President Donald Trump is the current president of the United States. He won the majority votes of the DELEGATES of the ELECTORAL COLLEGE.
After his inauguration, he claimed, despite glaring evidence to the contrary, that more people ATTENDED the event than that of President Obama. Few weeks later, it turned out that Hillary Clinton secured more popular votes. Donald Trump was rightly worried because having less votes than the loser erodes the legitimacy of the winner in a democracy. It is a moral burden.
Boycotting elections is not new to Ndigbo. That is why I was bemused at the steps the President of Ohaneze Chief John Nnia Nwodo took recently. Considering his family and academic pedigree, he should have known that boycotting elections is not a strange phenomenon to Ndigbo.
In 1964, the NCNC, working with the remnants of Chief Awolowo’s Action group, formed an alliance called the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA) for the federal elections. The UPGA was not satisfied with the discrepancies between the number of names on voting rolls and on census returns and called on its supporters to boycott the election. The boycott was effective in the Eastern Region.
What Nnamdi Kanu is seeking for, which I see as normal, is to taint the legitimacy of whomsoever wins the election in any Igbo/Biafran State. While people are jumping up and down arguing that someone will win even if IPOB boycotts, they fail to see how the international community will view such victory.
Let us suppose Chief Willie Obiano wins under APGA with 100,000 total votes as against the numbers he posted in his first term and those of Governors Obi and Mbadinuju, that would be moral victory for us, genuine Biafran agitators. We can rightly call any such governor Attaliah!
However, Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB should, as a matter of strategic planning and nkwuchality, REGISTER for the elections. Failing to register is like castrating a kid (young he goat) and hoping it will be the village stud later. Only those who grew up in the village will understand this.
As someone who has eaten onugbu soup from same plate with Nnamdi Kanu, I will implore him to ask IPOB supporters to make sure they registered to vote in every election in Nigeria, just as they spend Nigeria money and drive with Nigerian Driver’s licence. When the come comes to become, we don’t want any “discrepancies between the number of names on voting rolls and on census returns.”
After we have secured our cards, what to do with them on election day is another story altogether. We shall cross that bridge when we get there.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying.
Emeka Maduewesi writes from San Francisco