Exceptional writer, Mr Wale Sokunbi, who is also a reporter for Sunnewsonline, disclosed in its Wednesday, 11, March, opinion publication, why he thinks ‘Nigeria’s elections are do-or-die’?
Here is an excerpt from Sunnewsonline:
It is bad enough that at a time that we should have put the 2015 elections behind us, and be eagerly awaiting the swearing-in of a newly elected president, state governors and legislators, Nigerians are still filled with trepidation on the likely outcome the elections now holding on March 28 and April 11. It is even more worrisome that the electioneering gimmicks are becoming more and more odious, reprehensible and off-putting by the day.
The presidential election is fast taking on the toga of the Biblical cup which, if many Nigerians had their way, they would be glad to have it pass over them.
But, these elections are not just going to go away. March 28 must come and Nigerians must go the polls. So, all Nigerians must endure the outright blackmails, deceit, lies, shenanigans and all manner of dastardly and outrageous tactics spewing forth from the arsenals of the two leading political parties, all in a bid to win the highly coveted Number One position.
Ordinarily, presidential elections are no easy rides anywhere in the world. They are so hotly contested because the stakes are high and the prize is humongous, especially in a country like Nigeria where politics has become the most viable “business”, and the presidency is the overriding dispenser of national patronage in the country.
In Nigeria, politics has gone beyond the notion of power for the sake of service to the people. It has become a matter of life and death, a “kill me or I kill you” proposition for contestants, especially for the office of president, because whoever wins the election into the office gets all its appurtenances — the power, the glory, the honour, the authority and, perhaps, most importantly, the money.
The loser, on the other hand gets nothing. Nothing at all! All the billions of naira that went into the campaign, the sweat, the energy, sleepless nights, physical and mental exertions, all end up in the dustbin of history.
The winner instantly becomes lord, king and holder of the key to the national treasury, literally, since he can, by his signature, scrawny or not, award contracts running into billions of naira. Meanwhile, the loser is left to lick his wounds and wait for the next four years to try again. He goes home emptied and broke, and has no way to recoup his funds, while the winner has the national treasury at his behest. He can recoup his election expenses and those of his “friends” who donated billions of naira to his campaign war chest so that they are again in better stead to fight and win the next election.
This scenario, in a nutshell, is the reason for the hue and cry and the “I must win or die” attitude that has turned Nigeria’s elections, especially this particular electoral season, into a nightmare..
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