The Coups In Our Elections
ElevateNews takes a look at the coups in our elections since 1999 that democracy returned to the country.
What is happening in Nigeria today may be worse than what has happened in the past if it is not checked now.
Many of the soldiers who plotted the coups that truncated democracy in Nigeria in the 60s have mingled with political practitioners to manipulate elections.
This has been the coup since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democracy after years of military rule.
The 1999 general election was massively rigged and for eight years of the civilianised military ruler, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, governance was militarised.
Coups were plotted to remove State governors through the State lawmakers. Good examples were the former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Rasheed Ladoja.
They were booted out on the order of Obasanjo. Their removal was unconstitutional and illegal, yet it stood.
One could remember that in 2003, the Peoples Democratic Party swept all the Southwest gubernatorial seats not because the party was popular there but because the election was a coup against the ruling Alliance for Democracy that earlier ruled the region for the first four years.
The last time Nigeria had a free and fair election was on June 12, 1993, which was won by late MKO Abiola.
However, since the return of democracy in 1999, the electoral process has become so violent that many lives had been lost.
This includes the killing of the former Nigerian Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige.
His wife, Atinuke who happened to be a judge also died while seeking justice over the murder of her husband.
A Lagos politician and former governorship candidate of the PDP was murdered in his bed.
He was the only figure that could challenge the domination of the Action Congress, a party of the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the time.
The electoral coups against Nigerians have deprived them of choosing their leaders in a free and fair election.
A great number of political Officeholders and aspirants had been killed through what I can call “civilian coup”.
It was Obasanjo that broke the backbone of the Nigeria military brass when he retired many of the generals as he assumed office in 1999 but today these retired soldiers are now in politics, using the military strategy to manipulate polls.
They initiated the militarised democracy that the current administration is practising.
President “General” Muhammadu Buhari’s consistent disobedience to court order is a clear indication that democracy is being raped again in this country.
The plan to make laws against “Hate Speech” is a coup against democracy.
The regulation of the social media is a coup against journalism and free speech.
The violence and killings that ravaged the Kogi governorship election two Saturdays ago is a coup against the people.