Nigeria Election And The Sorry Antecedents
Nigeria News take a look at the 2018 electioneering campaign and the shape it will take perhaps it will deviate from the bad past.
In the next few months, precisely by 2018, electioneering campaign will become practical. Billboards will begin to reveal old and new faces that will be aspiring for elected posts.
The political atmosphere will change and as usual, there will be an execution of some projects by governments at all levels to seek votes from gullible Nigerians.
Gone were the days when candidate readout manifestoes to convince the electorate on why they should vote for him. Today, it is about how much voter’s cards a candidate is able to purchase.
Voter’s Integrity is easily bought in the face of hunger. Most adults still have a vivid memory of the debate between the former Governor of Oyo State, late Chief Bola Ige and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General towards the 1979 governorship election in the old Oyo State.
It was a battle of wits and intellectual debate between the two lawyers. Politics was interesting, members of the public wanted more of it but it never happened again until 1993.
The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, late Chief MKO Abiola went into the live debate with the National Republican Convention, NRC Alhaji Bashir Tofa in 1993 before the presidential election that was announced by the former Head of State Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
It was a robust debate that eventually led to the freest and fairest election Nigeria ever conducted. It was a contest between two Muslims from a different geopolitical zone of the north and south. Nigerians went after their conscience and chose the man they wanted.
However, the results of the election were annulled. Intellectualism would have resurfaced in 1999 between the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and that of the Alliance for Democracy, Chief Olu Falae but the former opted out.
And since then, except in Lagos where debates were organized by the private sector for governorship candidates, this dispensation has come with brutality, thuggery and of course assassination.
Africa is still very far from making campaign grounds an intellectual arena. Political rallies are concocted by drumming and dancing, noise and assault.
As the country is preparing for another campaign in 2018 towards 2019 general election, the fear of assassination runs through ones’ mind. The political setting in the country is a do-or-die affair.
Let us remember one Otunba Dipo Dina, a governorship candidate in Ogun State who was killed and his killers never found. In Lagos, Engr. Funsho Williams, a candidate of the PDP was killed and up till today, his killers were never apprehended.
In 2001, perhaps because of his ambition to contest the 2003 presidential election, the then Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige was assassinated.
His killers are yet to be arrested. Just about a few months ago, a chairmanship candidate in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos was attacked by thugs just because he aspired for a position.
It is no more about an exhibition of intelligence and manifestoes, electioneering campaign now is about thuggery, blackmail and killings.