Syndicated newspaper columnist and TV analyst, Mr. Tope Fasua, may…
By: Sani Abdulrazak
As Nigerians go to the polls once again to elect leaders that will pilot the affairs of the Nation in the next four years, the polity has never been this heated and political tension is almost at a climax. Elections in Nigeria are inevitable as it is the only process in democracy by which we (the masses) choose who lead us over a stipulated period of time (4 years) as enshrined in the constitution. If this process is free, fair and credible, it deepens our democratic process, encourages active participation thereby improving good governance.
Sadly, this is not the case in our dear country. The gross electoral misconduct and violent campaigns in the last few days/weeks within the country is mind boggling. Though not unprecedented, what makes it remarkable however is today we see Nigerians (not foreigners) burn down INEC offices and buses conveying electoral materials. This to me is the height of insanity, simply put. It is highly condemnable and barbaric. It shows the level our desperate, selfish and heartless politicians can go to get to power. Fellow Nigerians, We must all rise up against such enemies of Nigeria. They don’t care about good governance, violence is second nature to them. We are beginning to see their ugly faces. To say these selfish politicians will inspire, elevate and lead a better Nigeria is to bathe our children in sewage. To whom brain is given, common sense is expected (Apologies to Sunday Wale Adeniran).
To an average Nigerian on the street, separating electoral process and violence is like passing a camel through the hole of the needle. The process is synonymous to Vote buying, ballot snatching, intimidation of voters, kidnappings, violent campaigns leading to destruction of properties and loss of lives.
At the heart of all these are our youths who ought to have contribute their quota to deepen our democratic process thereby improving qualitative leadership, they should ask questions and hold our leaders accountable. Youths are the driving force of every nation. They hold the key for continuity in fundamental political values, creating stability in the face of instability of the past. They learn the skills and knowledge necessary to lead civic engagement, education reform, job creation and quality healthcare.
I therefore respectfully appeal to our youths to rise up and shun electoral violence. May I remind us that how our electoral process is determine the leaders we get through it. Let us all participate in the electoral process, protect and make our votes count. For all that which divide us; we are united in the common goal of a better, united and prosperous Nigeria. We are Nigerians first before any political party or region. Remember, we have no other place to call home, let us therefore salvage it together.
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.