Losing honourably and accepting defeat in Nigerian political elections


Firstly for the records I didn’t vote in any of the 2007 general elections because I was stuck in Abuja and couldn’t get my self to Benue State where I was registered as a voter. But if I had voted it would have been along this line: the ADC’s Pat Utomi for President, The AC’s Adams Oshiomole and Babatunde Fashola for Governor (if I was registered in Edo or Lagos State respectively) and the PDP’s candidates for Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Chairman and Vice Chair. The elections were relatively peaceful, free and fair in my area and I monitored events on foot, by word of mouth, on phone and in the print, radio, television and online media.

And from my research I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of Nigerians don’t just know how to loose honourably and accept election defeat. So polls started late in some areas and there were misconducts in “a few” centers, and so what? The invasion of the pitch and the stretching off of a defender of a team who are already six nil down with five minutes to go doesn’t mean a match should be replayed. You would still have lost in any case.

And unfortunately Obasanjo’s fuck ups and the INEC’s Leadership blunders contribute in giving losers something to shout about. And because bad news is always the juiciest the media pounce on that, generalise and blow the whole thing out of proportions (for every original “my voting experience” well written and descriptive blog post there are ten one-paragraph unoriginal “electoral misconduct” blog post in the Nigerian blogosphere). Political losers now build on that, forget about being magnanimous in defeat and the next thing you know they’re holding press conferences accusing their opponents of rigging the elections.

It’s not strange that it’s only the defeated that complain. Even the PDP who have been the most accused turned around to whine in Lagos and Abia States where they lost the gubernatorials. It should tell you something, that rigging (where it truly manifests) is not a PDP only affair and that most people are just bad losers. To them there is no life outside politics and so it’s a deadly fight to the finish.

Let me let you in on something. With a large percentage of people with poor living standards Nigeria is still a place where people will vote for you in appreciation of the gifts you give them and with tribal sentiments. Research show that it’s the poor and ill informed that constitute a majority of the voting populace and since money plays a part in politics the rich political parties reach them, “campaign” and are able to win their votes.

The intellectuals, the media and those who should know better are in the minority. They support the better candidates but are often too occupied with work or pleasures, or feel too big to come out to vote. Their candidates forgetting that money is power and that politics is like advertising (if you don’t advertise you don’t sell) score miserably low in voter education and thus perform miserably at polls.

Adams Oshiomole, Pat Utomi and Jimi Agbaje

I’m sorry Mr Oshiomole; it’s possibly that more people truly voted for Osunbor. You’re a smart chap and I’m sure you’ll keep your self busy and strategise ahead of 2011. The same goes for Jimi Agbaje and possibly Pat Utomi. These unfortunately were the right candidates but with the wrong political machinery.

Comments (7)

Nigeria elections... nawah... i read in the news, that the results were prepared ahead of time,a nd some people never voted, and even ballot boxes were hijacked... anyway i have a different version of the elections... read on my blog: http://www.obinwanne.com/blog/_archives/2007/4/14/2879398.html#post_comment

Interesting perspective. Balanced view of the whole thing. Let's wait and see who does the right thing, take their grievances to court...

I agree that losers must be magnanimous in defeat but how do we know who the losers are when ballot boxes are stolen, stuffed, resurface and swing election outcomes?

The PDP went a million steps too far in its determination to maintain control of government. Let's take a look at a few cases:

Anambra - elections did not take place. Talk to people who were on ground in that state to vote. The vast majority would say they couldn't vote. Somehow election results are declared in the state with a very high voter turnout (the ghost voters) and they all overwhelmingly vote for an unpopular candidate.

Rivers - bandits, thugs and armed rooks had threatened the public "don't come out to vote unless you're coming to vote for PDP". The media captured the theft of boxes on camera. Voters were intimidated, somehow a 95% turnout is recorded and 90% vote for PDP!?!?

Ondo - Same old story all over again. The Deputy Governor was caught RED HANDED with election materials in a desperate attempt to rig and steal the election. Guess what? They shaved it. Stole the mandate and the people protested.

There were cases like this all across the nation.

And for yesterday's presidential election. Even by the standards of past Nigerian elections, it was a collosal failure. A very significant percentage of the elections were postponed for lack of materials or errors.

Would things like this happen in a civilized democracy? NO! Can you imagine say the Democratic Party's logo and/or name missing on the ballot paper in the California Senate race? NO! The electoral chief would resign immediately in the wake of such embarrassment, but we accept this level of mediocrity in our own country.

To say the 2007 elections have been flawed is a massive understatement. This was not an election but a charade. We deserve better than this.

I find it rather alarming when you say that "there were misconducts in a few cetres". Really maybe u should research better. Like you pointed out INEC and PDP has not really provided a level playing ground so that gives them an excuse to whine.
I think you should take each and every of these their allegations seriously and you will see some truth in it.

you would have to be the first blogger to proclaim that this election was in any way fair and balanced.. but perhaps as you put it.. this only occured in your area.. nice post

i'm filled with complete dissapointment whenever i read in the media that respectable nigerians have endorsed this charrade we call elections.
monitoring elections only in abuja is never enough to assess it's overrall credibility. it's a pity you don't have a back-grounder on previous elections in nigeria before you put this piece.
if we say yes to this collosal fruad, then we are also saying yes to exam malpratice,419,foggery,money laundering and their likes.
peharps, Oba's comment sums it all "we deserve better than this" This is definitely not the nigeria i dream of!!!

Nigeria is a big country dat needed God intervention. My advise is dat no matter hw far it cud be,punishment is coming upon evryone dat has paid or planted devilish act in dis country.