By Mahmoon Baba-Ahmed
Politics is universally defined as game of numbers which was time and again won by the majority. It is a situation in which the minority will have their say but the majority will have their way. It could therefore be rightly said that elections are lost and won on the strength of votes. What is required for a candidate to emerge victorious is usually a simple majority unless otherwise stated. What then is democracy if people cannot play according to the rules? It is therefore very clear that democracy is meaningless if the majority cannot have its way and the minority cannot bow to it.
It is absurd the North has greater numerical superiority over other regions in the country and still it cannot have its way during elections due to some obnoxious forces that disrobe it of that eminence. If elections are free, fair and transparent the North should always emerge victorious no matter what, but that has never been the case. It had always been shortchanged, robbed of its victory in a most humiliating and unbelievable electoral defeat.
However, electoral results are not difficult to discern since the balloting is conducted in the open and events that derail the process commence as soon as the minority realizes it was not going their way. It will then precipitate a situation that will thwart, spoil or completely destroy the outcome of the elections and blame that on the majority that has indisputably won the elections. That had always been possible especially if the minority is in control of the electoral machinery which it willfully employs to oppress the majority.
That is what happens presently in Nigerian polity and it is high time Northerners that have been yearning for power shift to their area realized that and strive for a redress. If they keep quiet because their leaders proved to be sell outs that connive with the nation’s minority to subjugate them they may perpetually remain defeated at all elections and that will demean Nigeria’s democracy and make it totally unattractive.
To Nigeria’s minority democracy is a matter of life and death and that has gone to show their desperation to win at all costs. They will never concede defeat even if the results had glaringly shown that, and would do everything possible to ensure that a spanner is thrown in the works so that everyone loses ultimately. If they cannot have it nobody else will.
Now that the North is on the way of actualizing its numerical superiority in conjunction with other regional power blocks in the South to capture political power, it is being pulled down by its political adversaries and oppressors who may even not like the forthcoming elections to hold, primarily to stand in its way to victory. They capitalize on the prevailing unrest in the northeastern part of the country to call for the postponement of the elections in all the areas affected. It was also widely alleged that exponents of that idea abound in all parts of the North, willing to subvert peace and stability expressly to beget a situation that will frustrate the elections by warranting the deployment of creepy, intimidating security personnel on the streets to scare away the electorates and pave way for malpractices.
In that case enemies of Northern progress may already be at work, deployed by unprincipled politicians to stir up crises that could create disorder in places where their party is enjoying low patronage or at disadvantage. By precipitating potentially volatile situations it will be possible for them to connive with pliant security personnel and dishonest electoral staff to stage intensive rigging.
It is not unusual at the approach of any presidential elections in the country for charlatans and tricksters to devise cunning plans and secret schemes to mislead the people about electoral procedures aimed at depriving them of their voting rights. They will disseminate false and detrimental information, on local and foreign media, about a purported a fabricated security situation that suggests a commission of devious acts by the opposition to derail arrangement for the conduct of smooth elections.
At the build up to 2011 president elections and thereafter, such hostile and adverse propaganda was unleashed against the North and disturbances and unrests were induced allegedly by ruling party to enable its government use coercion to win in the repeat elections in areas where it woefully failed. Perhaps that could be used to exemplify the low-turnout of voters in the North generally, especially in the last elections, marred by irregularities in the critical stages of the electoral process during which violent reactions occurred at some notable flashpoints. That provided a welcome opportunity for the government to set up a disruptive presence of security personnel in all the Northern states to prop up the fortunes of its party, routed in previous elections.
It is against that background the post-presidential violence in 2011 could best be appreciated. It was indeed inflicted on the North specifically to dishonestly arrange the outcome of presidential elections through the illegal intervention of security forces to gain stipulated percentage required in doubtful states for a favored candidate in the presidential elections. There is no wonder, therefore, the recent remarks about the conduct of 2015 elections against the backdrop of instability and post-elections violence in the North could well be another ploy to hold Northerners responsible should there be any unpleasant prospect. Northerners should regard the remarks as wake up calls to get their acts together and avert any calamity that may give anybody cause for disenfranchising or prevent them from taking advantage of their numerical supremacy.