Rate this
0 (0 votes)
"Process problems and hopes for Nigeria's election"
0 out of 5 based on 0 user ratings

"Process problems and hopes for Nigeria's election"

Musa TemidayoAs Nigeria prepares for elections, voters are wary about past experiences and looking for candidates who will create positive change, writes Musa Temidayo, 24, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Nigeria.

It is no news that come February Nigerians are at the crossroads, going to the polls once again to decide which team should continue steering the course of the country or which other team should take over.

For the purpose of a brief introduction about Nigeria and its election processes, Nigeria is a country with over 350 ethnic groupings and correlated different political motives ranging from the individual standpoint to the ethnic perspective and on to the various political parties.

Over the years, Nigeria’s electioneering process has been embedded on the mindset of power at all cost; not even for the interest of the common man. Even the leaders that had no shoes now have countless shoes and appear to have fogotten that some children go to bed without legs. Like a former President said, it is a do or die affair. If you are caught up in their road to getting their interest being achieved the decision is theirs, not yours.

In past elections in Nigeria, aspiring officeholders and their supporters have jockeyed for position. Episodes of political violence occurred in several areas. Several people have lost their lives, some lost their businesses, and houses are burnt to show the grievances of opposition parties. Most citizens do believe that the whole election process is just a charade because the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) seems to be tailored along the lines of the ruling party and rigging of elections was carried out by the smartest of them all. You see voters getting paid at polling booths to vote for a candidate. I would not blame them; they just wanted to get their own share of the “national cake” that might not get to them in the next four years of whoever is in power.

On election day in some areas, ballot boxes are being snatched and where a party appears to be winning, the opposition might just seize the ballot boxes. Some political fraudsters even employ people to thumb print on ballot papers during the night, before the actual commencement of voting has even started! Some voters are just not interested. To them, who becomes the next leader has got nothing to do with how they going to survive to meet their basic needs. They would not even come to the polling booth –  they have ninety-nine problems and not voting is not one of them.

In the spirit of the coming elections, I feel there is a somewhat great zeal in Nigerians and the voters at large about who becomes the next leader of this great country. The political arena and the whole campaign crusades should be underpinned by issue-based politics, not words of calumny. Politics is getting heated up, the two major leading political contenders are saying their very best, trying to attract votes in their favour. Many eligible voters that I have come across and talked to do not want to vote for a leader just because he knows what it means to have no shoes, but because of the kind of positive change the said leader is capable of effecting. I guess this is a great achievement for our “nascent democracy”.

As a way of concluding, I hope the major Presidential candidates will agree and be present to a truly independent political debate, that this coming election will be a violence free one, that no sort of electoral misconduct will be recorded, that our International Observers will do their reporting in fairness and honesty, and whichever of the candidates that wins the election will reflect the people’s true choice.

photo credit: boellstiftung via photopin cc
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

About me: I am from Nigeria, currently studying International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Osun state. I’m also the Editor-in- Chief for the department. I love travelling and singing, and have  interest in Management and Developmental Issues.

Aside from studying, I work as as the Chairman of my department’s magazine. I want to be a Manager-Human Resource & Conflict Management, and also hope to serve in the Nigerian foreign service.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments