By Talemoh Dah.
It is unfortunate that we are stuck with perennial nauseang elecon-related garbage, the contents of which are varied.
From news showing politicians giving bogus promises through false claims of what has been done or not done by the ruling party to obvious manipulation of election time tables or crying wolf whenever such is done, the average citizen is forced is bear all the stench.
At one time some three decades ago, a sitting president ‘voted’ in by the gun kept making us go to the polls only to cancel the results so we could start over and over again. The lyrics of the deception jingle were ‘on the march again,Nigeria on the march again’….That has changed to the new garbage of cross-carpeting where the new party is better, even when I was the major player in my former party, which is now corrupt.
The only reason given for cross-carpeting that is different from the rest is the Ken Nnamanian logic that when the region you belong to did not vote for the party that eventually wins, you should cross-carpet to ensure regional inclusion in governance, as if the party or person that wins is expected to neglect any region.
The worst of the contents of the recent garbage has been peace accords. An intra-party peace accord is planned by an opposition party presently and just before the last election an inter-party peace accord was signed in Abuja by the contending presidential candidates, including the then and now sittng presidents.
On the surface, peace accords look good as the commitment to peace is reassuring to people while conferring a saintly status on the signatories. But this is not so. Beneath the surface, it is an affront to our collecve desire for peace and our judicial system.
When opponents agree on something, they have each seen the mutual need to cast a cloak of deceit on the sight of the populace.Before the last election, the peace accord signed was for non-violence so the losing party or parties will not foment trouble. This is laughable as it is pathetic.
At once, it means the parties have both the right and plans to cause civil unrest and will need to be persuaded not to do so and that there are plans or actions that will be done, like rigging, that will aggrieve parties.
It means that parties will not, or they have the right not to, use legal means to seek redress should the need arise.
This is a silent national acquiescence to right to violence.
The laughable part is the not so clever assumption that someone who does not have the moral fibre and the sportsmanship spirit to accept the outcome of a process will have the integrity to abide by the wordings of an accord. Or that someone whom you know is capable and ready to break the law and cause violence has the integrity to refrain from rigging, party abandonment or anti-party activities and incitement just because he appended his signature to such a light moral persuasion.
Knowing the do or die posture of politicians, who will not use another platform to reach a ripe fruit when the one he intends to use is no longer available as he is not the winner in a primary election?
Commitment to do the right thing is personal and the failure of anybody to do things rightly and legally should naturally attract the right repercussion, like prosecution and punishment.
In our desire for democratic and civilized existence we have put up institutions to carry out those expected outputs against those who deviate from the right path. If you sign an accord not to undertake violence does the accord become the new constuon or has the constitution been repealed by the accord?
Let anyone who rejects the legal means and wants to cause trouble go ahead: the Police, the DSS, the Military, the
courts and finally our congested prisons will do the needful. Signing peace accords is a charade that subtly heats the polity and causes apprehension that without it there will be trouble.
●Dah is an Abuja-based medical practitioner.