By Amaso Jack
“THE July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State brought to the fore the daunting challenge of vote buying in the country’s electoral process……is a dangerous trend that has more or less become a recurring decimal in the last four staggered governorship elections……The elections in Ondo and Ekiti states……The perpetrators went about the electoral offence as if they had immunity or had been assured of impunity…….It is, therefore, a veritable threat to democracy, especially in a clime where the prime condition that permits vote buying to thrive, poverty, still subsists.”http://www.tribuneonlineng.com/157529/
“Both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has held power in the state since 2014, were alleged to have paid voters 3,000 to 5,000 naira ($8-13, 7-12 euros) each.”
WHEN DEMOCRACY FAILS:
Our democracy may fail either by implosion or explosion.
Failure by Implosion: Should democracy in Nigeria implode or fails from within, it will likely fail in the morbid direction of fascism, a political system of dictatorship in which the opposition is present but absent; present as a political organisation, but absent from the presence of political power.
It may also fail in the direction of Totalitarianism, the political system that subjects individual liberty to the state, within the context of a single state party that completely eliminates all opposition. The vote buying in Ekiti, amounts to democratic corruption…..the corruption of democracy from within.
The recent developments in Benue, where a minority started the impeachment process of the governor with the active connivance of the same police whose Inspector-General refused to relocate to Benue, when instructed by Buhari his Commander-in-Chief and was neither fired nor reprimanded for his insubordination by his principal, is another perilous step in the fascist/totalitarian direction. The most likely beneficiary is fascism, the elastic political economic system, that has the accommodating latitude and combining capacity of running on the dual political engines of dictatorship and Totalitarianism.
Failure by Explosion: This occurs when democracy explodes or is compromised from without, either by a military coup or worse; the country gets overrun by foreign invasion.
CORRUPTION IN A DEMOCRACY.
“Corruption in a democracy, I argue, involves duplicitous violations of the democratic norm of inclusion.“Mark E Warren https://www.jstor.org/stable/1519886?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
“DEMOCRATIC” CORRUPTION NOT CORRUPTION IN A DEMOCRACY.
Lawal Adamu Usman, set the tone, with his 14th of June 2018 article published in Daily Trust, title: “Our democracy encourages corruption and violence”, this way:
“The 19 years of stable democracy in Nigeria has encouraged more corruption and violence than physical and human development in the country……Nigeria’s democracy has been full of corruption right from process of electing leaders at the party level to the power seat.”
“Buying of votes is not an issue we can address overnight because the culture has come and it is staying with us. It has become the ritual especially in the rural areas, suburbs and other places that are difficult for government officials and agencies to monitor. Some (politicians) give cash; some give materials.”https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/punchng.com/can-nigeria-curb-buying-votes-elections/amp/
“Democratic” corruption is the perversion of the:
- Democratic process
- Democratic institutions
- Pillars of democracy
by the strategic abuse of democratic procedures that involves
- misappropriation of funds
- Deployment of budgeted covert funds for elections
- Direct stealing for democratic subversion.
- Strategic disenfranchisement
for the manipulation of votes in the democratic process by direct cash for vote, voter inducement or vote buying with the strategic goal of VOTER BUYOUT, which is the core, identity and epicentre of democratic corruption.
It is the corruption of the democratic process by the sabotage of any, some or all the five pillars of democracy.
-“DEMOCRATIC CORRUPTION” AND MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has unraveled how a former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, allegedly shared a “loot” of N30 billion, which was delivered to him in Dollar from the Central Bank of Nigeria………Dasuki….was said to have shared the money to the Peoples Democratic Party, some members of the House of Representatives, while part of it was used for “special prayers”.https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/theeagleonline.com.ng/amp/how-dasuki-shared-n30b-loot-to-pdp-reps-anenih-obaigbena-others-efcc
-DEPLOYMENT OF BUDGETED COVERT FUNDS FOR ELECTIONS
While it is clear under Jonathan that Dasuki was the personification of democratic corruption, by documented evidence in public domain, what it is not clear is if his expenditure for democratic corruption was based on a covert budget, hidden under the no go area of National security or on arbitrary disbursement of funds.
By the evidence of Tribune (a national daily) which on the other hand provided this proof, that in turn generates probing questions:
“vote buying in the country’s electoral process……is a dangerous trend that has more or less become a recurring decimal in the last four staggered governorship elections”“http://www.tribuneonlineng.com/157529/
…..those elections which where organised by the Buhari administration, with a “public perception” not researched reputation, for fighting corruption, raises the following probing questions:
1 How did Kayode Fayemi, a serving Minister in Buhari’s cabinet (before he resigned to run for the governorship) get his part of the funds for democratic corruption, since it is widely accepted that both political parties were involved?
2 Who are the specific people or person involved?
3 Through what specific route or routes was the money obtained?
4 What covert cover was used as the excuse for removing the money from the system?
5 What were the “bustops” between the source of funds and the end user, the voting public?
6 What were the chains of distribution?
7 Since by the evidence of Tribune, the last four governorship elections were clear signs of democratic corruption, will the next one in Osun and the 2019 general elections suffer the same fate?
-DIRECT STEALING FOR DEMOCRATIC SUBVERSION
Dasuki again presents the only evidence so far. Direct stealing is distinct from budgeted covert funds in that while direct stealing is arbitrary budgeted covert funds is a more professional and organized route to the same destination.
Tanko Yakassai’s expose:
Disenfranchisement is the denial of the right to vote. Akin Alofetekun’s publication of Tanko Yakassai’s interview published in the Guardian of April 16, 2018, under the headline:
“How 2015 poll was rigged in North – Tanko Yakassai”, made reference to the elderly Yakassai, who said:
“There are many ways of rigging election. What happened in 2015 where the majority of southerners resident in the north were scared away from their places of residence, where they had registered, to their place of origin and therefore could not have the opportunity to vote, was rigging….Again some of the southerners who did not run away were afraid to come out and vote on the day of election. So scaring people from coming out to vote for the candidates of their choice is also a form of rigging.”https://guardian.ng/politics/how-2015-poll-was-rigged-in-north-by-tanko-yakassai/amp/
SIX DIMENSIONS OF “DEMOCRATIC” CORRUPTION:.
Democracy comes under threat of corruption in one, some or all of the 6 underlisted ways. When all 6 work in synergy, the threat to democracy becomes the systemic threat of democratic corruption.
1 Fascism. When the executive seeks to compromise the four other pillars of democracy. The five pillars of democracy will be discussed in RIPPLES FROM EKITI (Part 3a ii). When this happens, fascism is defined. Fascism is the the executive’s tight grip on power, after it has used democracy to get political economic power, it renders the others pillars of democracy impotent; they will be constitutionally, present but on “medical” or perhaps “democratic admission” …… just as an individual on medical admission is placed on sick leave and is not available to function…the dictatorship content of fascism, as exercised by the executive, places the other pillars of democracy on “sick, medical, terminal, democratic leave of absence”, rendering them democratically sterile; alive but not living. Fascism is the medical ward where the other four are quarantined by dictatorship, the mortuary, the cell. Totalitarianism is the cemetery. When fascism is based on an individual, its political content is a dictatorship, but when it is based on a party with strategic and vital interest of the state, imposed on the psychological individual and the various sociological groups in a state, it is totalitarianism.
2 “Democratic” corruption called rigging, a direct threat to the democratic institution of voting.
3 “Democratic” corruption called vote buying, with voter buyout as the terminal objective. This a direct and dual threat to the democratic institution of voting and the opposition, the face of democracy.
4 “Democratic” corruption as rigging by strategic disenfranchisement.
5 “Democratic” political economic corruption, is the strategy of poverty as a political strategy, that breeds vote buying.
A sixth may be added.
6 Foreign direct and or indirect manipulation.
Jeremy Isaacs and Taylor Downing, on the 301st page of their 1998, Bantam Press publication; COLD WAR , provide this information.
“Kennedy approved a secret fund to be used to influence the outcome of the 1964 Chilean election, which Johnson later supplemented…..the justification for the use of secret American funds to influence other people’s elections was simple: the Soviets also spent money to support others’ political parties and trade unions, as long as this went on, the United States should do same. The CIA had been doing this since the Italian elections of 1948”
Observation 1: The United States in the course of the bipolar Cold War interfered in elections of other nations to protect their vital interest of capitalism from communism. What they started in 1948 is what they accused Russia of doing against them and are crying blue murder, for the very thing they have done!
“A Russian propaganda arm oversaw a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton, said an indictment released on Friday that revealed more details than previously known about Moscow’s purported effort to interfere.
The office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, including St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency known for its trolling on social media. The official who oversees Mueller’s work said the investigation was not finished.” Reuters ( https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1G022U)
Observation 2: From a strict perspective of strategy, Interest changes the perception of justice!
Observation 3: A new world order is evolving within the 68 year period, between 1948 when the United States as a Bipolar power, interfered with the Italian elections and 2016, when Russia interfered with the American elections, with the US as the unipolar global power.
Based on the pattern of President Kennedy and Johnson who budgeted covert funds for democratic corruption, did Jonathan and Buhari do same?
In Jonathan’s case there is evidence of expenditure, but not any yet of a bottom line budgeted figure, in Buhari’s example, clearly covered by his presidency, what is the figure and the budget if any?
EVIDENCE OF “DEMOCRATIC” CORRUPTION IN EKITI ELECTION
- Paul Arkwright, British High Commissioner to Nigeria
“The British Government has condemned vote-buying, which was rampant in the recent Ekiti State governorship election.”https://www.google.com.ng/amp/punchng.com/ekiti-election-vote-buying-as-bad-as-rigging-says-uk/amp/
- Marumoa-Gae of International Republican Institute (IRI) , USA (International Observer)
Marumoa-Gae observed: “Voters showed their ballot papers to party agents to collect money, thugs disrupted the voting process by shooting, but the police and other attaching security agents did well by establishing their presence at the polling units as stipulated by the constitution. We also noted that the INEC has improved on card readers this time,”http://silverbirdtv.com/politics/44307/us-observer-faults-ekiti-governorship-polls/
“IRI is the premier international democracy-development organization. Our nonpartisan, nongovernmental Institute…….work in more than 100 countries since 1983—in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa—and currently has offices in more than 30 countries.“http://www.iri.org/who-we-are
- Coalition of International and Domestic Observers
Kamarudeen Ogundele, wrote under the headline: “Ekiti: Election fell short of global standards, say US observer group, others”, published by The Punch on July 18, 2018, His report contained the following details:
“The observers, therefore, held that the July 14 poll could not be recommended as a template for the forthcoming 2019 general elections as it fell short of global standards and spelt doom.“http://punchng.com/election-fell-short-of-global-standards-say-us-observer-group-others/
- Col Tony Nyiam
“Recently, scores of Nigeriens were arrested by the Navy in Kogi and were found with PVCs, which were for the Ekiti governorship election.”http://sunnewsonline.com/a-second-term-nyiam-buhari/amp/
Nyiam was military assistant to General (turned President) Babangida and the leader (by seniority of rank) of the April 22, 1990 coup against Babangida, his principal. He was under Buhari’s commander, when the President was GOC, Third Armoured Division, Jos.