CASMIR C NGUZORO
June 12th every year remains a memorable day to citizens of Nigeria more especially to those that participated in the auction A4 voting in Nigeria.
According to Wikipedia, the 1993 Nigerian presidential election was held on 12 June 1993 in the Nigerian Third Republic, the first since the 1983 military coup ended the country’s Second Republic. The elections were the outcome of a transitional process to civilian rule spearheaded by the military ruler, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB).
The unofficial result of the election – though not declared by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) – indicated a victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
The winner of the election was thus never declared as the elections were annulled by IBB, citing electoral irregularities.
The annulment led to protests and political unrest, including the resignation of IBB and a weak interim civilian government, and culminated in the continuation of military rule in the country with Sani Abacha ascending to power as the military head of state via a bloodless coup later in the year.
When NEC began announcing the first batch of election results on 14th June. Abiola won 19 out of 30 states, and the Federal Capital Territory. He won all the states of the south-west; three of the seven states in the south-east; five of the nine northern states including Kano, Tofa’s state; and four out of the seven states in the central middle belt.
Of the 6.6 million votes that had been announced, Abiola had received 4.3 million and Tofa 2.3 million. If Abiola had been declared the winner, he would have been at that time the first southerner to be elected as president of Nigeria, breaking through ethno-religious divides having received support from all regions of the country.
On 23 June 1993, however, the Abuja High Court declared the election “null and void” allegedly because the NEC had ignored its first injunction not to conduct the polls. On the same day, the government made an announcement cancelling the elections and suspending the NEC.
According to many this June 12th election was the freest and fairest presidential election in the history of Nigeria, it united all Nigerians irrespective of your tribe and religion. People came out in mass and were very patient until they casted their votes.
This election defied all odds and geopolitical sentiments that had and still challenge Nigeria’s aspiration to take a deserved place in the comity of nations. A Muslim who picked another Muslim as his running mate, he, however, won the vote of the many Christians who defied religious slant of his ticket.
But just as they say, that good things and good people don’t last. Democracy was aborted while it was very close to its birth in Nigeria.
Then Down to January 14th 2020, Democracy was Strangling in Abuja ( The Capital city of Nigeria) and buried in Imo State.
Let’s recall that the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Imo state governorship election, Emeka Ihedioha, was declared winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to INEC Ihedioha polled 273,404 votes to defeat the Action Alliance candidate (AA), Uche Nwosu, who polled 190,360 votes, while Senator Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) came fouth, with 96,458 votes.
This declaration by INEC brought a lot of joy to Imo citizens, more especially to those that returned from their respective locations to vote for Hon Emeka Ihedioha. This celebration had nothing to do with party affiliation or zoning, the feeling was mutual.
2019 Election in Imo state was one of the best free and fair elections ever conducted in the history of Imo State after the one that ushered in Senator Rochas Okorocha in 2011.
This Same election defied all odds, zoning, religious denominations, and geopolitical sentiments. An Owerri Zone citizen contesting election against people of other political zones, yet he was wildly voted irrespective of zoning and party affiliation.
Is true that if we don’t vote, we are ignoring history and giving away the future. But believe me when I say that Majority of Imo Citizens have lost interest in politics, democracy, rule of law and more importantly in Voting.
Just like a popular philosopher said, Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
Funny enough many citizens of Imo State believe that, Supreme Court in their unique powers announced a Governor for Imo State, from a vote gotten from people who did not vote.
The same Court that declared June 13 1993 election “null and void” causing pains and tears to Nigerians, came back in January 14 2020 and declared the winning of Hon Emeka “null and void”, thereby causing pains and tears to Ihedioha and Imolites.
Before our votes were precious. It was the most powerful non-violent tool we had in a democratic society.
DEMOCRAY HAVE GONE WRONG IN NIGERIA. When a confused government is elected in a democratic country, the best thing about this is that you learn the number of confused people in that country!
When the democrats choose not to be democratic, democracy fails to be democratic.
Indeed democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
Following June 12th 1993 election, the judiciary that should be protecting democracy has always being a problem to democracy in Nigeria, just like a medical doctor that is meant to protect lives, engaging himself in the abortion of a baby.
The judiciary should understand that democracy is not just the right to vote; it is the right to live in dignity.
Irrespective of the pains of Imolites, I wish to encourage Imo State citizens not to give up in their fight against corruption and dream for a better Imo State. We have no other choice that to embrace what is before us. Let’s support this presence administration for as long as it can last.
Lets support it for the next 4years, and if we are not comfortable with their governance we have the rights to go back to the pools and vote them out, but if they win our hearts with good governance, then we have no choice than to support them for an additional 4years. Fighting the government will not add anything good to us, but supporting, advising and criticizing the government will go a long way to sharpen it in a positive way.
While the governor himself should understand that he has a lot of works to do, so as to win the hearts of Imo citizens. Just like a second wife who has to work very hard to win the hearts of his husband’s children.
Yes is painful when we vote and it looks like our votes are not being respected, but we shouldn’t stop voting because the right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, and control over their own destinies.
Let us understand that all humans are equal, but not everyone has the mental capacity to decide what’s best for harmony and progress of a people.