The culture of the Nigerian politics has become violent and more so that becoming a political office holder requires indulgence in violence and other sharp practices that lead mainly to the flooding of the political arena with an assemblage of power and law breakers. There is no better cogent and befitting example to describe the subject matter order than the 2019 forthcoming general elections that seem a litmus test and deciding factor for the political/electoral future of the country. The success and failure of the 2019 election will actually unravel if there will be or not a generational transfer of an aged long political/electoral default.
It is obviously a season of political and electoral madness and all lineaments of the disease syndromes can in brevity be tagged “High level Political volatility”, evident in the razzmatazz rocking the season. This unarguably assures Nigeria of a gloomy future if identified anomalies are not holistically and collaboratively addressed by all political stakeholders ( the politicians and the electorates ), as the system is long overdue for a overhaul. Thus, it becomes imperative to have a panorama of the issues surrounding to aid in the easy digestion of the matters arising:
1.Political autarky/ and Docility
• Self-disfranchisement by not prioritizing vote.
• Refusal to register for Permanent Voters Card (PVC)
• Registered for Temporary Voters Card but refused to collect PVC
• Having PVC but refuse to vote
• Voting on religious, ethnic and tribal grounds
• Political Glaucoma: electorates succumbing to bribe from politicians
and taking faulty decisions by minding the present gains at the detriment of their future.
2. Political foolery
• Snatching of ballot boxes, political, thuggery,gangsterism and hooliganism.
• Assassination of perceived possible oppositions before or on election day.
3. Verbal raping
• Hate speech and making of other inciting utterances capable of setting the polity ablaze, excused on the premise of electioneering campaigns etc. Although there are no viable domestic laws penalizing such offence, hate speech has over the years sown a seed of discord and contributed in political polarization along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.
4. Political sycophancy/ gimmick
• Defection/ political philandering by politicians on egocentric and unscrupulous premise. This can be adjudged from the numerical boom of political parties.
• Not having a political tomography of the precedents of politicians by the electorates
5. Statistical manipulation
• It is no news that the best mechanism for election rigging in Nigeria is inflation of number of votes in favor of desired candidates. INEC stands to be at the climax of perpetuators of this act.
6. Pursuit of Title Repeat/Nigeria Display of power.
• This is very typical of African leaders where the desire is to retain power at all cost; it has to do with maintaining the political status quo. This is otherwise known as the political hegemonic struggle and furtherance of power drunken ambitions. This is born out of the sit tight syndrome.
7. Security Decrepitude
• Unlawful deployment of security personnel to electoral venues. E.g the controversy that trailed and marred the Rivers State House Assembly bye election of 18/08/2018.The recently concluded governorship election in Ekiti State gives a mother example of this menace as that election was perceived to have resulted in the indulgence of politicians in the deployment of security personnel to intimidate voters and politicians alike in order to sway vote to a particular direction of interest by those that control the security apparatus.
• The political puppeting of the Nigeria policeforce and other sister agencies is sure an exhibition of a faulty security architectural framework not rooted in core democratic responsibility of justice, transparency and diligence in the discharge of assigned portfolio and can be further interpreted as a psychopathic phenomenon.
8. Political isolation/Religious illusions :
• This is a blunder committed by the electorates. It is an apolitical syndrome that forbids one from voting on the premise that is against ones religious believe to do so.
• The obnoxious mentality of my vote does not count. If votes really don’t count, the money bag politicians won’t expend all resources at their disposal to canvass for votes from the electorates.
9. Testing troubled waters/ Financial Muscling.
• The administrative space should not be used as an experimental ground for political novice and suckling who have no political independence or experience and thereby introducing trial by error method to the system of governance as this has damaging repercussions.
• Financial muscling is best interpreted in the imposition of candidates without requisite qualifications or pedigree, thus redefining the system of governance to be a plutocratic style.
10. Executive high- handedness
• Flouting laws with impunity on the premise of above the “Law” mentality or abusing the immunity clause as enshrined in the
• The practice of treating developmental issues with reckless abandon, indulging in elephant and stomach infrastructure projects. This is particular to politicians across the board of governance (functioning at federal, state and local government capacities).
11. Canvassing for vote on election day.
• This an electoral offense perpetuated by political office holders and seekers. INEC stipulation as contained in Section 99 of the Electoral Act 201 (as amended) states that electioneering campaigns commence 90days before election. Contrary to this is a political sacrilege that attracts serious sanctions.
12. Double faced politics.
Presenting deceptive, mouth watery and hocus-pocus manifestoes to bamboozle the electorates into voting for politicians with fraudulent intents is the height of electoral decay.
Having navigated through the issues surrounding in terms of structural causes and symptoms that tend to immortalize corruption in the electoral process, it is worthwhile to provide antidotes geared at ameliorating the height level of political/electoral bastardization.
From the discuss so far, it is unveiled that the political and the electorate class have fair share of the blame and this translates the irresistible appetite to redirect all to a political asylum where there is sure rehabilitation from all traits of political/electoral lunacy as diagnosed so far in this analysis and accountable for the high level of political/electoral disturbances Nigeria is bedeviled with. The enumerated and x-rayed symptoms are obviously grievous sins committed by all elements that function in the political space and cannot be condoned or pardoned at this crucial time that the nation is suffering a political strangulation and aspiring for a better tomorrow.
Before I log out of the discuss, it is recommended that a call for attitudinal and ideological transformation where political decisions are divorced from either religious and tribal sentiments, party affiliations and other issues that cause a ruination of the attainment of political and electoral objectives is considered propitious. Only when there is a deviation from blame apportioning and focusing on pragmatic moves as recommended above can Nigerians be assured of a revamping of a gradually demeaning political/ electoral systems. Its time for positive change. I hereby urge all Nigerians not to just to say something but do something by thinking and behaving right to suit all existing electoral laws in preparation for the 2019 elections where lyes the ticket to brighter future for our great country Nigeria.
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
By: Uwode Eseoghene Josephine