Posted by Montreal, Canada on
The April 2007 polls has come and gone, won and lost, but for a long time to come the memories will linger on, not only in Nigeria but the rest of the international community as represented by various observers. The outcome of the polls had deepened Nigeriansí agony but Nigerians should continue their commitment to democracy, national development and live in peace despite the glaring democratic deficit recorded.
The elections never measured up to the international standard and expectations. Not even under the military rule had such obvious fraud ever been perpetrated against the electorate. The core value of democracy is the expansion of frontiers of freedom, where people have the right to choose their leaders but not forceful imposition of un-elected officers on the citizens through irregularities and massively rigged elections.
The tortuous journey into the
The elections, which were contested by three major political parties; the Action Congress (AC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and the ruling party Ė the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) along other forty-eight political parties (many without candidates) were marred by violence that left behind them scores of deaths and many injuries.
The electoral umpire; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the April polls, waving away the reports of sharp malpractices in some states as inconsequential to the overall success of the election.
However, the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs (NDI) in their preliminary statement established that ďIn many places, and in a number of ways, the electoral process failed the Nigerian peopleÖ it is unclear whether the April 21 elections reflect the will of the Nigerian people.Ē It went further to state that ďRegrettably, the 2007 polls represent a step backward in the conduct of elections in
The victory of the Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the Supreme Court caused logistical disaster, in the last minute inclusion of Atikuís name on the ballot, reprinted in
With total dismay, the coalition of opposition parties is seeking cancellation of the general elections, and for the chairman of INEC Professor Maurice Iwu to organize new and acceptable elections. It would be in the interest of all and sundry to continue in the human and social aspects of the countryís national life, rather than calling for mass action, aggrieved political parties and their candidates should challenge results in the election tribunals now sitting.
We can draw examples from where we got our democracy. The November 7, 2000 presidential election in the
This is the time to eschew violence and show true sportsmanship.
The popular mood congratulates the President Ė elect, in May 29, 2007, he will become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the father of the nation, all the responsibility of the Nigerian state will lie on his shoulder. There should be no victor nor vanquish; all hands should be on deck to move
The Niger Delta issue is an acid test for the President-elect. The PresidentĖelect had accepted that his administration would give special priority to the Niger Delta crisis, as a veritable way of ensuring quick development, lasting peace and posterity for
This national healing and reconciliation should be total to include the release of all the detainees facing charges of treason, like Alhaji Asari Dokubo of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) in the struggle for resource control for the people of Niger Delta and Ralph Uwazuruike the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) a separatist group fighting against the marginalisation of Igbos ethnic group in the scheme of things in Nigeria. The Niger Delta people and the militants should use this opportunity of Vice Presidency in their zone to initiate a new dialogue for the fair share/revenue allocations of the resources beneath their feet.
Nigerians at this point should cooperate and give Umaru Musa Yar'Adua a chance, a University graduate and a former lecturer. Also to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who holds a Doctor of Philosophy. Anyone who has ever been a class captain or student representative at such low level will know that leadership is not easy; it is too early for criticisms, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Since every ethnic group in
Undoubtedly the overbearing political infrastructures and pervasive corruption are both standing impediments to the economic, political and socio-cultural development of
Sunday Iduh holds a Masterís degree in International Peace Studies from the
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