By Charles Ogbu
If there is one thing the just concluded Ekiti election proved, it is that Votes and PVC are not as useless as some folks would have us believe. In fact, it is very possible to remove President Buhari via the ballot come 2019. Those who argue otherwise are hugely mistaken. Even more mistaken are those using the Ekiti election as the basis to support their argument.
Despite being in full control of all instrument of state coercion and every other thing except the air we breathe, the almighty APC still needed that PVC in your hands enough to offer cash for it.
If PVC and Votes don’t matter, why did the APC not simply manufacture Votes from some air-conditioned room and get INEC to announce them winner???
Why did the APC bother spending huge time and resources buying votes with as much as 4k, 5k and even 10k?? (BBC, a foreign media, showed a video of some Ekiti people who sold their votes to Fayemi for 4k)
Your Votes and your PVC is as important to the average Nigerian politicians as the word “importance” itself. Even in the presence of massive rigging, your Vote via your PVC is still needed.
An average Nigerian politician now prefer buying your votes to simply cooking figures from no where.
We saw this in Anambra and now Ekiti.
The APC wasn’t declared winner in Ekiti because of federal might and rigging ALONE. Not that they didn’t deploy those two. They did. But make no mistake, vote counted. Your PVC mattered. How those votes were acquired is a different thing altogether. PVC proved to be the most essential “commodity”.
To the less discerning Vote-selling folks, the Ekiti election has nothing to do with Cattle Colony, ranch or any of the other issues deeply embedded in the electoral discourse. It was simply a contest between two of their Sons: One, a former governor and the other the current governor (Only insignificant percent of the electorate know the name of Fayemi’s opponent)
Those who rely on Ekiti election to conclude that no one can defeat Buhari come 2019 are not exactly being factual.
To millions of Nigerians, Buhari represent deaths, mass burials and forceful acquisition of people’s ancestral land. His name on the ballot is an automatic turnoff for most voters. Plus, most of those who gifted him with the 2015 magic votes are no longer with him. Tambuwal in Sokoto, Kwankwaso with his 2million Kano miracle votes, Saraki in Kwara etc. The Southeast and South-South is a No-No for him. Buhari has made too many enemies and those “enemies” will do anything to deny him a return ticket because they have more to lose with his 2nd term than you and I. And, they are Master Riggers themselves.
Tragedy is, most of us who desperately want Buhari out do not have PVC. And without PVC, we are irrelevant in the political equation. Without our PVC, we leave the very important political decision in the hands of less enlightened folks who are too hungry to understand the full implications of collecting few naira notes in exchange for long years of mass burials, deaths and govt sponsored ethnic cleansing.
A man who is hungry and poverty-stricken is in no position to think about Fulani terrorism and govt-sponsored jihad. He thinks only his stomach and the next dinner. Nothing more. This is what you get where hunger and poverty have been weaponized by a set of conscienceless criminals masquerading as politicians.
But we need to come to terms with some hard truth here:
When Buhari and his gang wanted political power, they didn’t come shooting their way into Asorock. They spent 12 solid years planning and scheming until they finally succeeded via the ballot.
We must stop agonizing and start organizing.To remove the Buhari calamity from power is doable. Very doable. It is a task that must be done. If he succeeds in 2019, we are doomed. All of us! And, the only two ways to remove a horrible character from a political office is through the ballot or the bullet. Any other options aside these two is a mere attempt at political Idealism.