ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The 2007 elections was an abomination of desolations . . . [a] triumph of rascality. . . the
worst exemplar of bare faced fraud that any government worth its name could ever contrive
The Inauguration of Illegitimacy
By Emmanuel Franklyne Ogbunwezeh
1. The day of Infamy
On the 29th of May, 2007, the bovine Caligula that tyrannizes Nigeria at the moment; in association with the thieves that rule us, their camp followers and retinue of sycophants will convoke all resources at their disposal to ensure the successful inauguration of illegitimacy. On this black Monday, Nigerians will watch in an admixture of civic timidity and postural inaction, as Umaru Yar adua, dressed in the borrowed robes of congenital illegitimacy is sworn in to the presidency on a stolen mandate. On this day, monumental fraud will be installed as the basis of our national legitimacy. It will be a black Monday. On this godforsaken day, Nigerians will once again witness the triumph of audacious impunity. We will complain to our pillows, make noise in the beer parlours, and go back to our various holes with our heads bowed, as our rendezvous with greatness is once more postponed indefinitely; buried once more by the treacherous debauchery and visionlessness of a mad emperor awaiting the resurrection that can only be engineered by the righteous anger of an oppressed people.
On this day of days, illegitimacy will be installed on the Nigerian tribunes of power. On this day, impunity will be enthroned. This day is destined to crown the programmed charade of a(n) (s)election conducted by rascality to select a new horde of political scoundrels to take over the Nigerian baton of leadership. On this day, millions of Nigerians will be forced to bear unholy witness, as Umaru Musa Yar Adua is seduced to perjure himself; lying under oath as he lays claim to a mandate that was never conferred on him by the Nigerian people. He is to commence his entrance into office by lying to himself that he won an election that was largely stolen and handed to him by Olusegun Obasanjo. This guy is a fence, who is in custody of stolen goods. No amount of detergent can wash this fact away. The Eagle square, Abuja would host this monumental defamation of a peoples collective integrity; reinforcing Nigerias reputation as the only place on the earth surface, where illegitimacy convokes a party to celebrate impunity.
Obasanjo on this day would be contributing his inglorious quota in ensuring that thieves must always be imposed on the Nigerian people. The fault is not his. The fault is ours. In choosing Obasanjo in 1999 against better qualified candidates who fought the Abacha junta, we chose the best of the worst instead of the worst of best. On this 29th day of May, 2007 the Nigerian Herod; Mr. Jeremiah Olusegun Obasanjo, will take decency to the Golgotha of impunity, and had it crucified among his college of select thieves. Truth and justice had already been bludgeoned to death under his watch. To conclude his reckless amble in the tribunes of power, he desires to sign off with a mockery of decency. And that he has achieved. By botching the 2007 election, Obasanjo has cast an eternal doubt, which history can never retire, on his integrity and sanity. He has carved-out a pedestal for himself in our halls of shame.
Obasanjo like a common blackmailer had been on the offensive blaming everybody else for his self-constructed, greed induced problems. Obasanjo as a man lacks character. He is a crude bully, who would rather pull the roof down, than allow a challenge to his presumptions. This is a classical symptom of incompetence, self doubt and inferiority complex. This combination is fearfully abhorable in a zoo-keeper, let alone in a leader or manager of men and resources. But they all built a house in the fractured psyche of Mr. Obasanjo. It is high time, Nigerians demanded psychological tests for those who aspire to leadership positions. Our power corridors should not be allowed in its present trajectory of being a casino for fragmented personalities whose greed quotient is abnormally high. Obasanjo used the apparatus of state to blackmail most of the candidates that showed interest in the presidency, so that he could impose a guy who neither desired the presidency, nor is healthy enough for the demands of that office. In lieu of all these, a May 29th which was supposed to be a well spring of good tidings that would banish the abomination of tyranny from our climes has through the narrow insularities and misadventures of Obasanjos vicious vindictiveness, been consecrated a day of infamy.
2. The Genesis of an Aberration
A shrew stinks in obedience and pursuant to the congenital disadvantage etched in the core of its genetic blueprint, reinforced by the vagaries of its chequered evolution. The same is the case with Nigeria. We remain an amalgam of mutually corrosive persuasions that has no confluence. The question could be: why did it fall on Nigeria to be historically contradicted by its potentials and endowments; to be disappointed in her hopes and aspirations; to be deceived and cheated by a series of wicked rulers and political prostitutes; to be a vassal to the undefined interests of a cabal of local and foreign leeches?
History attests that the decline of any civilization or social construct is never an event or an accident; except in cases of natural disasters like the ones that purportedly purchased the decline of Atlantis, or Pompey. This decline is always a process. Nigeria got to this point where she cannot even organize anything credible for herself due to the fact that we are not a nation; but a conglomeration of isolated pockets of tribally minded federations, led by the greed of visionless men. These men surrendered the common interest of their various peoples at the altars of their private avarice. That is why Nigeria is being ruled by a cabal of elitist thieves that transcends the tribes. They came together at the national level to pursue their private interests. Nigeria is configured into their greedy computations only when it serves as a smokescreen to masquerade their real interest; which is private profit.
To that end, we cannot even organize a credible census. Our census figures turn every rational, demographic computation on its head. It canonizes the crudest falsehoods that make national planning a disaster before it takes off. Nigerians do not know how many people that inhabit this space. The population commission gave us an incredible range of figures. It did not take long for Obasanjo who supported the lies to come on air and gave us a contradictory count; showing that if enough rope is handed to liars, that they would spin a noose to hang their lying tongues. And after the failures of the politicization of the census figures, it was a foregone conclusion that we could ever organize a credible election, since we are good at politicizing numbers and creating monsters out of every little procedure. To that end, the elections were simply a disaster waiting to occur.
3. Abomination of Desolations
The 2007 elections was an abomination of desolations. It was the triumph of rascality. This was the worst exemplar of bare faced fraud that any government worth its name could ever contrive. A select assemblage of government approved-scoundrels, with the blessings of a conspiring president staged and allegedly won an election, which was programmed to be a walk-over for roguery and fraudulence. This is a shabby swindle perpetrated by Obasanjo and his cronies, using Maurice Iwuh as their inglorious hatchet man. Credible elections would have offered Nigeria a first class seat on the flight enroute development. But our problem is not that we missed the flight, but that we did not even arrive at the airport as to catch our flight. The election was a planned charade.
Nigerians supposedly went to the polls to elect a new democratic dispensation. That opportunity was transformed into an essential arena for the thorough embarrassment of all that goodness and decency stood for. That occasion witnessed the convocation of the worst elements and characters that rotten leadership could contrive. Till today, it baffles reasons that a man like Olusegun Obasanjo would work tirelessly to anoint himself a monumental scoundrel. That this president is a monumental scoundrel is only surpassed by Maurice Iwuh who has posted an extraordinary performance in anointing himself a first class idiot.
The elections were an unfunny joke. Across the land, election materials arrived in many instances late. In some others they never arrived. Some of the election materials never left the warehouses where they were printed in South Africa; creating artificial scarcity of the documents. Many candidates names went MIA. In some other cases, PDP thugs and agents were allowed a leeway to access the materials to contrive their fraud. Many of them were caught with lorry loads of thumb printed voting cards. Some INEC officials were held up at gunpoint and dispossessed of the ballot boxes by agents of the ruling party.
In Enugu state, the GOC of the 82 division was used to break open and pry away the materials from INEC officials in obedience to PDPs promptings. The minister of information, Frank Nweke Jr., was at hand to intimidate the opposition as PDPs hatchet man in Enugu. In Anambra State, there were practically no elections anywhere. But Andy Ubah won a landslide. The same was the case almost all over the country. Yet PDP and Iwuh have been singing a tune that no one ever recognized as the case in Nigeria. At the end of the day, PDP was a landslide in a non-election. Votes were allocated to other candidates to make it look like a contest. That was election Nigeriana.
4. The Ugly and the Beast
That Obasanjo is a monumental scoundrel is only surpassed by the fact that Maurice Iwuh is a first class idiot. This pair is an irredeemable fraud at the service of lewd avarice. Obasanjo never planned to get out of office. He avidly desired a third term in office, against constitutional provisions. He plotted for it. He tried to purchase the legislature with sordid money to get them amend the constitution to suit his craze. But the moral integrity of a Ken Nnamani and some other senators who valued their historical reputations more than their avarice saved the day for Nigeria. At the failure of that notoriety, Obasanjo grudgingly changed tactics. He was pressured to go. But he would not leave until his puppet is installed as his replacement. He proved himself no better than the other rogues that have desired to die in office in Nigeria. Nigerians made one mistake at that instance. They failed to realize that if a man wants to die in office, that the only way to quicken his dream is to kill him in office so that he dies in office.
To hoist this fraud on Nigerians, Obasanjo needed a thoroughly compromised electoral umpire, who has no integrity to defend or reputation to cherish. He chose a beast. Maurice Iwuh is his name. This man was a two legged dishonesty. This is a fraudulent pseudo-scientist who laid claims to discoveries that were glorified fakeries. The basis of his credentials entertains some deep holes that are unexplainable as they are fraudulent. Obasanjo cherishes such compromised consciences for such offices. He knows they are corruptible, and could easily be blackmailed into kissing his ass. He hired; thoroughly compromised, and unleashed this aberration to go head the Nigerian electoral commission. This beast was by default constructed to spontaneously configure himself into a dog for the sake of bones.
Like a dog, he is thoroughly bereft of conscience. With no reputation to defend, he was ever ready to acquiesce to the directions of privileged roguery. His conscience came from Aso rock. Even when he knows the truth in himself, he is so emasculated by his antecedents and character to offer any rational resistance to the onslaught of falsehood on his conscience. He is compelled by who he is to parrot the syndicated falsehoods engineered by Obasanjo and his rogue cronies. To this end, after conducting the worst and most incredible election in Nigerian history, this fool kept dancing naked on the world stage. In primitive societies such fools are only fit to be sold into slavery. In savage ones, suicide is recommended for them.
Maurice Iwuh kept criticizing anyone who ever disagrees with the outcome of the brazen bazaar of fraudulence and rigging which characterized the elections he was essaying to legitimize. Maurice Iwuh , in the thraldom of myopia and midget god-complex refused to open his eyes to the rigging engineered and implemented by him against the will of the Nigerian people, whose tax defrays and underwrites his salary. Iwuh like every other dog in Obasanjos administration like Fani Kayode and Frank Nweke jr., was totally poisoned by Obasanjos gospel of arrogance. His bearing was superlative in its being unbecoming of a public official. To this end, any shred of hope that Iwuh would have done better than the charade he organized is like signing a pact with Satan to cast out the devil.
5. Give Shit a chance
Obasanjo and Maurice Iwuh; the Ugly and the Beast are so vehement in their vociferations that Nigerians should accept their fraud and give their shit a chance. These two clowns base their arguments on the fact that a perfect election does not exist anywhere on earth. But like the frauds that they are, they are oblivious of the fact that the choice in this case was never between a perfect election and an imperfect one; it was a choice between standard procedure and superlative fraudulence. America may have had a systems failure in the Florida votes, but the police and thugs never prevented Americans from casting their votes as was the case in some states in Nigeria; no one was accused of hijacking the ballot boxes at gunpoint; in no instance were results announced in precincts were no elections took place as was the case in Anambra State; in no instance did the GOP or the democrats win an election where they entered no candidates as was the case in a senatorial district in Oyo state; in no instance was the result ever doctored to give a candidate more votes than the number of registered voters; in no case was the elections regarded as the greatest sham and 419 of the century.
My greatest problem is not that Iwuh and Obasanjos veracity combined, was a shade above that of the father of all lies himself. It is that these guys are so woolly in their thinking to presume that Nigerians are sold on their wooden apologetics. The choice is never between two kinds of election; it was a choice between standard, acceptable election procedure and a non-election. It was a choice between freedom and impoverished criminality. And Obasanjo and Iwuh happen to be the logos of impoverished political criminality.
The calls to give Obasanjos stooge a chance, may be noble in intent. But the basis for that call is ontologically flawed. How could one base national progress on the foundations of illegitimacy? Over and above that, there is something ethereal and pathetic about these calls and the purchased advertorials congratulating the success of the PDPs hijack of the electoral process. It is as if these guys live on a different planet, and have no more understanding of what is happening in Nigeria than of what might be transpiring in planet utopia. Nigerians are being called to give shit a chance.
Will Nigerians resist? One seriously wishes we could. Obasanjo lost every moral capital to be our leader. He degenerated into a crude tyrant. This guy in his present incarnation adamantly refused to cast off the frozen baggage of his feudalistic pedigree. He clung tenaciously to his tyrannical propensities. This explains why he nursed and nourished a belief, which he used his office to elevate to the ontological level of a private dogma. This dogma, he masquerades as loyalty. Here loyalty means absolute loyalty to the Fuhrer Obasanjo. This crude tyrant demands loyalty above conscience. And the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi war criminals dumped forever this obnoxious obscenity into the trash cans of history as an inexcusable stupidity.
Obasanjo demands that everyone genuflects in subservient veneration of his farts. He sees himself as the omniscient, Omnipotentia, whom all Nigerians must unquestionably obey. He demands loyalty to party over and above the constitution. This crude power-crazy president forgot that the constitution is the supreme law of the land; and that any attitude, law, persuasion or patronage that stands inconsistent with the constitution is to the extent of that inconsistency null and void. This means that Obasanjo broke and brought to disrepute the constitution which gave legitimacy to his occupation of that office, and which he swore to uphold.
Our will to resist this crude imposition will be dissuaded and dispersed by the menacing brutality of a heavily armed, but grotesquely incompetent police force that has been authorized against the dictates of consciences and fundamental human freedoms, to crush the peoples will with superlative impunity. This police force has failed in all its statutory responsibilities except that of advertising high-level corruption, incompetence and brutality on unarmed civilians, whom they were recruited to protect. This colonial invention crafted to protect the interests of power and privilege has no place in a civilized society. On this day, this police force will be complemented by some military detachments to inflict and visit unadulterated terror on anyone who dares protest Obasanjos brazen imposition of Yar Adua on us. On this day of infamy, Nigerians will be muzzled by the police from protesting their own death sentence. We would be prevented from saying a resounding No to Obasanjos catastrophic follies, reaching its apogee in imposing his man-Friday on us.
Would Nigerians recreate an African rose or orange revolution as was the case in the Ukraine and Georgia? Will Nigerians defy the terror and brutality of a rogue police force and reclaim their sovereignty? If historical precedents are anything to go by, there will pockets of protest which will filter out as soon as it began. Those protests will be broken up with brutal relish by an inhuman police establishment that has been allergic to human rights and conscience in the discharge of their duties. And Nigerians will acquiesce in the comforting illusions that things will change someday and the good man will come to power. Miracles can happen as it did in Abachas case. But we forget that miracles can happen to remove one man. But no miracle has ever happened to rescue a people from self-imposed anomie. We comfortably choose to forget that heaven will never help those who will never act.
A lot of normally reasonable Nigerians consulting history, see the futility of protest and they are sincerely calling that Yar Adua be given a chance. Though well meaning some of them may be, they are gripped by utter confusion and a paralyzing sense of futility. Some of these normally respectable individuals have even shed themselves of all human dignity to grovel before our august emperor; accepting his choice of Yar Adua, even when Nigerians are opposed to him. This against the backdrop of historical facts is unbelievably stupid. The unfunny joke here is that they are sincerely asking us to close our eyes, and give fraudulence a chance to rule us. They are asking us to hand our heads on a plate to the offspring of a political adulterer.
Heeding this call is equivalent to being gullible beyond comprehension. It is unbelievably naïve for these guys to think that things will get better each time we allow the usurpers of our mandate get away with their crimes. These guys forget that justice and equity will never brook offering a criminal the leeway to keep on benefiting from the proceeds of his crime. No man should be allowed to profit from his crime. Justice will canonize crime the day it allows such an indiscretion a walk-over. But thank goodness, justice is an eternal reality not native to Nigeria. To this end, no matter how much the Nigerian element tries to mangle it, it remains what it is; an incorruptible regulator of human conduct. And those who breach it become outlaws to themselves; who alienate themselves from the good nature that every human individual is called to.
But the larger question is: why would Nigerians keep silent in the face of this overwhelming evil? Do we have an infinite propensity to endure evil? Or are we so emasculated as a people as to evolve some fatal flaw in our national character which leads us towards self-destruction; and to be patient with evil and their perpetrators? The price of those sorry Nigerian collective failures to act when situations called for it is being paid today in consolidated poverty and bad leadership ravaging our land. This spinelessness on the part of the Nigerian electorate accounts for a huge price we would never fully retire. We have lost almost every fountain of social value we used to possess. We are more fragmented than ever before. Our land is poorer than ever before. Our image has been smeared more than at any other time in history. And our redemption is not even in sight, as those who should be working to salvage our predicament are those causing and consolidating our predicament.
On this 29th day of May, 2007, Obasanjo would hand over the reins of a rotten and discredited presidency on an illegitimate choice. Yar Adua was extricated out of virtual irrelevance, and catapulted to the pinnacle of a decrepit political structure, that bode Nigeria no good. Yar Aduas democratic pretence is a mission destined to fail by default. His administration will never retire the congenital disability which illegitimacy confers. His was an illegitimacy sired by Obasanjos tyrannical megalomania; Maurice Iwuhs crooked quackeries, and the postural inaction of the Nigerian electorate. And no reliance should ever be placed on a government that was conceived in illegality and born with congenital deficiencies bordering on illegitimacy. This is the major reason why Obasanjos fooleries in attempting to impose Yar adua on us would remain historically, an extravagant failure.
posted 29th May 2007
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Emmanuel Franklyne Ogbunwezeh was born in Nigeria and currently lives in Germany. He had his Bachelors in Philosophy from the Pontificial Urban University Rome. Mr. Ogbunwezeh is currently working on a Ph.D. in Social Ethics and Economics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His book The Tragedy of a Tribe: The Grand Conspiracy Against Ndigbo and the Igbo Quest for Integration in Nigeria was published in 2004. “Shots at Immortality: Immortalizing Igbo Excellence” and “The Scandal of Poverty in Africa: Reinventing a Role for Social Ethics in Confronting the Socio-economic and Political Challenges of Africa of the Third Millennium” will be published in 2005. Additionally, Mr. Ogbunwezeh published dozens of articles in newspapers, magazines, internet sites, and trade journals.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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updated 4 February 2008