People won! But as what? From the start of the whole election process, those vying for the mandate of the people showed clearly their desperation to become leaders by all means, and that they were willing to do anything to remain in power, or win back a seat.
Candidly speaking, this election was a clear departure from what was organized in 2015 under the Goodluck Jonathan regime. The burden for this kind of elections must rest majorly on the ruling party, the president and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). I had thought that the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections will be an improvement on the grievous errors made in the presidential elections, but clearly, it seems that presidential election was far better than this. While many blames can be thrown around, but I must confess that in my opinion, much of what happened in this elections had to be heaped on the ruling party and its members. The roll call of the states where violence was clearly displayed reveals that the ruling party had highly vested interests in how the elections turned out, and were ready to go to any extents in their search.
This retrogression pains me so much and I hope that the Muhammad Buhari administration can go back to its drawing board, reevaluate its conscience and then come out with reforms that will improve the sector. The APC may have won majority of seats, and majority of states, but at what cost?
I recommend the following:
1. That the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections should come before the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
2. That Nigerian elections should be made more electronic, at least in the way we transmit votes. This issue of votes getting lost on transit, INEC results capsizing and drowning in the high sea cannot continue. Election results can be transmitted electronically to the venue of the collation, instead of all these manual displays.
3. I sincerely fault the time it took to announce the winner of the presidential elections. I keep asking myself what changed between the Jonathan-Jega elections and this Buhari-Mahmoud elections. By Sunday in the last elections, most of the votes were being summarized and the winner was already obvious to all. But, in this year’s election, days passed, raising suspicions of manipulations.
4. So soldiers were deployed? Well, this is not the first time. Soldiers are being deployed in almost every elections in Nigeria. However, what exactly did they achieve in this elections? Right under their nose, impunity reigned in Rivers state, and men were killed. Having a successful elections is not a function of deploying myriads of soldiers, rather, the body language of the president and the ruling party plays a pivotal role. The Jonathan administration did not show such desperation to clinch to power which has been characteristic of this present dispensation.
5. Finally, the president has been touted greatly as a man of integrity, but I’m not one bit impressed. Two things necessary for the success of any leadership is Integrity of heart and skillfulness of hands (Psalm 78 vs, 72). Integrity alone will not put food on a nation’s table. I hope in this second chance, the president will assemble a better and more skillful cabinet (something similar to Jonathan’s), and not make his cabinet appointments a rewarding ground for incompetent loyalists and party stalwarts. On a strong note, I have a verdict to pass on his present cabinet INCOMPETENT. If this is not done, if he ends up assembling same set of incompetent politicians, then I expect that this 4 years will be all about blaming PDP again till the end of his tenure. He has a chance to do the right thing, I pray he takes it.
6. Now, a word to you the reader. I read my bible two days ago and it was said concerning the Almighty God that He “silences the shouting of the Nations” Psalm 65 vs. 7 (NLT). So, if you think that Nigeria will disintegrate because of this election, I tell you, it will not. God Almighty is committed to this nation, and He is the Governor amongst the nations. So, this tumult will die down, and Nigeria will continue as one. I only pray that God will help our leaders, especially the Federal Government, to do the right things, going forward.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
In hope of Eternal Life,
J. M. Obodozie