It’s just a day to the November 18th Anambra Gubernatorial election. Tensions are running high, political parties, candidates and their supporters are relatively ready for the poll but a question needs to be answered. “Will our vote count?”
If we take a look at how voting activities have been organised in this country, we can all agree that many of our public officials are not elected based on the statistics of votes we cast. Yes! That is just the fundamental truth. We are also familiar with that slogan: ‘majority carries the vote’. Now, it is the minority that carries the vote. The minority influences election and appoints aspirants through rigging but not by votes.
Going by the above stated, I ask: have we been electing those who call themselves public servants ourselves? Do our votes count? Does it mean people only exercise their civic and constitutional right without any effect? Practically, this is to say that when votes don’t count, there is no credible election. It still boils down to a common question we ask annually: Can there be free and fair election? Can our votes still count? You know when we look at so many of the circumstances that surround the Nigerian polity, we can definitely deduce that our true democracy is always being hampered and attacked.
There is no gain saying that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has severally failed Nigerians. Having failed to tell Nigerians the challenges facing the agency. I mean INEC should be interested in its challenges, and make efforts to tackle them to free itself from bungled elections and the threats they present to democracy.
The problem with us begins from top to the downward. It is a general decay. At the federal level, our votes do not count. At the state level, same is the case. Even at the local government level where the grassroots government should be closer to the people, we still witness rigging and some other irrelevant developments that render our participation in voting meaningless.
This year, Anambara is the focus. Cabals of various political parties/blocks have gathered to do what they know best without putting the interest of the masses at heart, promising us heaven on earth as usual. But this question needs to be answered. Will they live to their words? Will our vote count? Let’s watch and see!
To be continued!
Ahamefula Israel, a Senior Advocate of Nigerian Students writes from uturu. e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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