For a while now, the landscape of Anambra state has been characterized by massive political activities. And yesterday, Anambra electorates went to polls to elect a governor that would take over from Governor Willie Obiano on March 17, 2021 when his two terms of eight years comes to an end. Thus, as we await the outcome of the poll, it is imperative to address the need for a peaceful remaining electoral process, because, much cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of needless chaos and protracted crisis.
Thus, political leaders and followers should toe the line of decorum, having witnessed pockets of needless violence in parts of the state of late. It has been stated, over and over again, that elections should not be do or die affair. No human head is worth any political position.
If the overriding interest of all contestants, as it really ought to be, is to better the lives of Ndi Anambra, it would be contradictory for them to turn the political scene into an orgy of violence. It would only compound the woes of the people as violence has nothing to offer but to complicate the economic and security troubles of the state.
The governorship election, therefore, offers another huge platform to get things right. This is the time to get it right. The only interest that should be paramount in the ensuing political contest should be that of the state. It is not in anyone’s interest for Anambra to be engulfed in crisis because of election. We have had enough of blood shedding in Nigeria. We have lost enough innocent souls to the criminal activities of marauders and agents of political desperadoes.
In this 21st century, killing or maiming people in the name of election portends backwardness and barbarism. If relatively smaller and less endowed neighbouring countries could conduct peaceful and credible elections, it behooves on the most populous Black Country in the world to demonstrate the needed political leadership, worthy of emulation across the continent.
However, there can be no peace when justice is compromised. Therefore, it is very crucial for INEC and the various security agencies to be fair to all in the election. From past experiences, the inability of past electoral umpires to conduct fair and credible elections had been largely responsible for the resultant chaos that trailed the outcome of previous elections in the country.
Hence, INEC’s officials, at all levels, must not compromise the electoral process. The vote of every citizen must be made to count. Same goes for the security agencies. It is unethical for security agencies to display partisan tendencies while overseeing the conduct of a governorship election. They should be civil and impartial in their conduct, especially in this concluding electoral process. Their allegiance should be to the country, and not any parochial political interest.
Ndi Anambra must also resolve to be of good conduct. As we await the outcome of the election, let us shun violence, hate speech and desist from acts that can compromise or mar the election because without the cooperation of all, INEC will never be able to deliver a credible and acceptable election.
So, every Nigerian is a major stakeholder in the ability or inability of INEC to conduct a credible governorship election. Hence, we must all desist from acts that can compromise, mar or discredit the process.
Above all, irrespective of our varying political leanings, we remain brothers and sisters living in the same landscape. Hence, it behooves on us to ensure that the peace of the land is not endangered. It will be foolhardy to do otherwise.
God bless Anambra state, the light of the nation.
WRITTEN BY OBI OCHIJE