiding it.They have repeatedly threatened that Nigeria will be ungovernable if they don’t get power. It is therefore not really against GEJ, it is the North versus the rest.

Thirdly, the APC governors of North East Nigeria want terrorism exported to the South, and yet some one blames GEJ who has made a Northerner his new National Security Adviser.

The comments and conduct of the opposition politicians show that such questions mean nothing to them, and that is their folly.

The leadership of the APC use raw threats to address issues that mean so much to Nigerians, and one wonders what kind of opposition they represent. They have fought the budget, tried to pull down government, yet some Southern governors refuse to see! Who will APC govern if Nigeria collapses?

Christians know that fear is an instrument in the hands of the devil; we are used to resisting the devil and getting him to flee. No Christian worth his while will vote for any one who promotes fear and terrorism. Left alone, Christians would have contained terrorism years ago.Think about that.

Nigeria will likely not break up because one of the zones so desires. Such a zone will only be tactically excluded from Nigeria by the rest, which is the window the National Confab has offered us all.

If the North is really convinced that they do not want to be in Nigeria, there should be a discussion on how to let them go peacefully.

We expect that the 2015 elections will be free and fair, the North must therefore change their style because we shall need each other even when we part ways. God Forbid!

CLEMENT UDEGBE, a legal practitioner, wrote from Lagos.


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