By: Olamide Francis
Olorun ngbo, we’re on course to see the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria. By the time the Edo and Ondo elections are accomplished, even the UN will send us an award for conducting the most decent election in our history. It’s not that previous elections have been imprinted by violence, ballot snatching, and loss of lives and properties, but these particular ones will set a new unbeatable record.
No one should dare inquire, “Must Edo and Ondo elections happen this year?” — it’s rhetorical — except a Nigerian in the diaspora with all accessible information and prior records of peaceful and healthy elections in the country, anyone should be able to boldly say, “COVID-19 got nothing on us.”
Orderly elections are not alien to us in Nigeria. We’ve seen it happen over and over again. We’re even tired of seeing it — so tired that we have a steady decline in PVC collection rates and voter turnouts in every election year. One can even assess — in advance — the level of peace by giving attention to the words of the Umbrella and Broom people. They have been exchanging words of peace with each other as the elections beckons.
It is not the fear of COVID-19 that’ll make us suspend any election. We have all it takes and incredibly patient and law-abiding voters to adhere to instructions and set a new record for the most peaceful and fair elections. More so, Kogi and Ondo people are so anxious to get the election done with, so they can keep enjoying the dividends of democracy; a noticeable element in the way some of them yearn for food, clothing, and shelter.
We can also deduce from this election where/what the priority of the Nigerian Government is. WASSCE has been suspended, but elections can take place. It’s not a pity kaan kaan. You shouldn’t be shocked like “Daddy shocki”, the man at the helm. By now, every Nigerian should have a good shock absorber.
When they showed us how many prerogatives they placed on education in the National Budget, bootlickers told us, “We have to organise what we have. The little we have must go round the sectors.” Yet again, we have seen how crucial education is to them.
They suspended WASSCE but gave elections the go-ahead. No action is as reasonable as this. In other words, it is easier to control crowds at the polling booths than to control SS3 students at their examination centers. No be so? WASSCE invigilators are composed of agberos and immature folks. They won’t be able to obey simple COVID-19 prevention instructions. Compare the orderliness in our previous election year to the yearly entropy at WASSCE, you’ll see why the government had to make that call. They are really forward thinkers.
Let me attempt to tell help you justify their wonderful decision, and why it is wiser than anything anyone can say:
- It’s not easy to control students, but it’s effortless to coordinate the electorate at polling booths.
- In previous years, WASSCE has proved to invariably be mixed with chaos, but our elections have been characterised by pin-drop silence.
- We don’t grab ballot boxes in Nigeria, but we have a habit of snatching examination sheets.
- Nigerian students are impatient, but the electorate are peaceful, law-abiding, and patient people.
- Elections are far more meaningful than education.
- COVID-19 will be contained on Election Day, but it cannot be caged on examination days.
- FG is omniscient, they know better than any of us.
- Talk your own.
Let’s go on with elections. Let’s also pray, fast, and coordinate online religious crusades so that our COVID-19 victim numbers don’t go up sporadically. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of COVID-19, we fear no evil. All thanks to our peaceful electoral processes.