In 2011, a total of =N= 130 billion was spent by the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct the elections. On the December 20, 2014, sums in excess of 21 billion Naira, was raised for the president’s re-election bid. But to what end? We ask ourselves. On the 27th July 2006, Funsho Williams, was murdered…
In 2011, a total of =N= 130 billion was spent by the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct the elections. On the December 20, 2014, sums in excess of 21 billion Naira, was raised for the president’s re-election bid. But to what end? We ask ourselves.
On the 27th July 2006, Funsho Williams, was murdered in his Ikoyi home. Williams was the likely candidate to pick up the PDP gubernatorial ticket for Lagos state as the 2007 election loomed. Dr Ayo Daramola, a former World Bank consultant and aspirant for the Ekiti State governorship was also murdered in that same year. Otunba Dipo Dina was murdered in January, 2010 in Ota. He was to partake in the 2011 election.
After the 2011 elections, over 11 members of the National Youth Service scheme where brutally murdered in Bauchi state. The election violence that swept the country cost over 1000 lives and left thousands displaced. To some people this was surprising because the 2011 elections was said to be generally free and fair, unlike the preceding elections, but still that did not stop a violent uprising.
During every election the Nigerian Money Markets suffer dearly. With the kind of political instability Nigerian elections bring with it, there is always a drought on investment in the Nigerian economy during this period. As a result of the political instability created by the 2014/2015 electioneering, and the anxiety of what the outcome would eventually be, foreign investors pulled over 846 billion Naira from the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2014.
Yet, after all these, the Nigerian people still emerge with the most mediocre leaders, who conduct affairs of state in the most grotesque manner, even Mugabe would be embarrassed.
It has become clear that the present way of conducting elections is dangerously divisive, expensive and utterly ludicrous. And for the sake of the continued existence of the Nigerian State this must be changed. We do not doubt that most of our problems in this country can be traced to elections. In a Nation-State comprised of 250 ethnic groups an election process left to the discretion of certain individuals, like the INEC chairman, is highly dangerous. To mitigate this problem, I suggest we adopt a market-based balloting system.
Instead of all the platitudes written and re-written in the form of electoral reforms, here are practical machinations for the implementation of a market-based electoral balloting system that the Nigerian state should adopt.
First, the federal and state parliamentary, local government, and ward councillors would be done. Anybody who desires to fill any of these positions, once they meet certain requirements could put them names in the ballot systems for selection. No matter the party you belong to, if you want to become a member of the senate, the House of Representatives, a local government chairman or a ward councillor, you are required to put your name in the election ballot system – once you meet the requirements. These requirements could include an age range, minimum education qualification, etc. Then on Election Day, the balloting is done, electronically, for every position, in all the constituencies, local governments’ areas and wards involved. The first name that emerges, for every balloting round, for the position in question, irrespective 0f the political party becomes the winner of that position. This way the election is determined to be free and fair. And when people feel there was no foul play, they would generally accept the result.
Now, it is the winners of the parliamentary elections, through the balloting system, at the federal and state levels, that elect the president and governor respectively. In this way the extremely expensive and ludicrously divisive electioneering process can be done away with. Through this process those aspiring to be governor or president would not need to marshal billions of naira for their campaigns, or siphoned state funds for electioneering and election violence in Nigeria would be eliminated or mitigated to negligible levels.