Electoral violence: Like yesterday, like today...
There are similarities in the cause of electoral violence in Nigeria particularly 1964/65, 1983 and 2011. It is obvious that one of the main causes of electoral violence is the exclusion of the Nigerian citizens by the powers that be from political participation or denying them the accurate results of the election after they have participated by voting. Their votes do not count due to the manipulative and polluting tendencies of the powers that be.
In the general elections of June 12 1993 which was a keenly contested, free and fair election another reason that reared its ugly head up, that is the fact that a group of people comprising past leaders, religious leaders, tribal war lords, intellectuals etc are intent on holding Nigeria hostage and will not let go until the majority of the docile Nigerians ask the necessary question—this was another dimension that increased the violence.
The June 12 elections result lay to rest the issues of tribalism, religion, region, state, etc, the reactions of Nigerians initially eliminated these vagaries by their votes but the absolutely corrupt and satanic military government headed by one insincere General Babangida nullified the election. It became obvious that those issues already eliminated reared their ugly heads again showing us all that it was the intention of this class of inglorious political leaders that do not want the truth.
Aside of that, each election comes with more violence, the only difference being the degree of the violence as fire arms become increasingly proliferated, more handy and easily accessible the violence in future elections is guaranteed if the deliberate exclusion of willing participants and voters is not stooped or reduced.
As for the trends that influenced the outbreak of the electoral violence in the 2011 elections, ethnicity, religion, region, were added to the mix in 2011 and when this is done, it captures the interests of a population barely educated enough to know their left from right. Absolutely mundane.
The truism is that in addition to the situation described therein, religion, region, tribe, state of origin etc are tools in the hands of the politicians to keep the people divided.
The political philosophy is do or die, survival at all costs, by hook or crook elections. So electoral mandates are stolen by force with the security agents and private political armies enforcing the stealing on the votes for a fee. The outcome is better imagined, people must react to oppression, especially blatant political oppression.
Nigerian political participation is non inclusive as can be gleaned for the foregoing, where peoples votes are not counted, opposition is stifled, candidates who are short-changed and cheated out of victories cannot get justice through the very weak institutions that ought adjudicate in the circumstance. It is the survival of the hardest in Nigerian politics. Participation is a rather a determiner of electoral violence rather that of electoral outcomes.
Yes, my view or opinion on electoral violence and participation apply fundamentally mutatis mutandi from the foregoing.
Definitely, because the more people denied participation after performing their civic duties the more reactions and therefore the more the violence since the cheated people know that justice cannot be achieved they have to resort to self-help.
The people are always motivated to vote because they love their country and are more patriotic than their mostly rogue leaders and they are very metaphysically inclined waiting for God to do everything for them, they expect miracles, so they go to religious houses of worship after which they go to vote and expect the miracles. Nevertheless, that remains a dumb logic because the electoral bodies and the laws of elections remain the same and so the frequent manipulations must prevail over reason in this grotty and mundane set up.
Source: Emuobohwo Mudiaga Odje
Dec 13, 2016