Nigerians need peaceful polls

On Tuesday last week, the National Security Adviser, Gen. Mohammed Mungono(retd), summoned a security meeting with the nation’s 36 governors. The meeting was centred on the security for the forthcoming general elections. According to the NSA, plans to unleash violence in the forthcoming elections have been uncovered. It is discovered that a group of people are hell bent on causing security breach during the elections. Although, the identity of these perpetrators remains ketchy, elections in Nigeria are usually characterised or marred by violence. Since the inception of democratic rule, the country is yet

to get her elections right. Elections in Nigeria are a do-or-die affair (apology to Olusegun Obasanjo). Our politicians have failed to play the game according to the rules. Notwithstanding the peace accord signed by many candidates in the country, the foul and uncouth language being used during campaign rallies have become a matter of great concern.

Why do our politicians fail to embrace issue-based campaigns as practised in most democratic countries? Must a candidate attack his opponents before he sells his programmes to the electorate? Now, the NSA has raised the alarm of likely political violence in the forthcoming elections, what is the way out? In the build up to 2015 elections there were rumours or speculations that the country would boil. It took the Abdulsalam Abubakar’s peace and reconciliation committee’s efforts to prevail on the contenders to accept the outcome of the elections. Surprisingly and interestingly, former President Goodluck Jonathan accepted defeat and congratulated Buhari who won the election. That single and sincere action exhibited by Jonathan nipped

in the bud the fear of violence that might have trailed the result of the election.

Our politicians should be blamed for any security breach before, during and after elections. They have taken elections as the last battle for their survival. They hire and drug jobless youths to foment trouble during elections. To win election by hook or crook is their first agenda. These desperate and selfish politicians can do anything evil possible to scuttle the polls so long the result will not go in their favour. With this shocking revelation coming from the NSA and other security agencies, our political parties should stop accusing one another of stockpiling and arms. It has become pertinent to note that security of lives and property is the primary responsibility of government. The ambition of a few individuals should not override the welfare of Nigerians. What about the democracy we laboured so hard to preserve? Our security agencies should work round the clock to man violence-prone areas, identify the culprits and their sponsors. Nigerians need another peaceful election.

Ibrahim Mustapha,Pambegua, Kaduna state; 08169056963

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