Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Real Heroes of the 2011 Elections in Nigeria

The Real Heroes of the 2011 Elections in Nigeria

The incumbent and reelected President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)) have been receiving accolades for the overall conduct of the 2011 elections in spite of the terrifying and horrifying post election violence caused by the allegations of electoral malpractices and recurrent acts of terrorism propelled by Islamic fundamentalism. But those who truly deserve the accolades are not Mr. Jonathan or Prof. Jega, but the patriotic Nigerian voters who thronged the polling booths to cast their votes regardless of the weather, risks of being attacked by unpatriotic political opportunists and their hired thugs. These millions of patriotic Nigerian voters in every state of the federation are the real heroes of the 2011 elections and the standard bearers of democracy and governance in Nigeria.

Ultimately, it was the judgment on the fairness of the election process by the Nigerian people that is most important. The various international observer organizations have pronounced the elections as credible, but it was the words of a driver yesterday that appeared to echo the sentiment of most Nigerians, "We did it this time!"
~ William Strassberger, a Public Affairs Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs of US STATE DEPARTMENT

The President of Nigeria and Chairman of INEC had their glaring shortcomings in the most important challenge of the elections, SECURITY of the lives and properties of Nigerian voters. They both failed even when they were duly warned of the dangers before the elections. If one single Nigerian voter Adamu Bologi who is a devout Muslim could be so brave to dare to risk his precious life by confronting the ruthless marauding lunatics on rampage and using words of persuasion to appeal to them and succeeded in saving the threatened lives of his Christian neighbours in the conflagration of the post presidential election violence, then what stopped the well armed Nigerian police and army from preventing the murder of over 500 innocent Nigerians if they were doing their ultimate duty of policing the streets, guarding voters at the polling booths or polling stations and other places and making sure that there was no breakdown of law and order?

The Nigerian voters, and the hundreds of innocent citizens who sacrificed their precious lives in the post election violence are the real heroes we should celebrate and remember in the history of Nigeria.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

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