Nigeria, the most populous African country often referred to as the ‘Giant’, among others, will in the next few months months go through another transition of power in through elections. The list of candidates contesting different positions the forth-coming 2023 general elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, leaves much to be desired.
Names of candidates who scaled through primary elections were omitted while many appeared in other parties. This error has cast doubts about the exercise in some voters who have gone through scorching sun to get voters’ cards.
Julius Caeser was right when he said, “No man is so brave enough to not be disturbed by something unexpected”. The pathetic fallacy of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, could be seen in the way names of candidates seeking controversial positions in Yobe state did not appear.
An adage says ‘one cannot extinguish the outside fire if there is a blazing one at home’. This is taking into cognisance the lingering grievances of many flag-bearers in the ruling party. Most of those with complaints over the list are of the opinion that the procedure of redressing issues is cumbersome, tedious and unreasonably expensive.
Furthermore, Tuesday’s error in the names of candidates raises serious concerns over the effectiveness of the device to be used in screening electorate. As charity begins at home, the old Hausa saying that ‘if someone promises to clothe you, perhaps you should first look at what he wears’ is apt.
They promised a free and fair election. We should all look at how they handle intra-party matters and how the expectedly impartial electoral umpire deals with the recently released list of candidates at various levels. Certainly, our courts will soon be inundated with barrage of pre-election petitions. But what is more certain is that the confidence and high expectations of Nigerians for free and fair elections election is at its lowest ebb.
Usman Abdullahi Koli,
Potiskum, Yobe state