By Precious Elekima
The Book, “The Nigeria Police Force and the Dynamics of Election Security Management System” is more of a discharge of burden of responsibility for a people in “Political Captivity” than a mere book by a fine gentleman and patriotic Police Officer who rather than dying with his experience on the field, preferred to share it with all Nigerians, for all of us as a nation to find a lasting solution to our common problem.
DIG Habila’s book to me is pioneering freedom for the whole of Nigeria, I am of the view that the purpose of this book is to expose and explain the level of depravity in the darker side of human nature and the faulty sense of judgment which requires a frightful degree of circumspection and distrust to further saddle human beings the responsibility to conduct any other elections for the independent National Electoral Commission. I believe the writer’s goal is to expose the destruction of life and property for nearly six decades, using the same method over and over, what stronger evidence can be given of the want of a change of a new electoral system and law than these disorders?
Any reader can now feel the need of sweeping away decades of bad government owed to rigged elections, using the current electoral laws. I feel, my dear country men, infinitely more than I can express to you, for us to formulate a whole new law into our electoral system, while setting up appropriate safeguards to prevent the doleful shadow of human passion for greed and lust for power from spreading a permanent “dark ages” in our country.
It is astonishing that after several decades of human experiments with various heads of FEDECO, NEC and now INEC, even the change of names and “Chief Magistrates” of the electoral body did not swing a change, the results had been the same that the transfer or renewal of power is often by violence, the dagger, poison cup, or fratricidal civil war.
In-fact, the general public opinion throughout Nigeria and beyond recognizes the serious implications of our flawed elections, which questions the true legitimacy of our governments. It has therefore become apparent that any election without the use of a full automated Digital Electronic Electoral System of Biometric Accreditation and Simultaneous Electronic Voting, Electronic Counting and Electronic Transmission of Results, is certainly not the “pursuit of happiness” for the country. Nigerians were hoping to have a true democratic government in exchange for the Military imposed government. But they found themselves stuck-up with leadership they never would have contemplated even in the dream land.
Nevertheless, if our ambition as a country is to develop a true representative democracy as to develop into a surging society, then, we require a universal sense of urgency in reforming our democratic values. We face common threat to our survival as a nation, most pundits quite often see us as approaching the status of a failed state.
Obviously some serious mistakes had been made in using the current electoral law and system. Who could have foreseen or predicted them? The only solution to cure the flawed elections and the skyrocketing violence during elections is the amendment of the current electoral act. This amendment will leap us into a generous nation for humanity to attain the three goals of Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace.
Honestly, we may indeed with propriety be said to have reached almost the last stage of national humiliation. There is scarcely anything that can wound the pride or degrade the character of an independent nation which do not have a free and fair transitional elections.
Therefore, the need to invent a good and proper electoral system is a debt the Executive and the Legislative arms of the government owe to themselves, their unborn generations, as well as the past generations that sacrificed their fortune and lives in establishing the country, Nigeria.
Our organization, the People’s Life Improvement Foundation has an unflinching COMMITMENT TO BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION OF A FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS.
WHAT WAS/IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF RIGGING ELECTION?
Election Rigging had baptized the country with the fire of failed leadership in more than 95% of our government from all levels, failed economy, failed security etc.
Rigging of elections plunged this country into the civil war that claimed millions of lives, destroyed properties worth billions of naira and the eventual “death” of democracy in Nigeria.
As if that was not enough, elections during transition from one government to the other had continuously cost the nation loss of lives and properties. This book has provided the need for the National Assembly and Mr. President to amend the electoral act and include the Biometric accreditation, electronic voting, electronic counting and electronic transmission of results. This may reduce 90% of human involvement and we can be left to contend with the 30% digital issues of hacking and vote buying.
Just to go down memory lane, as you may recall, the 1963/64 elections conducted by the Balewa led government ignited the crises in the Western Region which became the reason and the platform for the first military intervention (Major Nzeogu led coup) and the eventual counter coup (Gen Gowon) that led to the death of the fathers of Nigeria, prominent people like Tafawa Balewa, Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Akintola, Okotie-Eboh etc were killed, and the latter counter coup which led to the death of former Head of State, Gen. Aguiyi -Ironsi, former governor of Western Region Col. Fajuyi and several other Senior Southern Military Officers, this crises midwifed the 30 months bloody Nigerian civil war that claimed the lives of millions of Nigerians and destruction of properties worth billions of naira.
These crises led the country to terminate the parliamentary system of Regional Government and a 12 state structure was created in 1967, that led us to unbroken 13 years of Military rule until 1979.
The 2nd Republic of the Shehu Shagari civilian government also conducted another transition election in 1983 that was not acceptable to all the Parties and Sections which also led to several deaths and eventually the Gen. Buhari coup ended that government in a coup d’état of December 1983.
In 1993, the Gen Babangida government created the two party system NRC and SDP, the government conducted Presidential Election the result was unacceptable by some sections which was annulled (June 12, 1993)
Thereafter, this fourth republic had conducted several elections from 2003 that had claimed several lives, however, the most chilling was in 2011 when young graduates (NYSC members) performing INEC ad-hoc duties died in some parts of the country. Sadly the 2019 elections appeared to be the worst when over 35 persons died in Abonnema alone in Rivers State on the day of the Presidential election.
The huge amount of resources invested into this flawed elections is so much that needless to describe the pain of wastage of such resources, in 2011, 2015 and 2019, nearly N400 Billon have been funds given to INEC to throw away into the dustbin.
We are advocating that the use of the Biometric system will afford Nigerians to have a voice and choose whether a GOOD MAN OR BAD MAN, or a WISE MAN OR FOOL should be elected from the States to the federal level.
There is a believe that a healthy democracy requires that every contestant has an equal level playing ground, fair and equal protection under the law. This means an incumbent or a ruling party must not use any sort of intimidation and violent means to force him or her self or themselves on the people. The country must be able to peaceably have elections and have smooth transitions of power. We have to understand the ugly experiences that confront Nigerians because of foisting wrong leaders on the people by the acts of bloody elections.
For us to succeed, Many Nigerians, in-fact all of us need to confront our own privilege to work in solidarity to actively dismantle corruption and bad leadership.
The leaders of our nation must disclaim this failed electoral system.
From a democratic point of view, a flawed election is a violation of the very principles of an open and just democracy, and further endangers our nation.
We appeal to Mr. President to see reason why this amendment is a win-win for him and the country; first, to protect our democracy and secondly, to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians. Let us as Nigerians have the opportunity take responsibility of electoral choices, be it rich or poor, we must all exercise our fundamental civic duty to have a voice in who is being elected by using our immortal voting power to elect the candidate of our choice at all levels.
A couple of days ago, our government in their wisdom increased price on petrol and hiked Electricity tariff, we do not know the parameters that led to the decision.
Quite often, our leadership seems to solve problems by issuing new edicts, creating more conflicting bureaus and agencies, appointing more people into offices with conflicting interests, charging the people multiple and more taxes to pay for services with no commensurate return to the full enjoyment of the people.
To justify these actions, the legislative and executive arm of government owe Nigerians a duty to create the best electoral atmosphere for Nigerians to choose who and who is best that should be chosen to manage their economy and their affairs, it will be too sad and too costly that by their actions and inactions Nigerians are once more foisted with some leaderships of not their will and choice but by accident, fraud or force.
The Nigerian constitution was tailored to the United States constitution, and the United States Representative government was modeled after the ancient principles of Israel as recorded in Exodus chapter 18 (Jethro’s message to Moses), it was intended to allow the people to choose those in whom they had the most confidence.
The people to be chosen must be those who fear God and those who are not covetous.
Unfortunately, this principle upon which democracy was founded has been abandoned in Nigeria and the opposite is now what is operational to the detriment of the innocent poor masses.
Regrettably, those in power revel in luxury while the lot of the common people is one of perpetual poverty, excessive taxation, stringent regulations, and a continuous existence of misery.
A just and solid republican government in accordance with our constitution will be a standing monument.
We owe this more than every other sacrifice to ourselves, our government and the nation at large.
. Chief (Sir) Precious Elekima is the President, People’s Life Improvement Foundation.