Editorial

Give us peaceful election

After all said and done, what Nigeria should be aiming for is a peaceful election. If the coming election ends in bloodshed and catastrophe, it would not have been worth the while. Anything that would deviate from a peaceful end of the election must be avoided. The people of this country value peace more than anything else. Our prayer is for God to grant us a peaceful election. But we must work assiduously toward it.
It is in this connection we warn and also caution about endorsement of candidates and the registration of under-aged people in some parts of the country.
Now already the polity is overheated by these lawless activities.  The people doing these things are having a field day. And we ask: where are INEC, the federal government and law enforcement? They can only keep quiet if they are complicit and collaborators in these illegalities. Endorsement of candidates is an abuse of the electoral process. Registration of the under-aged is an electoral offence. Both of them are punishable under the law. But nothing is being done. This is unfortunate, to say the least.
The coming elections must not be decided on the basis of fraudulent conspiracy of the authorities colluding with those who want to engage in electoral malpractices, no matter who they are or where the come from. This is a clear road to disaster. We have evolved beyond this stage. It is a situation that will aggravate the state of insecurity in this country. Nigerians will not accept that.
We have already witnessed an ugly incident in Imo state when Uche Nwosu’s camp clashed bloodily with Madumere’s camp at Nworieubi recently. Six people were reportedly injured. Electoral violence has been reported in Ebonyi and other parts of the country. Yet electioneering has yet to start officially.
This is unheard of. The Imo Deputy Governor and the Chief of staff report to the same Governor. They are members of the same political party, the ruling APC. What, may we ask, is going on in Imo Government House? It is indeed a “divided house against itself”. What are the president, the party and the governor saying about it? Before the election gets into the real feverish stages, the government must enforce disciple by calling lawless politicians to order.
As the elections draw near, government should prompt all Nigerians, politicians and non-politicians alike to think and work harder on how to achieve a peaceful election. What is going on now does not bode well for an election that can end on a peaceful note. Having come so far, an election that ends in chaos will be a very bad transition bequest from the APC. It will be an appalling setback for the country.

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