Dr. Louis Brown Ogbeifun

Accredited Mediator | Certified Professional Manager and Trainer in Workplace Conflicts


Deconstructing Nigeria’s Political Process: A Nollywood Script or a Democratic Reality?

Our political process is like Nollywood movies that we know will consistently end with “to God be the glory.” To that effect, be it a tragedy or comedy, viewers could predict the end of our movies from the beginning.

Let us extrapolate this to our political process and look at the trajectory since 1999.

Stage one

Political parties target some INEC officials and corrupt them in targeted geo-political zones. Next is to use political thugs to intimidate political opponents and voters, where that is not working, eliminate them, destroy ballot papers in perceived enemy polling units, and replace electronic data with handwritten ones. At least, that is the videos and footage we have seen in the media in all our elections since 1999.

Stage 2

Make sure your party outrigs the other parties and wins with million-millions so that no matter the votes subtracted by the Supreme court from the winners’ total vote tally, it will be difficult for the other parties to close the gap.

Stage 3

INEC pronounces the winner based on the margin and spread.

Stage 4

The pronounced winner appeals to the other parties and Nigerians not to troop to the streets on protests to save lives but instead go to court to pursue their grievances and respect the rule of law, which was never respected during the elections.

Stage 5

Get crowds to intimidate judicial officers on hearing days, engage hatchet persons to penetrate the Bench, pay forensic experts, gather egg heads and the best from the Bar to argue the case in court.

Scene 6

Take the matter through the rungs of the judicial ladder up to the Supreme Court. Get a split decision in favor of the declared winner or hand the mandate to whom it thinks the cap fits, and Nigerians will chorus, “As Your Lordship pleases.”

Stage 7

Assemble the media at the entrance of the Supreme Court and tell Nigerians that the highest Court in Nigeria has spoken. Appeal to the opposition parties to join hands with the winner in building a new Nigeria, and the people will say, “to God be the glory.”

Stage 8

Nigerians grumble for two or three weeks, blame the judiciary, and then wait for the next four years. When a new election comes, the cycle is repeated. The same pattern. The same outcome. That has been our way since this democratic dispensation began in 1999. Is it a lie?

When shall this trajectory of scapegoating the courts instead of the political actors change? When shall we get it right, the first time, and consistently?

Grace and peace!!!