Saturday, 28 March 2015

Nigeria's Ides of March Have Come: Serious Crisis in the Offing!

Today's presidential elections in Nigeria is supposed to mark a turning point in Nigeria's history in that, it will be the first time in Nigeria's history that the opposition has a clear upper hand and would inevitably win, but from all indications, the voting could be truncated by INEC's incompetence or sabotaged by the desperate President afraid of his imminent defeat! The current INEC might be headed by a credible man, but it is probably the most incompetent electoral body on earth because of its choice of voting methods and failure to prepare. It is hard to imagine how a Hi - tech electronic voting can be relied upon in the most sensitive presidential elections in Nigeria's history without proper prior testing and voter education. It is equally disgraceful that the largest Black Country in the world is proving to be unable to work out a smart way of conducting its elections without relying on foreign ideas and technology. What really can a country that cannot work out a feasible, acceptable and cost effective elections achieve to justify its existence? Which successful country do we know of that spends the staggering amount of money Nigeria budgets for each elections since recent times? Nigeria has spent at least £1.2 Billion on INEC since 2010 under President Jonathan. This is clearly a very conservative estimate because the 2011 elections alone cost at least N122.9 billion according to Punch Newspapers of May 8, 2013. This amounts to over £400 Million by today's rates. Which serious country anywhere on this planet spends such a staggering amount of money in conducting elections? Which other society of sane people, that has no roads, no modern railways (except the fake ones built by the propagandists of a desperate President), no world class hospitals and no quality educational infrastructures would spent such amount in trying to copy a technology they ought to know would fail, in the name of conducting elections that are bound to be disputed? Arguably, the fact that the man most likely to win represents a real hope and chance for the black race to prove itself, justifies whatever expense, but it is very hard to see a peaceful handover to General Buhari, if at all the elections succeed or are not sabotaged. From the available information about the operation of the card readers, which is central to the voting exercise today, it is both unfeasible in terms of speed and the fact that the system is dependent on mobile phone signals which is clearly not workable in some parts of Nigeria. It is further worrying to note that a country with more than 50% illiteracy but can boast of the most educated central government in the world ( The President holds a PhD and is surrounded by individuals with the highest educational qualifications) did not consider the feasibility of electronic voting in relation to illiterates. In any case, even if the Hi - tech voting were to work, presidential sabotage would be hard to rule out simply because of the desperate manners of those surrounding the presidency. Whatever happens, crisis is inevitable because the current Presidency appears so desperate, it will do anything to stop Buhari taking over as president. And of course, if the presidency unleashes violence and intimidation, Nigeria will boil. Military rule or a sort of caretaker government appears most likely. John Iteshi London March 28 2015.