REPEATEDLY, there have been calls from various quarters for peace and caution to be exercised during the forthcoming 2019 general election but if the signs that are seen at the moment are anything to go by, then every stakeholder in the Nigerian project has every reason to be worried. For so long, every election, since 1999 when Nigeria returned to its present democratic experiment, has been fraught with one spate of violence or the other. This is not only sickening but should be a wakeup call to everyone.
Sadly enough, our politicians have lost their moral scruple, considering the manner and ridiculous approach by which they address issues of national relevance. They can be seen on both the traditional media and the new media as they respond carelessly to burning national issues. The killings in many parts of the country are yet to be checked. However, the comments by these politicians clearly show that rather than being bothered, politicising the tragedy appears to be the right thing for them to do.
In the last few isolated elections that have been held in some states, the temperament of our politicians is disturbing. The Anambra, Edo and Ekiti governorship elections left a painful appeal for many. The elections showed a strong monetisation process that de-humanises our collective will and parades us as an unserious nation. Sadly, politics in Nigeria can only be handled by moneybags who have, at one time or the other, been illicit beneficiaries of our common wealth. Unfortunately, nothing tangible is being done to stop this nightmare. In the just-concluded governorship election in Ekiti State, there have been accusations and counter-accusations of an entirely flawed process. The monetisation of the election by the major political parties showed how un-democratic our polity has become. There have been reports of how votes were bought and how voters were induced by money, thereby questioning the credibility of the election.
No nation thrives on fraudulence and Nigeria cannot be an exception. We must rise as a people and demand what is best. We must reject any attempt at rubbishing the sanctity of democracy. Except we do the needful, generations yet unborn will suffer the consequences of the shortcomings.
- Godswill Omuope, Jos.