In the Series: This is the third part of the series called Electoral Malpractices: Bane of Nigerian Politics
Read the first two(2) parts below:
The primary source of harm, curse, affliction, ruin, and death (bane) of Nigerian politics is the evil returns of electoral malpractice. An election should give people the opportunity of making a change in government either by voting out an officer who is not performing satisfactorily or by voting in a generally accepted candidate who is deemed fit.
The moment the people’s wish is not reflected in the election result, people begin to have a doubting mind toward the incumbent government. The incoming administration will find it hard to satisfy the electorates because it will just be like a coupe d’état on their political franchise. Whenever a candidate, group of people (cabal), or political party is forced on the people through an ungodly act of electoral malpractice, the society will be retarded in all good things. The most affected facet will be the political sphere.
The entire political life of such a society or nation will be in a mess because the people that rigged will find all means of holding onto power because of whatever reason for doing that in the first place and, more urgently, to ward off any revenge mission from the defrauded side. The government will face unnecessary ‘oppositional’ moves, lack warranted support and respect from the international community, and will most likely lose positions meant for or due to her country in international politics due to how such government comes into power.
As it concerns the people (masses), it is an understatement to say Nigerians are all victims of electoral malpractices. So many lives have been lost, many carrying injuries that they must tend always, some have been physically damaged, and others are in emotional and or psychological depression due to the bad experience of electoral malpractice. Violence, near-war situation, pandemonium, unrest, insecurity, disruption of religious worship, strikes, robbery, violence on women and children, unnecessary disruption of the academic calendar, loss of patriotism and enthusiasm, determination of people not to participate in elections again, uttermost hatred for political parties, politicians, friends, family and associates of alleged electoral malpractice perpetrator, unwarranted migration, loss of job, maltreatment of Nigerians in diaspora, etc. are all closely related with, or better still has been dramatically influenced by electoral malpractice.
Virtually all aspects of our daily life have been marred by this great menace of votes-robbery calculatedly called electoral malpractice. It is worth noting that electoral malpractice is more extensive than most people think. The bible says that all unrighteousness is a sin. Any form of compromise to the lay-down guidelines of election or the electoral system will amount to sin or corruption if the electoral commission fails to strictly observe all that is written therein in the electoral act. This can be through negligence, bribery, nepotism, favoritism, hatred, connivance with the incumbent, over-exercising of vested power, or acting ultra vires.
On the aspect of the government, the government may be guilty of electoral malpractice if found guilty of the following: under-funding of the electoral commission, appointment of politicians as head of the electoral commission, recruitment of unqualified personnel to handle professional duties in the electoral process, mounting unnecessary pressure on the commission or some of the principal officers, luring members of the electoral body into politics, bribery, deliberate under-securing of election materials, electoral personnel, polling booths, electoral commission offices; negligence, stripping off the right to campaign or use public utilities from the opposition parties, using of propaganda, lack of transparency, unnecessarily delaying the appointment of some keynote electoral officers, miss-orientation of the electorate and even under-orientation of the voters and so on.
On the part of the political parties and politicians, they are the major players in the game of electoral malpractice. All politicians work for the success of their party or candidate in elections, as in the case we are treating, even if it means rigging. The political parties and politicians majorly do the election rigging either by bribing electoral officers, buying over voters, or using thugs for disruption, suppressing, snatching, stealing, forcing, etc. There are other ways of winning elections by force (undemocratic) methods used by political parties and their politicians.
The electorate who are the king of the chain can be likened to consumers (the king of the distribution chain) in economics. Without the voters, some electoral malpractices will not be possible. Political parties and politicians exploit the level of poverty, education, orientation, social relation, and class, which is usually low among the majority of the electorates, for malpractices during elections. Candidates can be bought over by money or gift items to vote wrongly, vote void, cast multiple votes, and even distract the attention of the electoral officers and other electorates.
Electoral malpractice has done more harm than good to our country in all ramifications. Therefore, a radical reform to cut off this menace from our land is needed, i.e., solutions that will address socio-economic and political challenges like corruption, nepotism, youth unemployment, bad leadership, and so on, have to be proffered. Such solutions must take a cue from the intellectual capability of man and the ‘biblical’ efficacy of the governing laws for the earth.
A society can only be free from corruption if its spiritual foundations are laid on the ‘kingdom principles.’ But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; all these things shall be added unto you. The foundation is the first and most important aspect of establishing a nation or country. Still, from the spiritual point of view, the foundation of our political system is faulty because those who laid it did not abide by the Matthew 6:33 principles. If the foundation is faulty, what will the righteous do? It is simple; the righteous shall pray or build another one.
Stay tuned for the last part of this series as the Author proffer solutions to the electoral malpractices in Nigeria.
Stay tuned for the last part of the series, Solutions to Electoral Malpractices in Nigeria as I take you through the suggested solutions to curb Electoral malpractices.