PREVIEW: Propaganda ebbs, facts flow as presidential election petition tribunal opens, By Gani Kayode Balogun
Today marks the beginning of of the legal brickbrats arising out of the 2023 elections.
The Tribunal opens its doors to hear and decide on “facts” as presented by lawyers on opposing sides as well as the umpire, INEC.
Since the conclusion of the elections and declaration of a winner, we’ve been fed a daily dose of innuendo, fabricated legal precedents and outright fake news.
But the cherry on the cake was the suspension of common sense, and attempts to make this elections as a make or mar landmark.
It is not that this election is not unique, it was. But it was not the best thing since that unknown woman decided to pour ewedu on top of gbegiri, and Abula was born.
May God bless her soul.
All arsenals were deployed, from religious to ethnic firepower, mixed with intra and inter denominational flavor, and topped with nuanced political brinksmanship that will put the Nvzis to shame.
Maybe it’s not that different from abula.
Dont get me wrong, there were always an ethno-religious undercurrent in every election held in Nigeria since the 50s. Only that it is now used as the USP in this particular election.
Even back then, the truth always took the back seat as propaganda ran amock.
For example, in the 1951 regional elections in the West, 80 seats were up for grabs, including five Lagos seats. Action Group won 38 seats, NCNC/Independents won 25 seats, Ibadan Peoples Party won 6, Ondo improvement league 2, and Otu Edo 3.
The smaller parties then chose which of the 2 big parties to go into an Alliance with to form the government. The AG finally got 3 independents, 5 IPP, 1 Ondo and 1 Etu Edo to swell their ranks to form a majority on the house floor on the day of inauguration.
But the fallacy till today, over 70 years later, was that there was cross carpeting.
In 1959, there was a general understanding that a combined force of the West and the East was what Nigeria needed to checkmate the obvious lopsided allocation of seats by the colonialism in favor of the North, which was out of proportion to the population figures.
Meanwhile, while the AG delegation was in Asaba on what turned out to be red herring. The NCNC was in Kaduna to seal a deal with the NPC.
That singular act led to the constitution crisis of 1963, as the coalition partners decided to decimate the West. First by exciting the Edo and Delta Provinces to form a new region, but kept their own minorities of the middle belt and the COR respectively under a tight leash.
The Constitution al crisis led to the first couple, which led to the second coup, which led to the civil war.
But as far as the propagandists are concerned, it was all Awolowo’s fault!
They are never the aggressors, always the victim, but of their own aggression.