By Kehinde Amusan .O.
“What shall it profit a man who keeps silent in the face of unbridle tyranny and abysmal cluelessness.” – Dele Momodu
Injury Time: Beware! Beware! As security is a continental problem faced by most African states, not even excluding Nigeria, the acclaimed giant of Africa. Hardly, anywhere is absolutely safe in the country, particularly, in some parts of the northern Nigeria, where the insurgent Boko-Haram has founded their homes of destruction. Should we say the eastern part of the country is safe? No! They have their itching back as well. Neither is the western part of the country safe, as they cannot afford their pants on the line.
However, the unsecured state of the country as peculiar to every part of Nigeria, here, is not set for discussion, but, how the security porousness of Nigeria tends to whirl the storm against the coming election and leave its consequences for the next four years of compromise.
Nigeria is a nation pleading for vent in the closed palms of politicians, particularly, political office seekers, who we thought were messiah, but only to know later are ruthless selfish seekers, who would do whatever it takes to hit their darts at the right spot in triumph of the coming election. Even before then, now, their campaigns and rallies are worrisome, especially when it involves threats, blames, cloaked hate speech, allegations, among their many ways of tainting opposing parties.
Recently, last week Friday, the Nigerian Tribune reported the PDP, on Thursday, “alleged a plot by APC and ‘certain agents’ of the Muhammadu Buhari Precidency to load ammunition into the vehicle branded in PDP colours.” The report further enunciated the allegation against APC by PDP, that “in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media and Publicity PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party stated that intelligence at its disposal stated that the APC had contracted some criminal elements to use the vehicles to cause mayhem and pandemonium by firing into gatherings in various part of the country, after which the ruling party and the agents of Buhari Presidency would blame the attack on our party and candidates.”
Whereas, the alleged party, APC confirms the PDP allegation as ‘unsubstantiated’ and a threat to free and fair election in the forthcoming election which as reported by Vanguard newspaper last week Friday, Oshiomole, National Chairman of the ruling party, who insisted at a meet with a delegation of the ECOWAS Election Monitoring Team, that his party, “APC is working towards… ensuring that its members comport themselves as true democrats.” “He, however, said he regretted that the opposition party was not ready to abide by the rules, but rather engaging in actions capable of dragging the name of the nation and that of the National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the mud.”
Unfortunately, both parties utterances suggest neither of the parties feel safe with of their coexistence. Well, the shortsighted persons would say: those are necessary, or norms of a multiparty system, but need I remind them, that the truth of this matter remains the description of dangers ahead; seen in few days to decide. And the political prophet, who sees ahead of events, Oshiomole, the National Chairman of APC, according to Vanguard newspaper said all these unsubstantiated allegations are not good for the forthcoming general election. Indeed, precedently, the danger ahead is at the vantage point from now, if the advocates of security campaign in the country are no better than perpetrators and persons leveraging on the country’s security porousness. This among many other antics and grifts of the Nigerian political office seekers and their respective party informs the dangers ahead, which would unfold as: vote-trading, underage voters (specifically at the state election).
One of the newest and fast-selling market in this season (election) in Nigeria is Vote-trading. The persuasive utterance for its advert is: Election is coming; it is time to trade and earn as much as #10,000 or more without stress! “What is the essence of holding onto a PVC, when hunger is staring at me. I better sell it for economic advantage, instead of waiting for my vote not to be counted.” This is the kind of conviction upheld by some electorates in Delta state, Abia state, Anambra, Bauchi, Niger state, Osun state, Kano, and Bayelsa as reported by the New Telegraph on last week Saturday.
This act of vote-selling is endorsed by most of the supposed hopeless electorates in Nigeria, whose conscience and sanity are not in for the race of patriotism, integrity nor refusing the conmen, who hide under the umbrella of democracy to avoid the heavy tears of the public; while fastening no bridle or reins on the wrist and ankles of the grift general, who pretends to sweep the dirt in the room, which the wind returned via the open windows and doors left ajar. Options exhausted? No! neither is there any best alternative to the options. They are all the same chameleon we know.
Fortunately, in this abyss, there is an extra life to sustain us (Nigerians) before taking off on the four years miles of hardship or betterment. And the currency for purchasing that ‘betterment’ is not selling our votes to potential buyers in the name of alleviating poverty, as it is conceived by those concerned; but offering resistance to the wile of the political office seekers and their respective party. Be rest assured, that selling your vote will not assuage poverty, but add to its strength, as the reflex of your apathy, which end up crowning bad governance. It is best we show them our worth is invaluable.
Underage voters are teenagers below 18 years (the required age for eligible voter in Nigeria), who queue at the poll, ready to choose who will be their next leader; when the law clearly believes they are too young to make the right or best choice for themselves, while being manipulated by the political tricksters for their self-interest.
Unfortunately, at the northern part of Nigeria, particularly Kano, the law is just a mere word of men, which holds little water for their actions. Thus, some underage voters have been reported by media through images, videos, and reports (implicit), to have been spotted voting during elections since 2011 till recently in February, 2018 local government election in Kano. According to Punch newspaper, “electoral crimes thrive in Nigeria, because offenders are not punished.” Little wonder, underage voters took the stand at the poll in 2011, 2015, 2018 ( LG election in Kano); and may be in 2019, if no or little effort has been made by the concerned body meant to prevent ineligible voters in the coming election.
Lasis Olagunju in his article titled The final battle of the generals, described Nigerians’ attitude to bad leadership. According to him, “they are encourage to go on because we have offer them no resistance. Our reaction to their everything, good and bad, has been to line supine and take them as they come.” “And they must be very amused at our at our hopeless indolence.” He added.
One of the most enormous debt not easily put paid to is that of ‘Ignorance’. It may cost an individual or a nation its existence or dearest possession. Thus, what would ignorance as justification for selling votes by some Nigerians cost them or the nation as a whole in 2019 and beyond? Maybe the Nation’s frontier of unison would crumble in the face of crises enthroned by their ignorance. Maybe abysmal atmosphere of four years of bad governance would set the ironic pace in the pages of history. Maybe the insatiable attention given to educational and health sector would be diverted fully to providing the people with “packaged garri, sugar, and groundnut,” since the ignorant and poverty driven Nigerians’ wishes are some political office holders and seekers’ passion.
However, before our tranches of nightmares begin to take turns in our dreams for the next four years, maybe we can start counting the little, little things, which we never thought would count; by not owing the debt of ignorance and not giving in to our poverty driven mind to decide our fate in the next few days to election. According to New Telegraph in a report on last week Saturday, a villager in one of the remote areas in Kano was reported to have said, “it is true people came from the city to purchase the PVCs although many people, despite their low awareness, refused to sell. “In fact, one of the politicians that came to purchase PVCs, was shown hell because he received the beating of his life, and since then, we have not witness any other person coming to buy the PVCs.”
Thus, our collective resistance to these dazzling dangers that accompany this season (election) would terminate the ruthless efforts of politicians, for a stronger front against democracy choking up in the closed palms of the mediocre.