Politicking Against the Tide: The 2011 Presidential Polls In Nigeria!

by L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu

Widespread irregularities including violence before this time has seriously undermine Nigerians’ confidence in their democratic system. It had become obvious that those elections where organized under military head-of-state. And that of Obasanjo, became a quasi-military election. A military regime cannot properly be described as operating within a normal political system.

All military governments come to power through illegal and unconstitutional means, particularly through coup d’etat, involving the use of violence. Also, they mostly use unconventional means to rule legislating through decrees, with a personalized rule. General Yakubu Gowon ruled for nine years, from July 1966 to July 1975. Immediately after is fall, his regime was denounced as being characterized by inefficiency, indecision and authoritarianism. Under the military, the civil service amassed enormous powers, as military rulers had to rely on the bureaucracy not only to implement policy, but also in its formulation. The ideological character of the military, the institutional form of the civil service and nature of social organization of the Nigerian society all cont ributed in no small way to the civil war.

Thank-God for pure civilian rule! See decent academic professors proclaiming results as INEC returning Officers. A change we can see! The democratic process in the April 2011 NASS and presidential elections is becoming itself a major means for resolving our internal conflicts and political constituencies. Mr. President should accommodate Buhari. Electoral process is like a football game, winners and losers need understanding to steer Nigeria but on a careful note (watchful, careful and reading hand-writings).

The Constituent Assembly of September 1977 worked out a presidential constitution for the country as a result of the failure of the 1963 Republican constitution whose un due emphasis was on regional autonomy with the predictable result that at different times the various regions threatened to secede from the Federation. The Nigerian elites who took over from the British (at independence in 1960) made no serious effort to evolve any nationally shared values essential for national unity. The factors, which led to the Nigerian civil war, include North – South division and ethnic conflicts, group politics, the structural dilemma of the Nigerian army, the census controversy and the Federal election crisis of 1962 and 1965. All these structural problems though real, were manipulated by the political elite in their competition for power and resources, which led to the civil war (1967-1970).

A credible mechanism for peacefully resolving the Nigeria’s numerous political disputes can come through this way. Such action can leave many convinced that democracy can guarantee equity and justice and hence can protect their interests. The situation we are trying to prevent is those that promote a high level of corruption, unlawful arrest, and lack of commitment to the values of honesty, social justice, equality, fairness, accountability, and the rule of law. The situation that can emancipate the Nigerian prisons from the worst shape into a home where law-breakers are corrected. With the situation presented above the question that may be asked is; How soon is Nigerian changing?

Ethnic minority communities in the far North (preisely Katsina, sokoto and maidugari) are moving to hijack stabilizing politics of fairness efforts to save their religious -based hold-unto-power belief and hostile practices.The resulting action promotes sense of insecurity thereby encouraging groups to use violence as an alternative. Proliferating of civil unrest and deadly conflict is unacceptable. An election that produces widely accepted results cannot entertain or make room for post-election violence such as those that is taking place in some part of the north today. These actions could degenerate into wider and more intense forms of conflict. This government should move to arrest the situation. The should intervene to save the innocent blood.

The people of Nigeria under this democratic dispensation have set up two protected agenda to save our image from further deterioration. This is the first such indigenous election unanimous initiated to shame critics, despite being backed by this government and USAID, for preserving the veritable image of Nigeria.

With the approach of the polls, some are being hired by local politicians, while others undertake independent acts of violence to demonstrate their capacities and thus capture the attention of any politicians who may need their services. In an atmosphere of almost total impunity, a thriving market for political violence has developed. The rules of supply and demand for political assassinations, kidnappings and other strategies of intimidation are freely applied throughout the country; those willing to enter this competitive market have to prove their competency and added value by using distinctive tactics and technology. This includes the use of explosives,

The local Nigerien settlers within Katsina, Maidugari, Bauchi and Sokoto are responsible for the decline in public-accepted polity through destruction of lives and properties in the north where tracts, while the Nigerian electorate point fingers at illicit immigrants from Niger Republic , Chad and Sudan invading Nigeria boundaries to mar Nigerian electoral systems, cause havoc and atrocities and disturb Nigeria’s peace, the custodians of the Nigerian immigration affairs in the place of the minister of interior, Capt Iheanacho is being suspended on this lapses. Nigerian immigration services should sit-up, go into remote towns and villages to ascertain who are bona-fide Nigerians and those Arab-foreigners who are here to instigate war. They are known for massive thumb-printing in favour of any northern candidates when it comes to election time. No wonder His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan ordered closure of borders during the crucial presidential election last weekend. If not that Capt. Iheanacho flopped. Immigrant scrutiny must take place immediately

A nigeria4betterrule study identified rapid religious violent activities in the northern region where those immigrants attract protection from aboriginal Hausas.We have to ask ourselves, do we allow people blood to be wasted for nothing. Nigeria made a mistake 43 years ago and we should not allow that same mistake again. And since we have a peaceful alternative by relocating Edo,delta and Yoruba’s into the republic of benin for peaceful reason. I think, we should get for it. We can get the required number of members of the senate and house of representative required. Look this are prove that there are yorubas in republic of Benin. videos and that is the gate of the king of the capital of the republic of Benin. The other major concern in the countdown to the polls is INEC itself and its capacity to deliver a free and fair election. In the past half year it has been plagued by a grave credibility crisis, arising from several sources, notably funding problems and the logistical challenges that were disturbingly evident during voter registration.

It is not that difficult. You see, Nigeria already has a dual citizenship in its constitution. 1. We need to change it to that provision of the constitution into “multiple citizenship.”But the extension of the borderline of Benin republic to beyond the present location into the river-area of Niger Republic, there is NO immigration post or officers at it. And also the Nigerian constitution did not recognized people of Niger Republic as Nigeria citizenship .While the fourth issue is that the border line of both countries can not be closed.

The government can still frustrate this breach of peace by arresting the perpetrators on the sponsoring-terrorism charge. The 2011 presidential election is such a fair that an atmosphere in Nigeria today testifies it.

There is indeed a serious, widespread acknowledgement of confidence over INEC’s competence

and readiness, to fast-track the 2011 presidential election that brought about an international accepted standard like this. The truth is that president Jonathan won. I am a witness. He swept south-east, south-south and south-west transparently. INEC conducted a free and fair presidential election this year. The April elections face a serious prospect of hitch-free, which in turn levitated the Nigerian nation itself.

The major success are three-fold: acceptance of the election results by wide sections of the populace, leading to an agreed legitimacy and ultimate rigidity of President Jonathan’s authority; built faith in elections as an avenue for peaceful resolution of conflicts and discouragement of violent, constitutional group actions and empowerment of governance, leading to national growth and political stabilization in West Africa including Cote D’Ivoire . Many Nigerians are already convinced that the April elections will be free and fair, even though the lead-up has been too marred by the undemocratic practices of the parties, particularly electoral violence, INEC incompetence before the appointment of Prof. Attahiru Jega and the partiality of state security agencies as at before.

Today, there is widespread belief that the vote will be difficult to manipulate, irrespective of the major parties in the areas where incumbency is enjoyed; April 26, 2011 gubernatorial poll will prove it. If this confidence materializes, the results may be commended by wide sections of the populace and the international community.

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