Election in Nigeria has become very critical,  hence the agitation for INEC to provide the permanent voter’s card (PVC) to all Nigerians. In the news commentary Victor lumah, our guest writer writes on the basic conditions necessary for holding a free and fair elections in Nigeria.
The basic Ingredients for a free and fair 2015 elections are harped on the need for a honest, competent, non partisan administration to run the 2015 election. Closely related is a general acceptance through the political community of certain rather vague rules of the game, which limit the struggle for power because of some unspoken sentiment, that if the rules are not observed more or less faithfully the game itself will disappear amid the wreckage of the whole system.
Furthermore, a developed system of political parties, traditions and teams of candidates before the electors as alternatives between who to chose and an independent Judiciary to interpret electoral laws.
Political observers would agree that absence of these aforementioned ingredients are the greatest problem in our political development as a country. While others are aware of the importance of a free and fair elections as prerequisites for peace, stability and progress, as a country. Before now, various suggestions are made to improve the situation, some designed to “improve” the electoral system and or the electoral process. Meanwhile other political observers address the quality of the electorate, however, most of the contributions, have to do with “an honest”, competent, non-partisan administration to run elections.
However, some retrogressive analysts have argued that the quality of those to be given the franchise to vote should be improved. That, one way of improving such franchise, is to limit voting to only literate members of the community, who can vote intelligently, while those who do not understand what voting means should be deprived of the privilege. Be that as it may, those who buy ballot papers, who remove ballot boxes, who invalidate ballot papers, who sneak in ballot papers at counting centers, those who cause election officials to disappear are not the illiterates or the unemployed, they are invariably the greedy, wealthy and educated members of the community.
Most importantly, the electoral umpires should be blamed for inability to conduct a fair and free elections in the country and in our political system, the police force cannot in any way be free from this cankerworm.
All in all, as the country prepare for 2015 general elections, all hands must be on deck to give the citizenry a credible, free and fair election. The various internal and International observers should come up with reports devoid of any ambiguity, sentiment. Instead they should give the true picture of the 2015 general elections with view to allowing Nigerians benefit from such reports and improve in areas not well articulated in the 2015 elections.   With the introduction of high profile academia as electoral returning officers in the current electoral process, they should also be brought to oversee, what transpires in the various polling stations during elections. The current INEC in its bid to organize a free and fair election has introduced various electronic methods, it is hoped that on the days stipulated for the various elections, these electronic gadgets would be functional and active.
Happily the pact signed by INEC and the road transport workers’ is a welcomed development, taking into cognizance that the pact would enable transportation of polling officers and material to the various voting centers. Early before voting commences. The electorates on their part should be calm, cool and collected in the face of any intimidation on the election days, the bottom line, is that success should be recorded in the 2015 general elections slated for March 28th and April 11 2015.