By Ibrahim Audu
Nigerians from the south often delude themselves that they are educated and enlightened than those of us from the north, these days we don't waste our time arguing that with them, rather we devote that time in showing them are uneducated and unrefined they are.
They said we are illiterates but they are always willing to use their degrees gotten from the best universities in the world to serve us in our 'illiteracy' diligently like slaves with no more hope for freedom.
It is baffling that those who claimed to be more educated are so myopic that they see the current political stalemate in Rivers State to be the usual PDP vs APC shenanigans, but here in the north we see it beyond partisan politics, we know what is playing out in Rivers because it is our making. We must have some sort of control over the wealth from their black gold to correct decades of economic injustice done to the north.
Rivers State is strategic and key to our agenda, if we have that state, then we have gotten a hold of Niger Delta. President Muhammadu Buhari must do everything possible to protect Rotimi Amaechi, he should always listen to him when it concerns Niger Delta affairs, he must continue to give him the technical support to succeed in removing the current governor of Rivers State who thinks northerners cannot have some share of the resources and land in that part of the country, Amaechi is one of the few good people in that region, he has the interest of the north at heart and ready to accommodate our peace loving herders, we love him because he is a nationalist.
The idea of democracy ought not be an excuse for chaos. It is more distressing when we practice a pretense of a democracy in Nigeria and employ same as an excuse for chaos where we now use that chaos to enthrone the least endowed among using universal suffrage. In truth, not everyone should vote especially in a country of very high illiteracy level.
Recall a Series last year titled "When Dunces Rule"? Yes, the dunces in power during the military era were mostly uneducated. In their relinquishing power, they imposed a Constitution that favors the illiterate to be more accessible to power! For instance, lowering the minimum requirement to the Primary 6 Certificate and evidence of having gained admission into a secondary school (the WAEC certificate is NOT a constitutional necessity) is to ensure that the uneducated are elected into positions of leadership. Look at the elected officials from the president to the lowly councillor; how many of the about 7000 persons elected are educated up to the university level? Maybe 30%!
So we have a situation where most elected officials in Nigeria have very little capacity to effect anything positive. That's why most get elected and behave exactly as they would; stark illiterates with money and power!
One might want to argue that the electorate put them there. The question is what kind of electorate would place the uneducated over him?
The answer is: His own kind!
A country with over 60% illiterates where the uneducated are allowed to vote, where most of the candidates are illiterates, the illiterate electorate would most likely vote their kind...then we would all be saddled with illiterate leaders or the hardly educated. Throw in a good dose of religion and what do we have? A calamity called Nigeria!
So on the whole, we mostly get uneducated leaders or those with very little capacity! An illiterate votes his kind! And he would always rule as an illiterate!
This leads us to the Oluomo Phenomenon. This is a phenomenon whereby the organized illiterate councils like the NURTW, Tanker Drivers, Artisans, Village Farmers and the Agbero Council are the Bedrock of the Electoral Process! With them, a vast army of the illiterates is mobilized by those that would have an affinity to them. These folks, despite being uneducated, decide the votes. So an area Father like the Orisa of Lagos or the SheribokoHaram of Borno would easily move closer to this voting block, empowering them, mobilize them and easily muscle out folks like Moghalu, Fani Kayode or Okonjo-Iweala. The latter group are too refined to encourage brigandage but the former have no scruples. The result is that the BEST CANDIDATES WOULD NEVER WIN! See why we have funny governors and silly lawmakers? Never mind a president whose idea of development is fighting corruption and ethno-religious domination! They're all products of a system sired by near illiterates!
As if that wasn't bad enough, throw-in the shenanigans of INEC into the mix of an already corrupted electoral philosophy and want do we have? A CRIME SCENE CALLED NIGERIA!
The issue of Universal Suffrage should be revisited. Universal suffrage is not totally universal all over the world; there must be exemptions. In order to bring quality people into leadership, boundary conditions must be set for suffrage!
An educated voter would make a more rational decision than the stark illiterate fishermen in the creeks or the Al-majiri in the North! Universal suffrage in a country as backward as Nigeria is a disaster in itself. For the mere fact that 60% of voters are stark or near stark illiterates, then it is their decisions we live with as a country.
The results have been obvious since 1999!
We suggest to toe the path of the early suffrage system in the USA using education. If the minimum requirement to vote were to be at least an OND certificate, electoral outcomes shall be so different...so would the country.
I vote against universal suffrage.
(...to be continued)