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credible election in nigeria
CAN WE EVER HAVE A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION IN NIGERIA?
If you interview even a beggar on the street of Lagos Nigeria, and ask him or her to state the three most important things that he or she would wish that Nigerians should have, I bet the person will simply reply; credible election, credible election, and credible election.
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This is to tell you how badly Nigerians needs credible election. Credible election will ensure that every other thing will be provided.
Nigeria is set to have another election barely six months from now but up till now, over 70% of facilities that will ensure a free and fair election has not been remembered talk more of been attended to. Voters card as at the time of writing this hub has not yet been updated. I could not even find my name in the voters’ registration database. I was asked to go back to GombeState where I did my initial registration while serving my country (NYSC).
The power tussle of who is to succeed Moris Iwu is not yet resolved as at the time of this writing. Even the political parties themselves are still not having their houses in order. One part of the country is trying to cause problem by saying that it is their turn to rule the nation. A notable member of a political party openly said on radio that ‘it was signed that they would have to rule for 8 years before handing power over to another part’.
The above statement is pointing to one fact that what we are doing here in Nigeria is ‘selection’ and not ‘election’. If it is election how would some caucus members try to force a candidate on the masses?
This hub would rather be too long if I start to enumerate the anomalies that have become part of the political system in Nigeria. And that is not what I have in mind for writing this hub. I wrote this hub with the belief that those in charge would have access to it, read it and implement some of the humble suggestions in it.
HOW TO HAVE CREDIBLE ELECTION IN NIGERIA
A lot needs to be done for credible election that we all clamour for to be achieved but below are some urgent measures that needs to be taken in order for us to have at least what all should perceive as being reasonably fair.
Change of attitude by all: election anomalies that we all experience now are rooted in attitude of all stakeholders in the electoral system. Voters should change their attitude of believing in money politics. This is one flimsy excuses that politicians give for adopting money politicking as their only strategy of rigging their way into power. Politicians believe that once money is given to those that they feel are the spokesman of each community, the power will automatically come to their door steps.
On the part of the politicians, the attitude of ‘do or die’ should be removed from the mind of the politicians. Politics should be seen as friendly game where you show how you are ability to market your reputation and brand. This is where the political parties should do their assignment. After all, one of the reasons why political parties were formed is to caution their members and instill fear in whoever they present as their candidate.
Credible election can be conducted by reforming the Nigeria police force: one of the main causes of irregularity in the Nigerian electoral system is the activities of miscreants. Since the police are the primary law enforcement agent that we have, overhauling the law that governs the police will definitely ensure that adequate security will be provided for the elections. The police reform is a step that must be taken if we really want to have a credible election.
Adoption of a two party system: practicing two party systems will help create room for strong opposition that will help checkmate the activities of those at the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission)
Appointment of credible individuals as INEC chairman: you can’t expect someone of questionable character to be the chairman of INEC and still conduct a credible election. I know one will be saying; but how do know who is credible? The simple answer is that we all know ourselves.
Institution of a central database of voters with full biometrics features: I live the slogan of the EdoState governor which says ‘one man one vote’. The voting system should be made in such a way that a biometric system be integrated into voting machine that will automatically detect anybody that attempts to vote twice. The only problem is that those at the hemps of affair will not want to implement this. As for being possible, there is no doubt about that.
Adoption of computerized voting system: this will make the above measure possible. Adoption of a computerized voting system will ensure that controls be implemented. I am not talking about the ‘usual paper implementation of policies’ that has almost become part of our national anthem. Seriously, the major problem here is corruption. If we as Nigerians can collectively say no to corruption for once, credible election will be definitely achieved in this beautifully endowed country of ours.
Naija must survive!
- AVAILABILITY OF CREDIBLE AND UPDATED VOTERS REGISTER: for there to be a credible election, the new electoral act stipulates that voters card should be updated at least 120 of the election. The question is; has Nigeria updated her voters register? Till the time of this writing, bids for contract of (DCM) is still being reviewed.
This no doubt tells us that the terminal date for voters register will definitely not be met. And this will presupposes that election malpractices will still be very much around.
Again, looking at the array of people (presidential aspirants), it is glaring that the same sets of people still parade themselves as potential president of this wonderful country of ours.