Duru Agumba

Opposition Candidate Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential election of 2015 with more than 2.5 million votes. Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat on 31st March, even before the results from all 36 states were announced. The election marked the first time an incumbent president had lost re-election in Nigeria. This was achieved because the electoral process put in place by President Goodluck Jonathan was credible and dependable. It allowed votes cast by the electorates to count, and it also guaranteed security for the process.

From that moment, the Nigerian electorates began showing positive responses to election matters.
For continuity, it was expected that Muhammad Buhari’s government would take the electoral process to a more confidence level.

In 2019 general elections, we saw a decline from the 2015 standard after the government had invested so many billions of naira, claiming to put a perfect electoral process in place.

Building up to 2023 general elections, INEC introduced the use of BIVAS for process capturing and figure transfers to IREV. They called out all Nigerians to commit themselves to this process, which resulted in mass interest in the registration of voters. To well-meaning Nigerians, this is a welcome development and a water tight process that will certainly eliminate electoral fraud and give confidence to voters.

Unfortunately, this confidence was short-lived as the electoral umpire, INEC by itself destroyed the system they put in place to favour those they have in mind.

It is very unfortunate that Nigeria breeds leaders and institutions that can not define what they really want but keep perpetuating their self illusioned wild goose chase. Government will set targets for achievement, budget billions of naira for it, spend valuable time and energy to pursue it and still turn around to plot it’s failure at the nick of achieving it, thereby creating monumental waste of resources which in turn affects the general economy.

This has been a reoccurring decimal in the attitude of the Nigerian government and her agencies since 2015.
This has resulted in the collapse of our systems, eroded confidence in the electorates, instituted unbridled corruption that has reduced Nigeria’s electoral process to cash and carry system.

This appalling situation has encouraged insecurity, wanton destruction, and killings. It should be noted that our leaders have collapsed our governing system.

Governance in Nigeria is not about the people but about persons and their personal interests.

However, getting government in good shape and making it work in Nigeria is never a rocket science, but the privileged few in government have decided not to follow the right steps.

It also beat my understanding to believe that a right thinking government will invest a humongous amount of scarce national resources into a project and see it fail without holding anybody responsible. In other clime, this should amount to the highest level of treasonable felony.

Sabotaging the Electoral System by INEC, complacency of security agencies, the electoral offences of snatching, destruction, vote buying and figure manipulations all are treasonable offences in sincere countries but in Nigeria nobody has ever been convicted for any of these offences from INEC office, security personnels to the least man at the pooling units as it keep reoccurring.

The off-cycle elections conducted in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi States left a lot of questions begging for answers. The system has been destroyed irreparably. We no longer have elections, all we have is a process that favour the strongest whose affiliation to the central government is sure and the same system that favours any one that can buy up security agencies and INEC with state money which then enables him to import figures from unimaginable areas to amass victory.

We are now left with this singular question, why should the Nigerian government waste state money and wickedly call masses out to commit their time, energy and money to embrace a system the government itself already know they will not allow to work.

It is now evident that this current system of government will never work in Nigeria hence, needs to be jettisioned for us to embrace the regional government or parliamentary system of government, designed in African culture. And will build it in such a way that politics need to serve the people, not people serving politics.

The present system has made it easy for all manner of criminals to infiltrate our political landscape, and the results are what we have now.

The current system, drawing from the current off-cycle elections, has shown that it is just a creation for the electoral umpires and security agencies to feed fat.

Another disappointing aspect of this current system is that it has also destroyed and polarized our judicial system, making it lose sanctity. If care is not taken, in no distant time, the justice system will completely lose its trust and glory in Nigeria.

This current Nigerian political system in Nigeria is not sustainable.

INEC, “Why waste Nigeria’s scarce resources, printing and buying electoral materials you already know you will not use or defend?”.

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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