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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Discourse 311 Fraud, Moneybags and CPC

Discourse 311
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

Fraud, Moneybags and CPC

Both Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) do shoulder the responsibility of stopping the ongoing fraud in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) regarding the use of fake cards in its ongoing membership registration exercise. In this task, the responsibility of the former is largely moral, while that of the latter is constitutional. Desperate politicians who thronged the party are setting new records of fraud in the history of our political culture in their bid to use Buhari to hoodwink the masses and capture power in states where the presidential candidate has large followership.

The call has become necessary because, surprisingly, the party leadership is backing the fraud, a practice that is an antithesis of its promise to use the party as a platform for progressive politics. If the fraud is not checked, it has every potential to wreck the prospects of the party and spoil the legendary image of Buhari himself especially given his position as the party's Chairman, Board of Trustees and, understandably, its natural presidential flagbearer.

The story is simple. Many gubernatorial aspirants in the party do not want to play the game by its rules. They want to singlehandedly determine every stage that would lead to their nomination. Aiding their ambition and encouraging it is the poor financial state of the party. Whoever has money will have the upper hand. Simple. He will have everything twisted in his favour regardless of any INEC procedure or the provisions of the party's constitution. And the source of his money is not an issue. What is essential is to have the money, pay the party leadership, contribute handsomely to funding the party and the way becomes his. The entire state executive of the party will be dissolved at his instance; an interim leadership that is favourably disposed to him will be sent to his state; it will solicit for his funding; and it will approve his wishes.

It is not therefore surprising that the complaints are the same across the affected states, whether in Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna or Bauchi. Such aspirants who have earned the goodwill of the National Chairman of the party are sponsoring candidates for the chairmanship of the party executive bodies at state, local government and ward levels. Through these aspiring chairmen, or directly on their own, such gubernatorial aspirants have printed hundreds of thousands of fake party membership cards and distributed them among the masses, waiting for the party congresses that are just about to hold. At the congresses, the fake membership cards, which outnumber the meagre genuine 50,000 maximum which the party sent to each state at its debut, will be used to elect the executives nominated by such gubernatorial aspirants. When inaugurated, such party executives, who according to the existing guidelines of the party will be the party delegates at all levels, will back the candidate who sponsored their success. A gubernatorial candidate of CPC has then emerged. Then Buhari will take the lead in backing such a candidate. The masses, working on their trust for Buhari, will vote for the candidate, as they did to Isa Yuguda in Bauchi in 2007. Your Excellency is then formed!

The person supporting this scheme is the National Chairman of the party, former senator Rufa'i Hanga, who within a short time has earned the bad reputation of being extremely unreliable. Supporting him are many close associates of Buhari himself who have their 'boys' working in concert with the Chairman. There is a fundamental difference between Buhari and these people. They focus on winning elections, hook or crook, in line with the ideologies of their former parties - the PDP, the ANPP and the UNCP (the 'PDP' of Abacha if we can recall). To them politics means power; and power yields money. As they play it, politics is livelihood. Buhari, on the other hand, as we all know, believes power is for service which must be hinged on the rule of law in government; then power itself in a democracy must be attained through internal democracy and free and fair elections. As he plays it, politics is a cause, not a livelihood.

These schemes will only produce governments that are inept and corrupt, like the one we have in Bauchi now. It is totally worthless though it came to power on the platform of opposition politics and with the backing of Buhari. The present membership of CPC is overwhelmingly from ANPP and PDP, and so is the majority of its aspirants for political offices. There is the need for the party to prove itself better than both PDP and ANPP by being transparent in its conduct and prudent in its affairs. So far, its national chairman has not proved that difference.

Tomorrow, Monday, 29 November 2010, the national leadership is sending a delegation of lawyers to defend the use of fake cards in its registration exercise before a federal high court here in Bauchi. An order was duly secured by aggrieved members of the party. It baffles me that a party that goes about dropping the name of Buhari can stoop so low to defend a clear case of fraud. Nothing can be more shameful. Bauchi is just one out of many cases. Its masses will pitifully be deceived again via the same route if care is not taken. The intention is to usher in a stooge governor who will allow outsiders to once more ransack their treasury and leave them without water, healthcare, education or security.

The solution fortunately is simple. The party should print millions of cards if it wishes and sell them to interested members through due process. However, it must validate previous ones that were genuinely sold by the former excos in various states while rejecting any fake card printed and distributed by any contestant under whatever circumstance. Then it can conduct its congress and primaries accordingly. If time is against it, let it use only the genuine cards distributed so far. It is assumed that any serious member must have acquired his long ago. There are about ten gubernatorial candidates in the state, for example. Let them all contest on this level playing ground. Simple.

Buhari needs to be firm on this matter in his characteristic measure. He carries on his shoulder the trust of the masses who will always subscribe to his judgement and presentation. He stands to account for that trust on the day of judgement. He must be under no illusions about that. His popularity is a gift that engenders a responsibility. "Then you will certainly be asked, that Day, about the favours (of God)." He can easily do this through his position as the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, its highest decision making body. No fake membership cards. No worshipping of moneybags. Period.

INEC would also need to wade in, just in case Buhari's effort does not yield the desired result. It has the duty to ensure that all political parties live to a certain standard of transparency in the conduct of their affairs, including congresses and primaries. These are the embryonic stages through which governance is ushered, whether good or bad, and to which neither the body nor we, ordinary Nigerians, can afford to turn a blind eye.

In conclusion, for the avoidance of doubt, I would Iike to state that I am not a card carrying member of any party. On the affairs of Buhari, I have maintained an advisory interest while I keep to myself the constitutional freedom to express my opinion regarding any issue that partains governance in my fatherland, Nigeria. I am thus also interested in the affairs of other candidates. As it relates my state, however, I owe its citizens the responsibility to aid in blocking any further attempt to hoodwink them, regardless of the platform that may be exploited to achieve that ignoble end.

28 November, 2010


MAG said...

This development is sad and worrisome but am confident it will get to the Chairman and he will surely act as appropriate.

Zak said...

Thank you for this. Buhari must act swiftly to deal with this mess. He must not disappoint his teeming admirers nationwide.


Jan/John Boer said...

A big thanks to Dr. Tilde for airing this situation. A giant plea to Buhari not to become yet another international disappointment. Many, including citizens of other nations members of other races and adherents of other religions, have cast their hope on you for this round. Demonstrate to us you can do it as we expected. I write from Vancouver, Canada.

Anonymous said...

Dr tilde has said it all, no more no less. The likes of sha'aban in kd and dan marke in katsina are doing just that. We are watching and waiting for their likes patiently the d day will come.

Anonymous said...

It is really embarrassing and disheartening that such things do happen in the most popular party to a common man. I believe that the General and other patriotic stakeholders will vehemently block such misconducts.

salihu said...

This unholy act of forging membership card is being perpetuated in certain religious center in Bauchi where thousands of CPC forged membership cards are being distributed, therefore I 'd advise that CPC national leadship act quicly and decisively.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that people are just thinking of winning by all means. Nigerians should open their eye and resist these bandits canvasing as politicians.



Anonymous said...

Dr Tilde has just opened the can of worms. He just touched the issue as it affects his Bauchi. In Kano its much worse when you have the same party chairman as a candidate for governor in the state. The whole situation is further muddled by escapees from PDP whoare turning the matter into a cash affair. I heard that at the famous Wapa where the bureaux de change operate, they can tell by mere smell the dollar from a particular candidate.
As you rightly mentioned, first Gen Buhari needs to take action. If he fails, INEC must use the legal powers conferred on it. Lastly if both don't, then it falls on us VOTERS to change it.
We must be discerning in using our votes and make them count.
We have seen Buhari influence in 2003 and 2007 and both times we were betrayed. We are 'shy' but should not be bitten thrice.

Khalid Imam said...

As out great Nigerian novelist, Prof. Chinua Achebe would say "The Trouble with Nigeria," and by extension all its pseudo -political parties, is simply and squarely that of complete absence of sincere and patriotic leadership. When wolves masquerade as sheep: what do you expect if not foul play? My God save Nigeria.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

As usual Buhari is up again to be used. He was used by Babangida to overthrow Shagari and he was dumped. He was used during his tenure at PTF, monies were misappropriated wantonly, he was used by politicians to win elections only to be dumped later. This man has not learn't anything, is he really worth the trouble?

Muhammad said...

Not a real suprise seeing how H.E came to power in bauchi and turned to bite-off the fingers that fed him. It is now up to the teeming supporters of Buhari to come together and fight-off these political leeches. Buhari can only do so much but if we stand up to be counted, we can surely make a difference.
Dr. Tilde keep on the good work.

Anonymous said...

Dr Tilde as usual captures, only too perfectly, the unfortunate political situation of our dear country. Only this morning, I was in a discussion with a couple of friends on FB where Buhari's virtues were extolled. If the good General allows his party to be hijacked by moneybags and lose credibility; then what hope does the common man have. Something needs to be done to save the situation and quickly too.

Anonymous said...

Can we assume that the hope we perceive is drailling again in Nigeria.Oh ALLAH help us by stopping this rascality.Please Buhari act NOW,or else this people will destroy the last hope & the last chance.

Bashir Yahuza Malumfashi said...


Honestly I pity Muhammad Buhari 'cos he is in dileama right away. That's what Hausa people targed "Gaba kura baya sayaki!" Considering what's happening in CPC, actually 2011 seems to be bleak, very bleak indeed. Consider what is happening in Kano for instance. Despite the assembly of good and credible people like Col. Lawan Jafaru Isa and Dr. Auwal Anwar but some scruplous elements are trying hard to hijack the mandate to... who's character is questionable leadership wise. The story is the same in my home state - Katsina. What type of leadership will the type of Yakubu Lado Danmarke will give Katsinawa to be frank and sincere? This is the guy that lacks good and sound education. He seldoms say anything as a Senator in the Upper House or move a motion for the interest of his people. Despite all that minuses, the guy bent, by hook or crook to become the Governor of Katsina State (Allah forbid)! The former Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Masari is not also different from other PDP looters. After warming the polity for years as speaker, the guy sneaked to CPC, trying to steal the show by hiding behind General Buhari. May Allah open the eyes of Buhari and give him the clear vision to select good leutenants as himself, to work for the general goodness of Nigeria. Amin.