As 2015 elections beckon, my fear increases day in day out for what could be the fate of Nigerians and the INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega after the elections. There is no doubt that the atmosphere is going to be tense as some Nigerians and outsiders have already predicted 2015 to be a year of anxiety and violence for Nigeria.
Right from time, Nigerians are known to be flexible. They have the patience to endure and adapt to whatever situation that comes their way. Nigerians have compassion and are very religious. Owing to their long-suffering nature, they have endured the comatose state of the economy.
Nigerians have however lost hope and faith in the country’s leadership. They believe that the country’s problems will not abate soon.
Presently, the problem of insecurity has awakened the zeal of Nigerians into politics. Every Nigerian now seems to be calling for 2015. The situation has become unbearable as people are being killed every day. Thus, every Nigerian is already looking forward and counting down to 2015 election. The forthcoming general election would be a determinant of our living together as one nation because every region, religion, group wants to dominate others. That is why the unity of the country is shaky.
Meanwhile, the most attention is on Jega and his INEC.
The bye-election recently conducted in Ondo State has further added to the doubt we have about Professor Jega’s INEC. If just a bye-election can be declared inconclusive because of misconduct, what then would happen in the general election?
Nigerians are craving for change and the belief is that change can only be achieved through a free, fair and credible election. Jega ought to know the magnitude and implication of not achieving this come 2015. Nigerians would not hearken to excuses from INEC or Jega. He should go back to the drawing board and re-strategise or perhaps he should return to the Jega of those days. We used to know Professor Jega to be a radical-intellectual, upright and sincere man who fought against the military government of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida while as a chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Again, Jega should know that many things are at stake; his reputation is at stake, the lives of innocent Nigerians are at stake, the desires of Nigerians to remain as one entity is at stake, in fact, everything about Nigeria is at stake. Thus, we hope and pray that Jega’s INEC will not compromise.
IBB University Lapai, Niger State