By Adeola Aderounmu
Nigerians must insist of credible elections. It is the first prerequisite for the turning point that we continue to seek for.
We know that corruption, stupidity, senselessness and outright madness dominate Nigerian politics but credible elections remains the most single important avenue to start re-addressing our national woes.
Next in line is the scrapping of the EFCC and its replacement with a genuine, transparent, efficient and neutral body that will zealously pursue investigations and prosecutions of political criminals, looters, fraudsters and others who mismanage public/private funds. The new body must be able to arrest or prosecute anyone irrespective of their positions in the government or society.
When our elections are good and when any kind of political thief at all is sent to locations like kirikiri maximum prison, discipline and sanity will return to our lives. The future will be ready for our children.
However I don’t think Nigeria should have any elections in 2011.
Come September the 19th 2010 I will vote again in the Swedish Elections. I voted 4 years ago as well.
My voting card has been sent to me by post. I can actually vote before September 19 at some designated centres. But if I wait until the 19th, there will be a lot of people and I must cast my vote latest 1800hr.
Nigeria should probably avoid elections in 2011.
If Elections are conducted in Nigeria in 2011 under the present arrangements of things, political assassinations and kidnappings will rise to new heights. Many saints and lambs will be slaughtered in the survival game of Nigerian do-or-die politics.
Any election that will be conducted in Nigeria must meet international and acceptable standards. Anything short of that must be avoided. The time on our hand between now and when INEC planned to conduct new elections (January-April 2011) is likely too short for Nigeria to achieve the prerequisites for credible elections.
As I write I am convinced that all the political parties are already planning how to stuff ballot boxes with fake election materials. Plans are in top gears in Nigeria to ensure multiple registrations and multiple voting among many other electoral vices.
In 2007, across Nigeria from the Deep Delta to the Hot Deserts of northern Nigeria, PDP chairmen, godfathers, touts and thugs across Nigeria sat in secret locations thumbing on electoral materials. Other political parties fought hard too in this useless game of dirty politics but the machinery of the PDP was too sophisticated in these cheating games plus having Maurice Iwu doing the deeds of the most wicked ones. See how people were sweating in secret locations heavily guarded by men with sophisticated weapons of war and even cutlasses!
Under the present circumstances in Nigeria this feat will repeat itself in 2011. PDP will once again use the machinery of the government to outwit the others. Political madness will continue and Jega will be helpless. He will cook lies like the actors before him who occupied the seat. The problem will not be Jega.
We fail to see that the system in Nigeria have turned all good men and women to vultures and stupid liars. In today’s Nigeria I have no living hero. I am standing alone on my belief and principles of do it well or get out the way! Don’t ignite my anger by reminding me of your favourite internet-popular czar because Obasanjo, Andy Uba and the jet loads of prostitutes and raw dollars are still flying.
The malpractices associated with our elections must be tackled before new elections. The scenario of stuffing ballot boxes, multiple voting, voting at secret locations, intimidation, assassination connected to elections and as a matter of fact the simultaneous eradication of corruption and the eventual delivery of the dividends of democracy are tied to one thing: credible elections where votes are counted to elect public officers knowing that the votes will be re-counted every 4 years.
If a politician knows that his position is jeopardised if he doesn’t deliver in office, he or she will start to perform before the next voting season. We must ensure at any future election that votes are what bring people into offices and can be used to sweep them away. Until then the intimidation, kidnapping and even assassinations of political opponents and genuine reporters of political affairs will rise and we won’t have performances in offices. Organised corruption will remain our hallmark.
Since we can have a new face for our anticorruption agency after a fine electoral process, then those who loot even after being voted into offices must face judgment. Hopefully the useless immunity clause will be removed by emerging revolutionary minds in our society. Let everyone go to judgement irrespective of their positions.
Nigerians must insist on the removal of the immunity clause after a viable financial corruption agency is established. EFCC is not on my mind. That is just a toothless bulldog whose activities where ruined since Obasanjo’s yeye 3rd third bid. EFCC died with the 3rd term agenda. Wake up gullible people!
What then do we need in 2011?
In 2011 the Ministry of Internal Affairs must step in. That Ministry must work hand in hand with all other public and private institutions in Nigeria to ensure that it makes an appropriate list of Nigerians. The Ministry of Internal Affairs must ensure that every living Nigeria carries an identity card with each person having a specific number. That number will be a key number for the electoral commission.
We must find everyone living in Nigeria and ensure that they carry an identity card. In everyway possible double or multiple registrations must be avoided and punishable with long-term imprisonment. I recommend 15 years minimum.
In 2011 Nigeria must gather together her computer gurus, forensic experts and statisticians who know what figures and numbers represent. This group of people are part of our sources of the hope for the future.
Look around, see the computer gurus in Nigeria. Get the technology, train them if necessary and give them the incentives to allow them face the task without fear or favour. Computer experts and statisticians in Nigeria must rally round the Internal Affairs Ministry and INEC. They should propagate these ideas. They are experts and they know what to do.
Between now and the end of 2011, they must work round the clock to make those missions possible and they must report to the appropriate authorities when some idiots start to rare their ugly heads in multiple registrations.
In 2011 Nigerians must ensure that one major thing happen. This is the radiation of both truth and trust among the citizens-that we can make it if we work together. Our collective aim will be to ensure that this process work. This process will establish everlasting sanity when it comes to identification of individuals and the eventual benefits in elections and other endeavours of life.
I am tired of people saying this is impossible in Nigeria. If this is impossible then it means the black man is not intelligent. It means that he is so foolish that he doesn’t even know what he needs to get himself a decent life and to make his society better for his own benefits. Are we stupid? Are we retarded?
Impossible is nothing! Candidly from my perspective, Nigerians should forget about elections in 2011. I tell you all these assassination will cease. Political violence will vanish once those illiterates, thugs, educated morons and daredevil politicians know that something is on ground to computerise the system-something that will checkmate their atrocities before, during and after elections. They will simmer down. Political manifestos and reasoning can prevail again in Nigeria.
Let each person carry an identity card with peculiar numbers. At the end of 2011 or whatever time our geniuses have finished with the identity card registration processes, INEC should send out voting cards that tally with the identity cards. When a person cast his or her votes, the system automatically records it. And since we have put our geniuses in place at the beginning to avoid double registrations, attempts by people (some will beat the system anyway) to vote twice will be minimal.
But I tell you with the simple finger print technology and dedicated statisticians and forensic experts on ground, there may never be anything called double or multiple registrations. This is where the rule of law, its effectiveness and application come into play.
We must not forget that if we fail in our next election, the black race failed, again! We are then simply dumb and foolish. We will then not be able to protest that we are not intelligent enough to carve our activities and carry them out successfully. If we fail it will go a long way to show that colonisation of the black race was far better!
If we fail like we did in 1959, 1979, 1983, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, then take it or leave it Nigerians are very bad species of the black race. If we fail again, then there is something wrong with our cognitive abilities. A thorough anthropological research will be required to verify why we allow the few thoughtless people among us to continue to dictate the pattern and emergence of our political structures. We know that our political display and the outcomes reflected by extreme poverty and diseases for examples have been used as the benchmark to “judge” who we are and how we think.
The turning point for Nigeria is now or never! We have had enough of stupid and useless elections since 1959! Haba ! Ki lo deee!!
Did we pay mugun fees? To whom? Let’s get the ID card scheme and elections right jooo!
My suggestions may not be the most appropriates especially against the backdrop of our extreme diversities of opinions. Our views of life, essence of living and the way we see relationships between humanity, public service and our interplay with nature are too diverse that we have always failed to find common grounds. It’s a dilemma.
Yet I’m convinced there are ways to pursue and execute credible elections that will neutralise all the electoral failures since 1959. We are 140m but democratic successes have been recorded in India where you’ll find more than 1b people.
INEC must ensure that all Nigerian voters are registered not only on paper but on the computer system in all your offices across the nation.
Please don’t give us the excuse that Nigeria is not yet that developed. We are sensible and we must begin to do things in compliance with the present age and technological advancements.
Credible elections after 50 years of waste and hopelessness must happen now or we will never have them.
Postpone those elections until the initial things are done right! Why the rush? Where are we heading with stupid elections?
Put everyone on the database and ensure that the compilations, distribution/collection of voter’s card tally with the finger prints or any other forensic/character recognition feature.
Nigerians should be able to vote even before the election dates to avoid crowding at the voting centres and late voting on the last day.
Apart from the voting centres or tents on the streets, open up the post offices and other special centres for pre voting.
Men and women above 80 years old and people with disabilities should vote before the actual election day if they so wished. Send them special forms with your staff and party representatives in attendance. Provide credible witnesses when these categories of people cast their votes at home or at the hospitals. Don’t tell us you don’t have the possibilities to serve everybody, unless you mean that INEC can’t think of how to solve problems or face tough challenges.
The Electoral Commission must ensure that the election materials are available several weeks in advance. As suggested earlier, let our pre-voting period span at least 2 weeks before the actual voting day.
Once a vote is casted, that person’s name is ticked on the database as “having voted”. Therefore an individual cannot vote twice. INEC’s staff members must be well educated and trusted. Those found wanting should be dismissed immediately or prosecuted if they engaged in criminal manipulations.
When the final count is made, the cumulative total of votes casted must tally with the ticks on the central database in your establishment or at your headquarters.
INEC must function not as a Jega-entity but as an organisation with structures that any dude can mange with minimal intellectual capacity.
INEC must avoid half-baked elections or do-or-die elections just because we must have elections. In 2007 we became a laughing stock in the comity of nations in the name of power transfer. It was one of the biggest shames I’d faced in my life. The black man was reduced to “incapable” to do the right thing. In addition to outstanding stigmatizations, he became the one who can’t count and add.
We want to get it right this time and we don’t want any excuse.
The people should know how the electoral commission is collaborating with the various ministries especially the Internal Affairs’ Ministry.
Tell us how the postal agencies can work with you to ensure that voting cards or papers are delivered to the right persons from age 18 when the time comes.
If it will take 2 years to get everything perfect, please start now. Provide a timeline of what it would take and how Nigerians can have credible elections.
In our next elections, everything associated with violence and stuffing of ballot boxes must be made irrelevant and worthless.
Stuffing of ballot boxes and printing of fake electoral materials will be useless if a person’s number is ticked on the database after casting his or her votes.
Please don’t tell us that we don’t have the technology. We have the money for anything in this country. We can afford 10 presidential jets if we so desire. What is computer technology for Nigeria? Piece of cake!
Nigeria and Nigerians must not go ahead with any crude voting methods. All the political parties are probably now scheming on how to surpass one another with the ballot stuffing. Kidnapping and all forms of madness associated with elections will be reduced or eliminated if the eventual playing field becomes open, clear and non-surmountable by evil machinations now dominant in Nigerian politics.
PDP was dominant in 2007 because they had more access to INEC and the instruments of governance. The order of things must change and the scheming of INEC is the biggest source of checkmate. Nigeria must for once give Africa an example worth emulating.
A neutral INEC with computer based analyses of voting and results by applying state of the art technology will make sure that all those planning to rig are wasting their time and energy.
My arguments about the 2011 elections can be expanded beyond this scope. The bottom line is that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. In history nearly has never caught a bird.
Please and please no more primitive elections in Nigeria. No more procrastination on the application of computer, information and communication technology in our elections.
If we must shift our elections to make room for the application of the latest technology to ensure that our votes are counted, so be it. We have wasted 50 years of our lives and two generations. This ingredient-a credible election-is a needed stepping stone for the turning point.
It is about time our voted are counted. INEC has an obligation to fulfil one of the things that give us our sense of dignity. The realisation of our fundamental human rights to vote and be voted for since 1959 is back in INEC’s court. Let time not be a hindrance.
The time for wishful thinking should be over. Somehow all the genuine advocates of true democracy and trusted agencies responsible for the protection of human rights and democratic principles must work hand in hand in unity and trust to carry the citizenry along on the need for transparency and accountability in the on going electoral processes.
We have been through wuruwuru, please let us not see jagajaga.
If we fail again this time, I will come back to the intelligence question: how intelligent are we really in solving our problems and taking stands for the essence of our lives?
The solutions to Nigeria’s problems lie on our hands, how we think, how we act. The solutions are collective responsibilities and are multi-faceted. We can rekindle the dead hope of Nigeria.
I am convinced beyond reasonable doubts that a credible and acceptable electoral process is the single most important step forward in healing Nigeria. The entire healing processes are cumbersome and extremely long but results can be achieved when my children’s children arrive if we start now.