A NEW ELECTORAL PAGE
Nigeria is on the march again, looking for Mr.President. The same goes for governors in at least 31 states and new set of lawmakers for all the federal and state legislatures. The country faces a crucial period again in its political history. The next three weeks would most likely reshape our collective destiny as citizens of this great country. But it is another rare opportunity for people to take their destiny in their hands by voting wisely, and according to our consciences. The alternatives will be four years of hardship, and grumbling about some selfish treasury looters who parade as leaders.
The campaigns have been vicious cycle really. The desperation for power is unparalleled, characterised by weeks of bloody violence during the campaigns spiced with sponsored political killings. Do we take it then that the political class has not learnt any lessons from the ugly past , in spite of claims to the contrary? The international election monitor group has said that much, as members express serious concern for the election just three days away.
Today, the electoral commission, INEC, has an urgent task to replace the Resident Electoral Commission(REC) for Osun State, following the court’s declaration that the incumbent cannot conduct elections. Events of the past few weeks of violence unfortunately shook whatever shade of confidence many people already had in the system. A public poll is most likely to reveal that in spite of the resurgence of interest in the current electoral process, voters are also likely to approach polling units with some caution or even trepidation. They need protection from party thugs who are ready to be unleashed at the snap of a finger by mindless sponsors.
The police and other security agencies have been talking tough on curtailing violence but past experiences state otherwise. Do the police have the capacity to do a thorough job? That capacity for instance includes personnel who are not likely to cringe at the sight of cash from desperate politicians who want to use them for selfish ends. INEC also needs the public confidence to do a good job, worthy of commendation from within and outside the country. Several times, the body has told Nigerians that it would be up to the task. Can we take the chairman for his words and give the team a benefit of doubt? We can only remind the team that the men who were given the job in recent past ended up being disgraced out of office because they failed woefully in the discharge of that great responsibility. The commission under them failed to earn the continued trust of the people. The professor leader failed to profess faith in the job he was entrusted with.
Dear eligible voters, it is time the country wrote a new chapter in the electoral process. Say it loud with your vote that we have had enough of a worthless education system; tell the politicians that a serious country does not develop by groping in the darkness for decades. It’s time to say no to those who feed fat on our commonwealth, at your expense, in spite of protestations. Any candidate who has no interest in your welfare must be shown the exit. You can identify them in your constituencies. Vote them out and open a new electoral page.
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