Sunday, April 12, 2015

Nigerian Politics is Still Too Primitive for Civilized Politicians

Nigerian Politics is Still Too Primitive for Civilized Politicians

Since the independence of Nigeria on October 1, 1960 to date, no Nigerian election has been factually free and fair, because of rampant cases of various forms of rigging, including vote buying, mass thumb-printing of ballots, snatching of ballot boxes, forging of voters cards and terrorizing of voters and political candidates followed by political assassinations and riots which precipitated Nigeria into the catastrophic internecine civil war from 1967-1970 that claimed more than 1 million lives. But Nigerian politicians have failed to learn lessons from the terrible mistakes of the past as the news reports on the 2015 general elections are reading like headlines from the past. More than 100 people have been murdered in political violence during the elections on March 28 and April 11.
These horrifying and terrifying incidents have only rubbished and tarnished the global image of Nigeria.

The two major political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Party (APC) have committed most of the hellish atrocities of political violence by their extremely desperate and greedy politicians using political thugs and hired killers in their bloody political campaigns. It is unfortunate that there is no Nigerian politician in public office without shedding innocent blood to get there.

In the 2011 elections, many National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members working with the Independent National Electoral Commission Ad-Hoc Staff in the north were murdered by rampaging irate mobs. And no amount of compensation will bring them back to their families and friends. But have they learned any lesson from the horror of 2011? No. Because, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Austin Okojie reported during the Saturday April 11 elections that security operatives arrested a former Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, Maj. Gen. Edet Akpan (retd.) and 10 NYSC members for alleged electoral offences. If they were mobbed and lynched, the ignorant public will blame any of the political parties and not the desperate and greedy NYSC members who have violated the fundamental raisons d'être of the NYSC scheme: "created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war. The unfortunate antecedents in our national history gave impetus to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps by decree No.24 of 22nd May 1973 which stated that the NYSC is being established "with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity". But NYSC members have become agents of partisan politics and rigging of elections that will worsen the political crises plaguing the nation.

When the youths who are the future leaders of the nation are now accomplices of the desperate and greedy corrupt politicians, then we cannot expect any improvement in the development of democracy and good governance in Nigeria. This is the tragedy of Nigerian politics. And no civilized politician will want to join such a primitive congregation of political barbarians in their devilish struggle for political power.

See reports of violent incidents during the April 11 elections in Nigeria on Nairaland

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Publisher/Editor of Nigerians Report Online and author of In the House of Dogs and other books. 

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