DR. DONS EZE
INEC PROFESSORS AND THE BURDEN OF ELECTORAL FRAUD
The reason why it will be difficult to succeed in the current fight against corruption in Nigeria is that everything has gone haywire. Corruption has gone scientific or digital. There is no more ignorant sinner, but educated and enlightened sinners, embezzlers of public funds, fraudsters, yahoo yahoo boys, etc.
Socrates had as his moral dictum that “knowledge is virtue, and ignorance, vice”. According to him, people commit crimes because they do not know their implications, or are ignorant of what these crimes entail. But we do not agree. If this was true during the time of Socrates, it is no longer so now. A lot of people who commit crimes actually know what they do, but they deliberately go into it and give them very nice clothing.
For instance, time was, when people indulged in idol worship. They consulted the dibias or the babalawos who would foretell them what was to happen in the future, and what to do to be alive, or to get rich. Many people were thereby defrauded.
But sensing that idol worship is no longer fashionable, that the old thing passeth away, and that they no longer get enough customers, they decided to change tactics. They begin to enrol into Bible Schools, and within six months, they would graduate.
Even when they would have buried goats or human heads in their altars, and using all sorts of amulets and talisman to “perform miracles”, they would still be carrying their Bible, quoting it from Genesis to Revelation, and telling anybody that comes their way that ‘A’ or ‘B’ was after his life or against his progress.
Many people would believe them and would be emptying their pockets into their bank accounts. That’s how a lot of people are today being defrauded by our so-called “men of God” who would be flying on private jets, while thousands of their flocks go on bare foot and on empty stomachs.
Now, those who are in charge of election management in Nigeria have adopted a new strategy of deceit by employing university professors as returning officers in our electoral process so as to give their frauds and manipulations some credibility.
The election managers who would have perfected their rigging plans in collusion with armed police and military personnel. They would prepare the election results in advance, even before the exercise took place, and they would later invite the university professors to announce the results.
These professors who would be behaving like Christmas goats, and sweating as if guns were pointed on their necks, would start reeling out already prepared texts, very often incoherently, as results of such elections, since they did not know where and how these results were generated. And we would be told to accept such results, since they were announced by the eggheads from the ivory tower!
That is the tragedy of the society in which we are in Nigeria today, enlightened self-interest. Many of these people actually know what is wrong in the system, but they lack the will power or the courage to resist, or to fight against such wrong or injustice, no doubt, for pecuniary interests. And the injustices will continue to multiply.
What will these professors who announce “fake” results, the results they did not generate, nor knew where they came from, would be telling their students? Will they have the moral right to tell these students not to cheat in examinations, since they themselves have been cheating, condoning, or legitimizing election frauds? That is the moral burden which our distinguished professors from the ivory towers currently bear.
If Edmund Burke had in his own days stated that “the only thing necessary for injustice to succeed is for good men to do nothing”, in this day and age, the continued multiplication of injustice in society is that our own “good men” are championing evil.