Much ado about 2019 general election
IN 2019, who will be Nigeria’s Messiah? What will be the aftermath of the 2019 general elections? For how long can we continue to grope in the dark and allow problem expanders, dream manipulators, satanic programmers, progress arresters, shame distributors, poverty activators and spirit of fear to thwart the existence of peace, unity and progress of our dream country Nigeria? There should be no brouhaha about the future elections. In the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras, Nigeria our beloved country has been faced with gargantuan problems of economic, political and sociocultural dimensions. The Ghanaian novelist, Ayi Kwei Armah’s The beautiful ones are not yet born aptly describes the electoral problems in Nigeria. The cabals, political gladiators and political godfathers have wreaked havoc on the polity. Hence, all the stakeholders in the electoral process should be ready to be proactive in order to make the next general elections a huge success. Stakeholders such as the INEC, political parties, electorate, the judiciary, the local and international observers, mass media, the government in power, among others, should work in unison for the success of the 2019 elections.
Essentially, there is a need for the constitution of government in the democratic process to actualise functions such as protection of citizens, promotion of individual and general welfare and provision of essential functions like the maintenance of the armed forces for external defense, and the police force for internal peace keeping. The dividends of democracy include the sustenance of fundamental human rights, independent judiciary, free press, accountability, observance of the rule of law, vibrant civil society, elaborate citizen participation in government, open and dynamic policies, free and fair elections justice and equal right and sustainable development. The bane of previous republics in Nigeria was the emergence of professional politicians as against the nationalist agitators who wrestled with the colonialists who dominated our country in the colonial days. The professional politicians, the ‘chop chop’ politicians, went into politics to amass wealth. The pre-independence political agitations knew no tribe, class, religion or any other consideration that usually hindered genuine unity. The post-independence politician is divided into two other categories: the builder politician and the ‘chop-chop’ politician.
The irony of the matter is that it was the Nigerian politician who taught the Nigerian soldier the art of politics. He it was in the year of our Lord 1966 who invited the Nigerian soldier to drive him, with guns and bayonets, out of the Parliament Building. Since then, it has been a running battle between the professional politician and the politician in army uniform. Coups in Nigeria which is also known as military intervention in politics occurs for the economic, political, sociocultural, military reasons as sign post of political problems and foreign intervention.Lack of political ideology for absorbing purpose to release spiritual, mental, and physical energies of our people for achieving our goals of radical economic prosperity. A man or nation without an ideology is lost. So, our country needs a dynamic ideology for the nation’s good. Tribalism was a factor that contributed to the multi-party system in our political day. Tribalism, as fanned by our enemies, kept the political parties warring until the armed forces intervened. The matter looked like George Orwell’s ‘All animal are equal but some are more equal than others’. A nation at a cross roads!
Every Nigerian should think about these posers towards preparation for the 2019 polls. Is the nation using the 2006 census figure of about 140 million people for the poll? What is the fate of the roughly 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora clamouring for e-voting which is not entrenched in the 1999 Constitution? How about the problem of Boko Haram insurgency? How do we handle the Fulani herdsmen’s invasion? Can the existence of multi-party system of about 50 political parties bring about the needed electoral result for the country? What about the problem of litigations and counter – litigations on the result of the elections? What is the solution to electoral fraud? How do we overcome security risk before the 2019 general elections? A school of thought advocates that in a one -party state welded to genuine scientific socialism lies the nation’s ultimate salvation; that the only ideology that can bring about our present desire of a new Nigeria of justice and social order is a new system of laws, new ethical standards based on socialist ideology. And that the establishment of socialist Nigeria would bring prosperity for us and the posterity.
Another school of thought suggests the replacement of the 1999 constitution with the 1963 Republican constitution which favours parliamentary system with the belief that the presidential system breeds corruption and very expensive. But one wonders whether the constitution is the problem or the operators. No matter how a system sounds perfect, the operators of such system are pivotal as no system can operate itself. Man is the measure of all things. The history of census in Nigeria began in 1886 and the last was in 2006. Nigeria ought to have had the next census in 2016. Are we going to use the 2006 census figure for future elections and other social programmes. The military which took over for 13 years (1966 – 1999) claimed that it was for sanitising the nation. But can we have political power without corruption in Nigeria? It is utopian. You cannot put a crown on a clown and expect a king. The hood does not make a monk. Military rule is an aberration.
Meanwhile, as the nation prepares for the 2019 general elections, all hands must be on deck to checkmate the spirit of error, tragedy activators, evil markers, rebellion, satanic arrows, spirit of oppression and breakthrough amputators from truncating the nascent democracy. The crux of the matter is that military option is not the alternative. Anything besides civil rule may spell doom for the nation. Your guess is as good as mine. Why ask why! From the archives, Nigerians should forever be grateful to the modern nationalists who fought and won independence for Nigeria, namely: Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamid Azikiwe, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Dr. S.E Imoka, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Michael Okpara and Chief Nyong Essien, among others.
Kudos is hereby given to the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu – led INEC on the free, fair and peaceful Osun West senatorial by – election, the continuous voters registration exercise d the recent successful gubernatorial election in Anambra State. As it gets ready to fix the future gubernatorial poll in EKiti and Osun states governorship elections in 2018, his team is counseled to do the needful. How can Nigerians embrace the change mantra of the present administration for the good of the nation? Finis!
- Olaniyi is based in Gbongan, Osun State.