Dr. Godalex Ezeani
For the use of PVC to be effective in a free and fair election where the people’s choice of candidates for the various political positions in Nigeria are affirmed, certain underlying requisites have to be met: First, the polity has to be a democracy. Second, the principle of one man one vote must be in place; no citizen’s vote is to be considered inferior or less important than another’s. Third, the process of collating and counting the votes has to be transparent.
Consider the above dessiderata against the de facto Nigeria’s experience of today:
1. True democracy is not in place in Nigeria; there is conflicting political ideologies: between the secular democratic practices of the South, and the feudal and theocratic ideologies/practices of the northerners.
2. The mind set of “born to Rule”; the mind set made possible by the Northern social practice of the caste system (where they see the fate of the Yoruba as being good in administration and civil service; the Igbo as being good in technology and trading; while the Hausa, Fulani are for rulership; and every group should be comfortable with their Allah given gift, and stick to that).
3. Along the same principle of the caste system, all votes are not equal during elections: the vote of an Emir is much greater than those of the ‘common’ citizens; a man’s vote greater than the wife’s. Then you can imagine what the difference is between the Muslim north and the ‘Infidels’ in the South as per their voting powers. Based on the above reality and true to fact experience, the Northern voters (with their superior votes) must always decide who becomes the President (especially) in that country. Refer to the 1993 Abiola episode and the above information would make more sense.
So, voting in elections in Nigeria continues to be a charade until we surgically deal with the dual Nigerian ideology syndrome through the country’s “Restructuring that affirms regional resource control, and decentralized police force with regional central commands. Nigerians must say No to PVC and welcome referendum that endorces Restructuring in order to move the country forward.