Nigeria: A Nation On Death Row


In a few months time, Africa most populous nation, Nigeria will be heading

to the polls to elect its political representatives in an electoral exercise

that has been predicted to be the fiercest yet political battle in the

history of the country and a great decider to the unity and continuous

existence of the 1914 amalgam and by extension the stability of Africa as a

For a country that has witnessed decades of military misrule and

dictatorial governments, there is a resounding appeal to ensure the

continuous play of democracy and political stability. Like every other

country, Nigeria is faced with its own challenges. The slippery war against

terrorism, where the dreaded Boko Haram group has continuously held the

country to ransom with tonnes of atrocities among which are the numerous

genocides that is claiming thousands of helpless and vulnerable lives. The

unabating kidnappings especially that of over 200 girls of Chibok Secondary

School and the unending massacre of many others on a nearly daily basis has

become a major source of concern to residents of the country and even the

world at large.
The current political play in the country towards the 2015 general election

points clearly towards doomsday. The country is currently divided along

partisan class laced around religion and ethnicity. While majority of

distance analysts simply see the current brouhaha as normalcy in the build

up to the election, experiences of the immediate past points otherwise.

In 2011, shortly after the presidential election which saw Mr. Goodluck

Jonathan emerged president, a devastating turmoil broke out in major states

and cities in the Northern part of Nigeria. Many who had analysed the

scenario saw it as the uprising of some individuals against the failure of

their preferred candidate to emerge victorious but far away from this

assumption, the violence that greeted the 2011 election was bitterness and

hatred concoctioned in betrayal. As against the widely reported news then,

the violence was nothing other than a civil war. For individuals like

myself who was caught between the flames and brimstone it wasn't just about

loosing an election but the outpouring of decades of suppressed hatred,

intolerance and ethnicity. Individuals who were lynched and house razed

weren't done because of the differences in voting, it was a direct attack

on non Muslims and non Northerners alike. Many who had lived in the North

all their lives and even voted for the Northern candidate fell victim of

this rage and innocent youth corps members' ( who were seen as strangers to

the land) were brutally declared persona non grata.

I say this because the current political situation in the country is

heading towards 2011 and maybe much more dreadful. The major opposition

party called the All Progressive Congress (APC) is hell bent on taking over

the country's affairs in 2015 while the ruling Peoples Democratic Party

(PDP) which has been in power for over 16 years has sworn not to let go.

But morality of the parties is nothing to lose sleep over. The greater

threats are the candidates both are likely to put forward. President

Jonathan sees a failed reelection as a shame and insult to his family and

his region as a whole. His kinsmen from the Niger Delta feels the same and

the unguarded statements from top 'ex' militants from the region (who seems

to have an expansive arsenal) points clearly that they would give

everything to hold on to power. The opponent on the other hand, retired

general Buhari is a well respected man who enjoys a wide range of appeal

across the country (except for his perceived rigid mono-religious believe)

and commands an assembly of radical and unruly followers majorly Northern

youths who are determined to ensure he emerge president or they die trying.

With the current postulations of possible electoral outcome, the odds

favours the President as the Nigeria voting pattern is more ruralist than

cosmopolitan. Unfortunately for the opposition, the rural climes are less

concerned about who emerges president as their major concern is limited to

the local and state politics hence the party with the most ubiquitous

structure in a particular state wins such state no matter who is flagging

its presidential flag. If Mr. Jonathan emerged victorious 'the baboon' may

likely be 'soaked in blood'.
Far from the rumoured analysis of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of

the possible breakaway of Nigeria in 2015, the response to another defeat

of General Buhari in 2015 will be nothing short of catastrophic especially

at a time when more weapons and IEDs seems to have gained access to the

North coupled with a psychological frame mind of war that as engulfed the

region as a result of the unending insurgency.
To say Africa will not share in this if Nigeria burns is underplaying the

obvious. For a country of over 160,000,000 people the number of possible

displaced persons seeking refuge will overwhelm the whole of Africa.

Nigeria being a center piece of Africa's unity will cause greater

instability to other regions and creates a vibe of fear and a volcanic

economic crisis.
Suggesting that the 2015 election be postponed will amount to only shifting

the danger. 2015 deserves to hold, the people deserves to choose their

leaders. A possible way to avert the looming war is having the President

stepdown from the presidential race in the interest and unity of Nigeria

but this will be asking too much of a man the world has already tagged weak

and indecisive. Another way out is appealing to the opposition party to

chose another candidate other than Buhari whose defeat may send the country

into flames but for a party that has given everything to become where and

what it is today, such plea will appear selfish.
While the world awaits the coming tsunami, the electoral commission and

indeed concerned world leaders should ensure that the parties and

candidates sign an undertaken to take full responsibility of any uprising

that might ensure after the election, such document shouldn't be localised

but better signed at Hague.
Nigerians should be made to understand that killing fellow citizens in the

disguise of political persuation is nothing but murder and such can never

be justified. Politicians are never worth dying or killing for, as those

who declare war most often never lead.
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