2015 General Elections: X-ray Of The Nigerian State | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Comment, Opinion

2015 General Elections: X-ray Of The Nigerian State

Posted: May 22, 2015 at 12:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ikem Adimorah


The 2015 general elections have come and gone and Nigeria is still in existence as a nation. The doomsday prophets have covered their faces in shame. Thanks to a number of individuals especially President Goodluck Jonathan who exhibited unprecedented humility and maturity by making that spur of the moment phone call to Gen. Buhari. Leadership is awesome. Only those who understand the difficulties and enormity of responsibilities it bestowed on them should be encouraged and supported to lead at any level and time.

Dispassionate and cursory examinations of issues thrown up by the elections will enrich us as nation and identify some of the nagging problems that have stood on our march to development.

Heterogeneity Of Nigeria 

Of the 100years of existence of Nigeria as a nation, we have never exhibited such glaring heterogeneity as expressed in the 2015 general elections. This indicates a dangerous omen for the future of the nation. In past elections, Nigerians have won elections across ethnic and religious boundaries. This, some analyst interpreted to reflect acceptance of fellow Nigerians irrespective of primordial sentiments. But with the concluded elections, there seem to be a retrogressive paradigm shift. This they say is a warning sign that all is not well with us at present, serious effort should be made by the in-coming administration to reverse this trend before it will be too late. Nigeria has collapsed again into the ignominious tripod structure. The north voting overwhelming for their own in the person of the president -elect, Gen. Buhari.  The southeast, voting for the incumbent president, Jonathan. Only the southwest seemed divided between the two front-runners and it was their votes that had the deciding impact.

The northern voters went for their own irrespective of the incumbent’s policies which many believed were skewed to favour the north. Many analysts opined  that it was done to win their support for the re-election bid, others believed that the north dumped Jonathan because they believed it was their over-due turn to produce the next president ,which president Jonathan wanted to scuttle. The above implied that whether Jonathan performed or not did not count or was not factored into the calculation of who they voted for and the result has eloquently said so.

The south east voters also voted for their own, President Jonathan, even though there was clear case of apathy in the zone. Many believed the apathy was occasioned by the neglect the Jonathan’s administration melted out to them in favour of the northern zone. It is evident that those who voted against Gen. Buhari in the zone, may have done so based on ethnic and religious sentiments. It will not be completely out of place to suggest that some also voted for Jonathan with the hope that the development strides of his administration if consolidated in the next four years will definitely set the nation on the right part to the needed industrial revolution. They noted that justice delayed is justice denied.

The 2015 general elections in the south west zone saw voters divided into two clear groups. Unfortunately, the group spearheaded by the Afenifere, like some in the east voted to retain a government they hoped will bring the needed developmental changes in Nigeria in the next four years. But a greater majority of the southwest voters cashed in on the opportunity they saw in the cult image of Gen. Buhari in the north to move into the mainstream politics of Nigeria, irrespective of the consequences. The benefit of this shenanigan politics is yet to be seen as the shine has been taken from a lot of them, by the immediate beneficiaries of the alliance.

Solution: Immediate implementation of the 2014 Confab recommendations will remove sectionalism from the nation’s vocabulary and restore unity of purpose.

Lack Of Defined National Goals 

There seem to be a lacuna for what is generally accepted as national goals between the citizenry and the government. The common people can hardly identify or count the achievements of the Jonathan administration. Many of the policy trust of the government are yet to produce practical realities for the common people to see. Yet the government has achieved so much at different spheres. It only needed a little more time for the benefits to be seen by the common people before the elections came. Some people believed that setting few targets and achieving them within the stipulated time would have been better.

Communication experts also faulted the information mix of the government and the medium it applied to disseminate information to the public. Virtually, all the national newspapers were writing for the opposition. It was like the government was left with only the NTA and the FRCN for the dissemination of information to the public. Programmes in these government outfits are mostly analog and uninteresting where you have digitalized private stations that the people prefer these days. Also, the availability of cable networks and satellite stations must have won the hearts of TV viewers thereby reducing the viewers of government stations. The PDP now in opposition must make concerted effort for the opposition work ahead of them, if they wish to bounce back in the next four years. Their information machinery should be sharp and modern to reach the desired audience.

The elections have brought to the fore, a fragmented nation with no clear common goal. It has shown the shallow mindedness, selfishness, and lack of love for the country by political leaders. It has exposed the desperation of Nigerians for improved conditions of life even when it is almost impossible to achieve such immediately. Those that have promised change should ensure that it will happen within the next 12 months or their exit will be worse than that of Jonathan. Some Nigerians believed that if patriotism drove these change agents this far, they will consolidate on the Jonathan’s achievements rather than starting afresh to develop new programme. They may be cut-up with time as the out-going government.

• Adimorah wrote in from Asaba