By Yusufu Shehu Usman
We can perpetuate the rituals of signing peace Accord, rant about all kinds of electoral malpractice but nothing will change until the Politicians change their attitude to elections
We eulogise signing peace Accords and even invite foreign leaders to witness the grand ceremony, INEC, the political parties and their candidates will preach against electoral violence, riggings, falsification of results and Corruption before, during and after the polls
But what do we find in the end?
The same INEC officials would be used to breach the integrity of the elections through Corruption, manipulation and a legion of irregularities.
The Politicians will buy votes, the electoral will sell votes at will and the same Politicians who signed the peace Accords will incite and perpetrate violence to mar or sabotage the electoral processes.
We do the exact opposite of what we pledged not to do in the letters of the Accord and yet the Politicians will be deceiving themselves that elections would be conducted or were conducted peacefully, freely, fairly, creditably and transparently.
We seem to be in love with self deception and Impunity
In Nigeria, elections are conducted more for the benefit of the politicians than for the Welfare or well being of the people.
And even at that, the selfish Politicians would not allow the electoral processes give them their platter in peace. They must always create situations under which the electorate are pitched against themselves in an orgy of violence in the name of elections
The voters die, suffer serious injuries, lose their property and livelihood in the process of putting the Politicians into Political offices
The electorate do not fair any better even after giving the politicians what they want. They take the offices and send the electorate to servitude which sends the message of Now Your Suffering Continues (NYSC for short)
I fear the day the masses will wake up to reality of the fact that they don’t benefit from elections or when feel that there is no need for them to waste their time and energy to elect persons to offices from which they will lose instead of gain, when the electoral become despondent and lose hope in the electoral processes, when the chickens will come home to roost, when apathy becomes the order of the day, our democracy will transform from being fledging to a state of total collapse
That day is not too far off, it is staring us in the face and unless the politicians change their ways and repent, they will soon be contesting on an empty turf and there may be no votes to take them to the offices they are scrambling for
We can never have, free, fair, credible or transparent elections unless and until the Politicians undergo a character and attitude transplant