When President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday vowed not to allow rigging during 2023 elections, many did not take him serious because of the violence experienced by Nigerians in past elections under his watch and supervision.
Going by what happened in Kogi and Bayelsa states, his last statement confirmed that he indeed agreed to his imperfections, which paints a complete picture of how power works, what it does to people and what people do to get power.
The desperation of politicians to get elected by all means possible was on display during both the Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections, especially in Kogi, where a PDP Woman Leader was roasted alive apart from many that were injured as a result of the orchestrated violence and killings.
“Politicians interested in contesting the 2023 general elections are to work hard because I would not allow electoral malpractices” says the President. One can only imagine how many lives and property could have been saved if the President has taken this stance all along.
Illegal practices in elections though not new to Nigeria, however, some democratic countries are constantly working on improvements in different spheres of their political life. And it can be done too in Nigeria. Love encourages, builds people and wins all the time, but hate destroys and losses all the time.
Who are those who may be planning to use their offices or security agencies to subvert the will of the people is a question many Nigerians are asking the President. Some are in offices today just because they are beneficiaries of election violence and malpractices. Electoral malpractice, according to several dictionaries, is the procedures of neglectful, harmful or improper practices that take place during elections. Such procedures are made with the only purpose of influencing the final results of elections in favour of a particular candidate.
All local elections are marred by rumours about unfairness and malpractices by the ruling party. The leadership and the government have to make some necessary reforms, because figuring out the electoral problems without proper applications of recommended solutions is not it. The existing system needs to be improved on. It requires more transparency, better control and attention from not just the public but from all sectors. These are some of the changes that can minimise the various electoral malpractices.
Nigerians can improve the electoral experience. Democratic countries are constantly working on improvements in different spheres of life.
It takes time but, it can be done. Masterminds and all suspects, including party members involved should be openly tried in the court of law. All of whom should be treated in accordance to the rule of law if truly President Buhari wants Nigerians to take him serious on such promises.
May be this is truly the turning point; the Federal Government has to make necessary electoral reforms. It is necessary to tackle the problems in our polity and present situations is not ideal in democracy. And truly if we want to survive we have to start to be tough on all electoral malpractices irrespective of party affiliation.