June 12 goes on!
By Chris Nwaokobia Jnr
This June 12 Testimonal seeks to punch a hole in a balloon nebulously hanging over our collective conscience; seeking to position in proper perspective a perfidy procured at the conclusion of the April, 2011 elections; one chiefly aimed at equating the last elections with the sacred memories of June 12; a devious script funded by a cabal compelled by guilt thus powering a massive search to banish the halcyon mementoes of June 12.
But they can’t. Not a few commentators and writers have regaled us with how the April 2011 general elections were the freest, the fairest and the most credible in our nation’s history while some pricked by their near compromised consciences have placed a caveat that restricts that blanket approval of the April polls to the 1999, 2003 and 2007 fraud called elections.
My worry is that Nigerians have been taken by the hokum of a propaganda seeking nothing BUT the mortification and the banishment of the unrivaled memories of June 12.
On June 12, 1993, Nigerians, across social stratifications, stood in the rain and under the sun, united against tribal and religious prejudices to vote and did vote for a Muslim/Muslim ticket. Nigerians saw through a transparent process that was free and fair.
Nigerians called the poll free, fair and credible; 18years after general elections were conducted in April 2011, figures were manufactured and manipulated preponderantly in the South-South and the South-East; in the North, we had cases of under-aged voting, and massive resources were deployed in the media so the process could be adjudged as free, fair and credible, this time that verdict was hugely procured as an affront on June 12.
To the South-West, a geo-political zone I largely refer to as the homo sequendum, I dare say that the victory of your darling Action Congress of Nigeria at the April polls was because your ‘warriors’ stood against the party of riggers insisting that votes must count, but if that happened proactively in one out of the six geo-political zones, should that qualify the elections as free, fair and credible?
Of the 26 states where gubernatorial elections were conducted, 18 incumbents were re-elected, whereas we are aware that but for a few states like Lagos and Enugu, the other governors, adjudged to have failed the people, were returned by INEC through the so-called free, fair and credible elections. This to the dispassionate patriot is not only laughable but also condemnable.
At the presidential poll, we saw figures that even in Australia where voting is compulsory will not even_up. Some states broke the Guinness Book of World Records by churning out between 95%, 90% and 85% voter_turnout, whereas no state in world history has recorded up to 70% of voter_turnout in any political election no matter how popular a candidate was; the Peoples Democratic Party magic tore that record to smithereens in the avowed April 2011 free, fair and credible elections.
On June 12, 1993, a colossus in the name of Chief M.K.O Abiola bestrode our space, selling a priceless message that resonated in hope unequaled, faith never seen in this clime, and he unveiled the future desired. On account of this, he garnered votes across the nation. In the April 2011 polls, the reverse was the case as we broke all known electoral records; we churned out figures in ratios unimaginable and votes in fractions unthinkable; and we desecrate the memories of June 12 when we seek to equate the right with the wrong, the good with the evil and the successful with failure.
There is truly no such thing as ‘this election was free, fair and credible compared to the previous elections’. It is either an election is free, fair and credible or it is not. The freeness, fairness and credibleness of an election is not relative but holistic and total; no election is free, fair and credible because it appears better than the previous one; no, a flawed election is a flawed election and so were the April 2011 elections in all the six geo-political zones but the South-West.
We must emphasize the fact that June 12 was not only an election but a call to True Nationhood predicated on True Federalism, resource control, justice, equity and fairness; that tied to June 12 was the hope that an era of responsible and responsive leadership had come; that June 12 resents false, manipulated, manufactured and trumped up electoral figures cum results; that June 12 was adjudged as free, fair and credible by the Nigerian people as opposed to a heavily procured international verdict seeking to compromise our collective conscience and applaud as credible that which was massively flawed in five out of our six geo-political zones is truism.
* Chris Nwaokobia Jnr was the presidential candidate of Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria, LDPN, in the 2011 polls.