By Ayobola Eniola
The residents of Maiduguri had probably thought they would wake up to another news of postponed elections. They didn’t. They woke up to something different and lethal. The quiet of dawn was disrupted by seven explosions that started around 5:50 am and subsided a few minutes past 6 am, as first reported by Sahara Reporters. Nigerians refused to be deterred by this unpleasant report and came out en-masse across the nation, determined to be involved in the democratic process that will govern their lives in the next four years.
It is perplexing to see that a group of citizens are bent on sabotaging the peaceful conduct of the elections, which is as detrimental to the progress of the nation as it is deadly to the lives of citizens who have chosen to come out and vote in spite of the threats and scares all around town. Already there have been reports of election disruption and violence in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Delta and Rivers state. Reports have it that a former PDP chieftain has been shot dead in Rivers state just as elections were underway.
In Amope, Sapele Local Government Area of Delta state, it is alleged that three voters have been killed with at least two injured when political thugs stormed the area to snatch ballot boxes. Also, in Ago Palace way, Isolo, Lagos, election materials were burnt prompting voters to abandon the polling unit for safety. Shootings have also been confirmed to have occurred in Ikot Ekpene area of Akwa Ibom state, and intense violence ongoing in other several areas of Rivers and Lagos state, which are major economic seats of the nation.
A truly democratic system is symbiotic; the people elect leaders to manage the affairs of the nation, the leaders, in turn, serve to achieve the mandate given them by the people. Sabotage of this relationship disqualifies it from being termed democratic. It is now parasitic; the powerful preying on the weak, clutching on to power against the will of the people.
It is unfair to deal with the natural struggles of life one has no control over, and still have to endure hardship from a fellow human. I will spell it out in black and white; the political class that has been ruling Nigeria in the last twenty years since democracy came on the political scene, have no interest in taking the nation forward. It is either their mouths or their pockets. When they are fed and full, they pass the crumbs down to the people, expecting praises and gratitude in return. The political class will do the unthinkable to keep their firm grip on power. The people must not back down. The tyranny of the political class must come to an end for a new and progressive nation to be birthed