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October 11, 2005

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #7: Political Parties and Elections in Nigeria

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph. D. (Seatle, Washington) --- This lecture will briefly define the nature of political parties and elections. It will first do so in a generic sense and later look at the phenomenon in Nigeria.


Political parties are a recent phenomenon. We have not always had them. They came into being in the eighteenth century. In fact, at the time of the American revolution political parties were only coming into being. Indeed, back then they were called political factions and many astute politicians cautioned against them for they were deemed divisive. In his parting address to the nation, George Washington, the first President of the United States of America warned the nation against the dangers posed by the emerging political factions. During his term in office two distinct factions emerged in American politics: the Federalist and the Anti federalists.

The Federalists supported the new constitution enacted in 1787 and wanted the center to have more power than the periphery, the states, whereas the Anti Federalists were more in favor of the confederation that had obtained in the land before the Philadelphia convention that produced the new Federal constitution. The Anti Federalists wanted more power for the states and less power for the central government. To the present, American politics is still characterized by this division: those wishing for more centralized power and those seeking more state rights.

Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, was a federalist whereas Thomas Jefferson, his secretary of state, was an Anti federalist. These two factions: federalists and Anti federalists became the foundations for America’s two party system. The Anti Federalists evolved into today’s Democratic party, the oldest party in the country. The Federalists first evolved into what was called the Whig party and in the 1850s transmuted into today’s Republican party.

(For what it is worth, I would like to mention that it was the Republican party, the Party of Abraham Lincoln, that fought for the emancipation of Negroes in America. Black Americans were initially members of the Republican party until Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s great realignment of the parties in the 1930s. Black Americans then flocked to the Democratic Party. It should also be mentioned that it was the Republican Party that gave women the vote in 1920. On says all these because some misguided folks tend to associate the Republican party with retrogressive measures. It was the Democratic party that fought to maintain segregation in America. As late as the 1960s, Southern Democrats, who largely controlled Congress, refused to pass any civil rights Bill that was introduced in Congress. The chair persons of Congress’ committees tended to be southern white men and these were, by and large, racists and segregationists and opposed civil rights measures. It was northern Republics who, in fact, struggled to liberate blacks from the chains of oppression. One says all these because one is often baffled why blacks flock to the Democratic party, to liberals who take their votes for granted and seldom do any thing substantial for them. The Republican party stands for free enterprise economic system and for individual self help and one does not see any thing particularly wrong with that stance. The liberals in the Democratic party present themselves as the champions of poor people but, by and large, keep poor people down and perpetuate their dependency by giving them monetary handouts, and not making them to go train for skills and work and earn their own livings by themselves, as adults should. It is actually dehumanizing for any adult human being to be fed by other adults. That is unnatural. In nature animals survive by struggling to earn their living and those who fail to work hard simply die out.)

President Andrew Jackson in the 1820s made the Democratic party what it is today. As already noted, the Republican party came into being in the 1850s as the anti slavery and pro industrialization party. Back then, the Democrats not only supported slavery but were against industrialization; they wanted to keep America rural. Being rural means having slaves working in white plantations. The Democratic party of Douglas fought to keep slavery alive in America. (See Douglass famous debates with Lincoln.)

While two parties were evolving in the United States, two parties were also evolving in the motherland of Americans, Britain. The English Whig party transmuted into today’s Conservative party and the other party of note was the Liberal party (of Lloyd George). After the first world war, the Liberal party died a slow death (it still exists in skeleton form) and was replaced by the party of labor unions, today’s Labor party. Ramsey MacDonald became the first Labor Prime Minister of Britain in the 1930s.

Today, Britain essentially has two key political parties: the Conservative party and Labor party. The other parties, the Liberals and the Social Democrats are, for all intents and purposes, fringe parties. As already noted, the United States also has two parties, Republicans and Democrats. It seems that those with roots in England, Anglo Saxon people, tend to be comfortable with two political parties. Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Anglo Saxon countries, each has two main political parties. There must be something in the culture of England and her upshots that make for two political parties?

In continental Europe, the situation is reversed: many political parties exist. France and Italy have so many political parties that one does not even know where to begin counting them.

Some observers have suggested that the proportional representation system found in continental Europe account for the existence of multiple political parties there. In proportion representation, all political parties vie for election and after counting the votes cast, parties are allotted seats in the Parliament (French for council) according to their percentage of votes. Any party that has, at least, five percent of the votes is assigned some seats in the Parliament. This way many parties get to be represented in Parliament.

In the Anglo Saxon system, on the other hand, what exists is single constituencies where the winner takes all. In such a system, only powerful parties are able to win majorities in most districts hence are represented in Parliament.

I am not sure that this factor alone accounts for the existence of two parties in the Anglo Saxon countries. One suspects that there is a cultural variable at work in the phenomenon. Anglo Saxons value stability; two party systems make for stable polity than the divisive multiple party systems of Europe; France and Italy are almost always weak polities. They are so weak that the well organized German army generally walks through them. In 1870 Bismarck marched to Paris. In 1940 Hitler marched to Paris, and when he liked it, marched into Rome to support his threatened junior partner in the Axis alliance, Mussolini.

Let us just say that the Anglo Saxon world has a history of two parties. In the United States of America several efforts have been made to start third parties but they always fizzled out; the polity keeps marching along with its traditional two political factions.

By the twentieth century, the concept of democracy was accepted in much of the civilized world and party politics became the accepted mode of electing governments. As noted, this has not always been so. In the past there were no democratic governments anywhere and, as such, there was no need for electing folks into office through political factions. In the present world, most people accept the idea of democracy and political parties are the order of the day.


Political parties exist for one reason and one reason only: to compete at elections. They hope to win at elections and be given the opportunity to govern their polities. Political parties are organizations that exist to compete for an opportunity to govern their polities.


There are many types of political parties. There are the strong European political parties and the weak American political parties. In Europe, political parties are organized like government bureaucracies, with central offices, bureaucrats running them and with branches across the country. There is a central committee that manages this centralized organization with a party chair person at its head. Power and authority emanates from the center and travels downwards to the periphery. The bosses at the central office pass rules and those rules are implemented throughout the party structure in the country.

Every few years, the party has a national convention and elects its leaders. These leaders take their positions at the national office, usually at the nation’s capital and control the party’s activities. The leaders of the party, if in opposition, in the case of Britain act as the shadow cabinet. Here, each member of the central committee is assigned a functional area of government to monitor and collectively they become what is called a shadow cabinet: shadow minister of finance, trade, foreign affairs etc. When the party wins an election the shadow ministers essentially become the ministers of the ministries they had been shadowing. The chairman of the party becomes the prime minister (or chancellor in Germany).

The European political parties are structured along Max Weber’s bureaucratic lines, that is, hierarchical, with those at the top telling those at the bottom what to do; and following strict procedural rules. Orders come from the top and travel the organizational chart downwards to the lowest step on the party ladder. Indeed, the folks at the central office even determine who runs for elections in all the constituencies in the country. They select party members they consider party stalwarts, those who have worked for the party and run them for elections.

To be noticed for leadership position in European political parties, individuals must first apply to join political parties. When they join (some applicants may be rejected), they are expected to work for the party and prove their loyalty to it. Those who seem to have leadership skills are then selected by party leaders for leadership training and subsequently ran in elections. Simply stated, the national headquarters of European parties control these party.

The American party structure is very different from the European party structure. The national committee of each of the two parties in America are mere over sight committees and really do not have much power. To the extent that they have any power at all it is to raise funds for the party. The national committee of each political party is composed of the state chair persons of each party. The state committee, in turn is composed of county chair persons of the party. The county committee is composed of precinct chair persons of the party. Most of these committee persons work as volunteers and are not paid. Moreover, they are not full time party workers, they keep their day jobs in whatever professions they are in and on ad hoc bases help out with party activities. In order words, they are seldom professional politicians.

Americans do not have to join any political party and carry party member ship cards. All that they are required to do is vote for one party or the other. To run for election on behalf of a party, one is not selected by the party leadership. (In the real world, those approved by the party leadership, such as there is, tend to be the ones who run for office; at any rate, those who tend to be supported by the parties with party resources, including money and publicity tend to win elections.)

The individual simply declares himself a candidate for a particular party and competes in that party’s primary election. Several persons compete in the party primary election. Whoever won the largest vote becomes the candidate of that party. For example, during the biannual elections for Congress, each party holds a primary (say in March). Several candidates declare themselves as Democratic or as Republican. These candidates duke it out and an election is held. They usually campaign with their own monies or monies they individually raised. Let us say that ten candidates campaigned in the Democratic party, whichever one wins the largest vote becomes the party’s candidate to face the other party’s candidate during the general (national) election, usually on the first Tuesday of November.

The two candidates campaign and whichever one wins the election represents the constituency in Congress (Washington DC). Elections are generally conducted through the secret ballot system, that is, each voter goes into a boot and secretly casts a vote for one or the other candidate (and for whatever propositions, referendums are also on the ballot…citizens can place any proposition on the ballot by collecting 5% of the signatures of those who voted during the last election, within a specified time and having the state secretary of state verify the signatures; propositions are another way of passing laws, ones that bypass the various states legislatures).

The two political parties are evenly balanced in America. Pool after pool shows that about 33% of Americans declare themselves as Democrats and 33% consider themselves as Republicans and the balance consider themselves as independents.

Political candidates appeal to their base during primaries but during the November general election come to middle so as to attract the 33% independents if they are to win the election. Thus, whoever wins American elections tend to be centrist, moderate rather than be a flaming right winger (fascist) or left winger (socialist).

This situation has lead some political scientists to say that there are not much difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party. This is true up to a point. Whereas most American politicians are centrists, yet there are those who lean to the right and those who lean to the left. They are not just twaddle Dee and twaddle Dom as some social science professors tend to teach students. There are distinct difference between conservatives and liberals.

The two mainstream parties, the liberal democrats and the conservative republicans have distinguishing characteristics but agree on certain things. Both accept the reality of America and work for the nation’s survival. To even say something challenging the territorial integrity of America would amount to treason. Both accept the basic premise of American democracy and economy. Both parties accept democracy as their political frame of reference. Both parties agree that capitalism is the best economic system for America and want America to be capitalist.

Democrats want to use government to improve the lives of ordinary citizens, hence tend to favor big government and big government spending. Republicans tend to favor limited government and want the individual to fend for himself. As conservatives see it, the function of government is to provide the people with security: military and legal; apart from that leave the people alone to shift for themselves. Republicans tend to be in favor of unmitigated free enterprise whereas Democrats tend to prefer Keynesian economics.

Republicans tend to detest using the government for social engineering purposes, such as using the government to encourage abortion on demand and approve homosexuality. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to see the average citizen as ignorant and not knowing what is good for him. As such, Liberals feel like big brothers and know what is good for the people and want to use the power of government to get the people to do what they do not want to do.

Liberals think that homosexuality and abortion on demand are acceptable behaviors and want to use the power of government to make people change their attitudes towards these contentious and controversial issues. Liberals impose their policy preferences on the people with the understanding that the people would eventually change their minds and come to approve what they had hitherto detested. Liberals cite the case of civil rights. As they see it, the average American white was opposed to racial mingling and it took government passing laws that made integration mandatory, laws that, in effect forced white people to tolerate black persons. To the liberal, if the government had not used the power of coercion to force white people to see blacks as human beings, white people would still see black persons as not human beings and treat them as such.

Reasoning from this premise, Liberals think that the majority of the people’s current hatred of homosexuality would change if government used state force to make people accept homosexuality.

What these liberals do not seem to appreciate is that there is a difference between natural status and behavior. A human being is born black or white. He cannot change his color.

A human being can choose what to do with his sexuality. If he chooses, he can stay away from sex altogether. Homosexuality is a chosen behavior. But Liberals would like to make it a status thing by coming up with phony genetic studies showing that these people are born the way they are.

If human beings are programmed by their genes to choose their behaviors, they are no longer rational beings but animals. If they are animals, nothing prevents fascists like Hitler from deciding to kill them off. We do not cry when animals are killed. Why should we cry if criminals are born that way and to protect society they are killed?

There is great danger in reducing human behavior to genetic causation. This very foolishness is engaged by neuroscientists who tell the mentally ill that they are schizophrenic, manic, deluded etc because of their genes and consequent chemical imbalances in their brains. We know as a matter of fact that thinking alone does alter biochemistry. If a person thinks in a certain manner he can make himself excited and manic; if he thinks in a grandiose manner he can make himself deluded, if he keeps thinking that he is all powerful and godlike he may, in fact, alter his brain chemistry so that he now hallucinates.

Man is a thinking creature and a choice making one; to reduce him to only biological programming is a dangerous liberal sentimental trip. If liberals and their so-called neuroscientists manage to convince the gullible public that their behaviors are programmed by their genes, you might as well kiss civilization goodbye, for fascists would rise and rationalize killing homosexuals, the mentally ill and the mentally deficient because they cannot change and are born that way. If criminality is inherited then killing criminals can be justified, for why waste time and resources trying to rehabilitate them in jails if they are not ever going to change? Since criminals are socially unproductive why not safe society resources by wasting them? (And carrying this argument to its logical conclusion, since Africans are, more or less, corrupt, if their tendency to corruption is genetic, why bother trying to change them, why not throw a few nuclear weapons on Africa and get rid of them and populate the continent with decent human beings? By the way, these ideas are being discussed by white racists, so let Nigerians keep being criminals and think that the rest of the world think that it is funny for them to be nuisance.)

There are distinctions between liberals and conservatives. Some persons are naturally conservative and others are liberals. Conservatives tend to be self reliant whereas liberals tend to look for a big father to take care of them; they tend to transpose their dependency traits to desire for big government to care for them; eventually that government tells every body what to do, as in the monstrosity called the Soviet union.

Political parties exist to compete for elections. Generally, whichever party wins the greatest number of seats in Parliament is invited to form the next government. It proceeds to govern the land for however many years the constitution, written or unwritten, specifies before another election is held.

Britain’s unwritten constitution specifies five years for each government before another election is held. (The Prime Minister, however, can call for election at any time; also when the party in power loses a vote of no confidence on a key issue it resigns and calls for a new election.)

The US written constitution specifies two years for members of the House of Representatives, six years for the Senate and four years for the president. (The original US constitution did not have term limit for the president, but George Washington served two terms and quit and two terms became sort of the expected unofficial term limit. FDR ran for office four times and won all. To avoid that from happening again, Americans amended their constitution limiting the presidency to two terms. It is still debated whether you can bar a citizen from running for office; term limits seems a bad law.)

In the European context, often no single party wins an outright majority and has to form a coalition government. As I write, the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats, liberals and conservatives in Germany are negotiating a coalition government that would make Angela Merkle the first German female Chancellor.

Coalition governments tend to fall apart when partners disagree on key policy issues. In which case, new elections are called and new governments are formed. (Italy has had numerous governments since the second world war; each lasting, on the average, two years.)

Political parties are organizations that recruit members and train them for political leadership. They exist to take over governing of their countries and therefore make it their business to train for leadership. Members are trained in the art and science of leadership, management and governing. I am talking about Western parties.

Political parties are organizations of like minded persons, persons with similar beliefs, values and ideologies as to how society ought to be governed.

Political parties articulate the aspiration of those they lead, those who think as the party thinks, those with similar ideology.

When political parties are truly acting as such they tend to have party platforms, blue prints of what they want to accomplish should they win elections. Each party specifies what exactly it wants to accomplish for the nation and ask the people to vote for it and thus give it the opportunity to implement those ideas into public policies.

Labor and Tony Blair campaigned to devolve the British government, to reform the House of Lords and to bring about a strong economy. They won. They have devolved government by giving Wells, Scotland and Northern Ireland local Parliaments; they have transformed the House of lords by making its members life peers rather than hereditary peers; they have improve the economy; the unemployment rate in Britain is one of the lowest in Europe. In other words, the Labor party had an agenda and is accomplishing that agenda.

On the other hand, Nigeria is the only country in the world where political parties have no goals, no agendas other than to come and steal from the public treasury. Olusegun Obasanjo and the present crop of thieves at Abuja have a Nigeria with over 40% unemployment . And the criminals who call themselves Nigerian leaders have no shame at the level of unemployment and poverty in their country.

In any decent country, leaders with that much unemployment would be hiding their faces. It is only in Nigeria that the incredible happens. Folks do nothing for the citizenry yet they masquerade around as their leaders. Even gang leaders who go out of their way to way lay people and steal give something to fellow gang members. Nigeria is the only country in the world where the government does not care that its citizens drink feces in water and die at age 43.

Nigeria is that country where nobody cares for anybody. This is hell on earth, pure and simple. Bill Clinton came to office and balanced the U. S. budget and reduced unemployment to less than 4.5%. That is leadership.

Obasanjo comes to office, buys a jet and cruises the entire world, staying in fancy hotels while his fellow country men literally eat shit. This is hell. Nigerians are in hell.

Black man’s land is hell and our leaders are happy to have it that way. These shameless criminals ought to be shot on sight and save us the embarrassment they cause us. These days to say that you are a Nigerian is to say that you are a thief or a potential thief. What an inheritance we got from Nigeria.


I have, hopefully, delineated what political parties are in the Western world. Now let us look at what passes as political parties in Nigeria.

Nigeria was a British colony and, as would be expected, it developed British type political parties.

In the 1920s, Herbert Macaulay and his fellow middle class Lagosians gathered together to make some requests from the British colonial administration. They would ask the Governor General to make this or that changes, such as permit Africans to be hired in the civil services, particularly the higher civil service. In those days, Africans were limited to messenger and clerical positions in the civil service, whereas white Britons were allowed into the administrative class. The emergent educated Nigerian elite sought to be permitted to work in the higher echelons of the civil service.

This is hardly the place to review the colonial administration in Nigeria, but suffice it to say that political parties in Nigeria grew out of these early organizations agitating for participation in civil society.

In 1933 Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe came back from America with a masters degree in a new discipline called political science. Prior to leaving America, he obtained some training in journalism. He embarked on publishing broadsheets attacking the British colonial administration. He and similar minded young persons formed what was then called the Nigerian Youth Movement. This group agitated for the British administration, for example, to build a high school in Nigeria, Yaba College. This group eventually muffed into the NCNC. Zik, as Benjamin Azikiwe was called, made life a bit difficult for the colonial administration, criticizing every thing he considered “color bar”.

After the second world war, Britain, though victorious, was prostrate. Britain was exhausted and did not have the military wherewithal to control its sprawling colonies. America, the benefactor of Britain, refused to sponsor her going back to regain control of her colonies. Thus, in 1947, Britain reluctantly relinquished her Crown Jewel, India, to Nehru. Africans saw an opening for self governance and called for independence. Many constitutional conferences were held in the late 1940s and early 1950s cumulating in the Lancaster House conference that gave Nigeria independence in 1960.

Three political parties emerged in the years running up to Nigeria’s independence: NCNC, NPC ands AG. Whereas NCNC made a show of being national, it quickly became associated with the tribe of its leader, Zik. NCNC, for all intents and purposes, was an Igbo party. NPC did not pretend to be a national party, it delimited itself to the North, hence it was an unabashed Northern party. Awolowo’s Action Group party was actually the only ideologically based political party in Nigeria. It had a platform, a blueprint of what it actually wanted to do for all Nigerians. For a party to set out to, in fact, do something for Nigeria is an unheard of phenomenon in Nigeria. Unfortunately, given Nigeria’s tribal nature Awolowo’s exceptional political party became associated with his Yoruba tribe. Whereas Awo had meant the party for all Nigerians, yet the party became a defacto Yoruba party.

There we have it, three tribal political parties. These parties competed at the pre independence election and none emerged clearly victorious. The NPC formed a coalition government with the NCNC. Abubaka Tafawa Belewa was made the prime minister and Zik was given the honorific position of Governor General and in 1963 the equally vacuous position of president of Nigeria was bestowed on Zik.

The ensuing coalition government was mired in do nothingness. Nigeria slid backwards and the politics of tribe took center stage. The then Western region, Yoruba land experienced tremendous civil unrest in 1964.

I am not going to review Nigeria’s history here. I have done that elsewhere. Suffice it to say that in 1966 the military intervened and ended party politics in Nigeria.

All that is really relevant is that the immediate post independence parties were organized along European lines. I have reviewed how European parties were organized and that should suffice for information on such parties in Nigeria.

The Military ruled Nigerian until 1979. Before they handed power to politicians, Nigerians organized political parties. As usual, those emergent parties were formed along ethnic lines, with Awolowo’s party based in Yoruba land, Azikiwe’s party based in Igbo land and Shagari’s party based in Northern Nigeria. As before, the Northern party won with slight margin and ruled Nigeria until the military dispersed the politician crowd in 1984.

The military then ruled Nigeria until 1999, changing leadership hand. Military rule is a game of musical chairs, one soldier boy is bound to cut the throat of another at any moment. Initially, Buhari ruled (up to the present no one associates him with corruption, he and Ideagbo probably were the best government that Nigeria has mounted), then Babangida, the Maradona of Nigerian politics, the smiling artful dodger who took Nigerians for fools, dribbling them as the Brazilian football soccer star, his name’s sake, did. Babangida finally had enough from the Nigerian treasury and handed power to a lackluster Yoruba civil servant who was immediately dispatched by another military general from the North, Sani Abacha. Abacha then really, really turned Nigeria into his private preserve. All of Nigeria’s oil money was his. He was like the Saud Family in Saudi Arabia. Everything in Nigeria was his personal property. This man was so corrupt and useless that his name will forever live in infamy. It was alleged that he died of heart attack.

Abacha was replaced by another general, Abdul Salami. This man took as much as he could from the treasury and wrote an American style constitution for Nigeria and imposed it on Nigerians. He held an election and managed to have an ex military ruler, Olusegun Obasanjo given power. Apparently, he transferred power to a “civilian military”.

Several parties vied for the 1999 election but the peoples democratic party, PDP won and is still in power. The PDP has almost a strangle hold on Nigerian contemporary politics.

Nigeria’s new political dispensation is along the line of America’s. Political parties were formed so that they supposedly operated like American parties. However, in reality, they are a mix of European and American parties.

Each of the parties has a national committee that supposedly governs it. Each has a party chair person. The chair person and his national executive govern the party. But in reality the president of Nigeria places and removes PDP chair persons at will. Indeed, the President removes the president of the Senate at will.

(For some reasons, perhaps to cajole the Igbos? the Senate President is zoned for Igbos and Obasanjo plays musical chairs with these incredibly incompetent Igbo politicians; they never learn from their predecessors; one is removed for corruption, the very next one comes along and occupies the presidential suit of the most expensive hotel in Abuja. only God knows what Ken Nnamani has been smoking; at any moment now, Obasanjo will accuse him of corruption and the man’s SSS goons, of course, will have the goods on him, and make them public, and this idiot will be out the door and another Igbo Idiot will replace him as the senate President and repeat the charade. Igbo political naiveté baffles the mind; for a group that are supposedly smart to be such political dunces is amazing; they are played as fools by the more politically shrewd Nigerians.)

We really do not need to waste our time and energy describing Nigeria political parties, for they are not parties in the sense of organizations existing to articulate the people’s aspirations, with agenda of what they want to accomplish for the nation and competing for opportunity to govern, to implement their agenda.

What is called political parties in Nigeria are criminal gangs looting Nigeria’s wealth. That is all there is to it. There is no use pussy footing. We must call thieves by their real name. As our old folks used to say: call the devil Satan so that he is ashamed. Except that Nigerian leaders are beyond shame. These are antisocial personalities, criminals through and through and have no sense of pride, shame and guilt. These idiots fly to the West and despite their so-called high positions in Nigeria are searched like common thieves at European airports and yet they do not feel outrage and like men go home with resolve in their hearts to improve their country so that white boys would not treat them disrespectfully.

All that Obasanjo has to do is walk around Beverly Hills and Bel Air California at night and he would be harassed by the local white police. I know what I am talking about. I used to-do my jogging in that neck of the wood and cannot begin telling you how many times the racist police shadowed me, often stopping me and asking me ridiculous questions. Given Obasnjo dark color, and as we all know, in America the darker you are, the more you are assumed to be nothing and treated as such, he would be harassed. But then again these people have no shame. Even if harassed by racist white Americans these people shine it off and pretend that all is well in the land.

Given the opportunity to govern, all our folks can think of is how to steal. God, from what corner of Dante’s Inferno did these people come from?

Political parties in Nigeria are organizations training folks in the art of joining the free for all stealing fray; the goal is to see how much one can steal from the government uncaught. These people are experts are protecting their behinds. They do not even bother having an agenda for the country.

PDP, what exactly does that party exist to accomplish for Nigeria? Nothing. Ask Tony Blair and the Labor party why they want to govern Britain. Go find out. They work for England.

A political party ought to have a reason for being, but we are talking about Nigeria, that wonder land where the world is upside down.


Political parties exist to vie for elections. The winning parties generally form the governments. In this mode, Nigerian parties supposedly prepare for elections. They hope to win and form the governments. But to call what takes place in Nigeria elections is to abuse that word, election. Let us just say that the rich and powerful use their money to buy elections.

All elections in Nigeria, from 1959 to the present, were rigged. We do not need to belabor the obvious. Nor do we need to pretend that real elections where voters go out and vote for alternative candidates take place in Naijaland. The electoral Board simply fixes the election so that the party that is expected to win wins.

The gullible masses are bribed and they do what they are told to do, and if they refuse they are beaten up, even killed.

The boxes where votes are cast in get stuffed; opponents boxes disappear in transit to counting venues.

The Nigerian election situation is so pathetic that it is beyond even bothering with.

One is not a spring chicken and is by no means naïve. One is a political realist. As such, one knows that tampering with elections takes place all over the world. Man, after all, is an ego, not an angel. Egos are selfish creatures that exist for their personal survival and at best cooperate with other egos for their mutual interest serving. One is trained in Hobbesian/Freudian skeptical but realistic view of human nature. One has no misguided sentimentalities about how good human beings are. Human beings are not angels. They are self centered creatures. A human being will sell you down the river if you allow him. That just about says it all.

Even in America, some sort of election rigging takes place. We all know about state legislatures apportioning Congressional districts (apportionment), depriving poor blacks of the opportunity to vote for black candidates. Despite being about 40 million and 12% of the American population, only a few blacks are in Congress. (We just elected Barrak Obama, to the Senate, thank God, at last there is a Blackman in that all white domain.) I know about all the shenanigans that the white establishment engage in to disenfranchise black folks, such as literacy tests, poll tax requirements etc.

Congress itself is not free from corruption. Who does not know about Pork, logrolling, boon-ducks? In short, in America the powerful shaft the weak.

One is not expecting human beings to become angels. But one expects them to be decent in going about their selfish nature. Of course there will always be political corruption, even in the best polity, but if corruption can be limited to the fringe, say to less than ten percent of public officials, that ought to be acceptable. But if corruption is so pervasive that just about all Nigerian politicians are corrupt, well, that is unacceptable.

This is unacceptable because these folks will soon find themselves with no money to rob. The West is working feverishly to come up with alternative sources of energy. When that happens, Arabs will be left to drink their oil and roam the deserts as Bedouins, as they have always done. Nigerians will be left to starve to death.

At present, even the so-called rich Nigerians live like idiots, see, they eat like fools, grow fat, do not exercise and die from cardiovascular diseases. Just imagine what would happen when the anticipated starvation hits Nigeria, these criminals will be dropping dead right and left. It is really sad that human beings could do this sort of thing to themselves, or are Nigerians not human beings? Some times I wonder about that.

Let us not waste our time talking about elections in Nigeria, they are fixed. It is probably the case that some minds are somewhere in Nigeria figuring out how to fix the upcoming 2007 election. I assume that there will be an election? We can never discount the probability of some soldier boys intervening and wasting the thieves calling themselves politicians. Actually the soldiers do not have to kill any one. All they have to do is fire guns into the air and the little cowards called Nigerian politicians would scamper into underground burrows and hide. They go hide it out waiting for future opportunity to come for more robbing of the polity.


I hope that I provided some information on political parties and elections in general.

We all know that there are no political parties and elections in extant Nigeria. Let us just hope that by and by Nigerians would have had enough of the foolishness called corruption and decide to put their house in order. When they do, hopefully, this brief information on political parties and elections might come in handy, preparing them to form real political parties and electing their leaders, as decent human beings all over the world do.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

October 11, 05

Lecture 8, The Nigerian Media, October 13.

This afternoon, I took a look at some of the lectures I had mailed out. I was appalled at the many typographical, even grammatical errors in them. Please forgive me. I generally wake up at 4:30 AM, sit by my computer and type for 2.5 hours, read what I typed for another 30 minutes and then send it out. I am always in a hurry to get to work at 9AM. That does not leave me much time to make corrections on what I typed. As I said in the first lecture, when I get to the last one, #30, I plan to edit the entire lectures, add notes, references and bibliography. If you desire the much improved version of the collated lectures, please contact Africa Institute Seattle for a copy:

Posted by Administrator at October 11, 2005 07:28 PM


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