POST-ELECTION REFLECTIONS AND CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA (1)
A novel idea and practice okayed by dialectical trajectory of nature and history is redefining any body politics ; believe it or not, the just concluded national elections were pummeled and directed by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutionary idea and characterized by the same youth bug in its demographic and technological empowerment.
This has buoyed the awareness to vote in and vote out power which intrinsically and incidentally has implicated a progressive redefinition of citizenship in a multi-party system of government. 2011 elections were a world of difference in colour, complexion and citizenry sensitively and articulation of national and local issues of politics relative to previous elections since the down of Nigeria fourth republic in 1999 while appreciating the relative evolution of social and political consciousness in terms of the right to vote (Franchise) we must resonate the fact that even civilization or state of development has its peculiar problems, a truism which explains why an obvious evolution of citizenship and modernization is eclipsed by political violence, blood letting and assassination.
Suffice it to say that technology has empowered social and political net work in terms of communication; but it has also brought with it instruments of death and political violence. In this amphioxus kaleidoscopic reflections on the just concluded elections in Nigeria we are guided by some logistic and existential question. Are the stakes for one Nigeria high enough at this material period?
How do we reconcile the emerging citizenship in terms of voting patterns that demonstrated a sense of belonging to Nigeria and various party ideological solidarity or who is who in public consciousness and delivery with splinters of politically motivated and ethnic violence in the north after the presidential election?. In what ever line of reasoning or analytical framework amenable to this reflections ,gregarious and non-partisan voting pattern and the appeal to religious authority resulting to violence are all the results of dialectical bargain of collective unanimity of political dissent demographic and youth bulge and assertion of citizenship and freedom .Suffice it to postulate that there are Tunisian and Egyptian revolutionary consciousness patterns and trends amid violence in a less dramatic way in the just concluded elections in Nigeria.
The solidarity of the national psych was tested in April when the national assembly election was to take place, where the national solidarity and massive voters turn out to celebrate freedom and the right to choose leaders was suddenly converted into a national disappointment when midway to voting in most states, the INEC chairman announced the postponement of the elections. Reactions to the postponement by INEC were however largely negative without the positive analysis of it as a strategic step forward to appropriating a relatively and historical better national elections in Nigeria What happened at the and of the election.? INEC was hailed as having concluded the freest , fairest and most transparent elections in Nigeria. Yet in the future such postponement should be avoided to forestall an obvious celebrative and festive mood of Nigeria characterized by the 2nd April 2011 being turned into a national disaster and social anomy.
Again the fuse and fury that greeted the postponement was a collective reflection of the revolutionary instinct in waiting in Nigeria. Nigeria society of Obasanjo's era in terms of social media reconnaissance and demography and youths revolutionary self education is in content and degree inferior to the Nigeria world today. This is because the youth of different geopolitical zones who stage a massive turn out to vote in 2nd April are also ready to pick arms in defense of their right and zones, save their commitment to Nigeria exhibited by the general voting pattern. At the end, election postponement, whether or not is a political must be put on the balance with the festive and revolutionary impulse of the population.
The national assembly, presidential governorship and house of assemble elections did take pace on 9th,16th and 26th April 2011 successfully but with fears and hiccups which were defied by a national resolve. I wish to dutifully subscribe that from emerging trends, from the voting pattern in the elections, from diachronic and syndrome insights there are values that could stand the test of history.
Democratic institutions that beheld the 2011 elections must erect an epigram standing for the value that fifty percent (50%)of those who won elections did so on their own merits and not on the umbrella of their party machineries. This inference is not general enough to accommodate the political victory of Action congress of Nigeria (CAN) in the Southwest essentially because of the ideological and intellectual culture of the geopolitical zone that transcends personalities as litmus test of election victory or free and fair elections based on ideology and political enlightenment.
Dukor is a professor of Philosophy Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Executive Director, Essence library 080371438
Post-election reflections and citizenship in Nigeria (2)