“The umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should endeavor to leave no stone unturned to conduct free, fair and credible elections.”
Many Nigerians, particularly those in the Diaspora are preoccupied with the 2019 elections in Nigeria. Their anxieties could be aptly captured in the open letter to the Nigerian electorate sent recently by the leader of Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation USA (PNF-USA, Inc.), Mr. Geoffrey Nzeadibe.
– Here are the excerpts:
“Dear Mr. President and the Nigerian Electorate: After much thought on the many issues buttressing the downing of co-operate Nigeria, Nigerians in Diaspora under the auspices of Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation (PNF USA), Inc. has decided to write to the Nigerian Electorate to address the issues concerning their critical role for the forthcoming elections and to remind them of their inherent obligations.”
“It is time, you, the Nigerian electorate, woke up, rose up, wise up and claim your position and rights in the country you own. The most powerful group in any nation is the electorate and you do not relinquish your power to any other person on group for anything. Never would the electorate relinquish power to anybody and that is why PNF USA says, wake up. The Nigerian electorate has been in a big slumber for too long, dreaming a lot of fantasies and now we believe you have rested enough, and it is time for you to wake up and go into action. No administration takes over the running of the affairs of a democratic country without the electorate putting that administration in place. The Nigerian electorate must now rise up and do what you are inherently imbued to do.
“Another general election is fast approaching, and this is a good time and opportunities for you, the electorate to make right the wrongs that has been going on far too long. The Electorate should understand that there is never and good thief. Whoever sold you, the verbiage that electing your own thief is better than the other thief, sold you a snake oil and you bought it line, hook and sinker. We do not believe that you would celebrate any of your own children stealing from you. The truth is in some cases, you may disown that child that is stealing from you. If you would react so with your own child, why would you hail the sycophants, in the government robbing you blind?
A thief is a thief and is a thief anywhere. Nigerian electorate do not elect any thief even your own thieves into offices. Look at it in the light of being the owner of the co-operation and you are hiring managers and officers to run the co-operation for you. You would never hire a known thief to run your business on your behalf. If you would not do so for your small business, why do you engage in doing the opposite in the much bigger operation of a nation? You own co-operate Nigeria and you have the power to hire and fire any and all managers that are not performing well.
“Your present and future net worth is far more than a bag or rice. Please, do not mortgage your future for a bag of rice that may not last more than a month. Some of the politicians are equating your life equal to or less than a bag of rice. That is why they come around election time to buy your vote for a bag of rice and turn around and rob you blind when you vote them into office. Please, stop that practice and vote into office the persons that will perform the duties assigned to that office. For you to achieve this, is by making yourselves available on the day election to vote a candidate of your choice, someone you consider credible and feat to manage nation’s resources with sense of accountability thereby making life more amiable and pleasant to live. You need to use your Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), which is your power to install good governance and vote out those who have performed below your expectations.
If you take elections’ days as holidays and sit back at home, then you are the enemy of yourself and the nation. Any Nigerian of voting age, who displays apathy towards electoral process perhaps because he or she thinks votes would count, remains part of the clog in the nation’s wheel of progress. It is saddening that most people sit at home on elections days.
“The Nigerian Press, you are members of the electorate and by the virtue of your profession, you are the first line of defense of democracy. You are the ears and eyes of the electorate. You are the group positioned to see the bad actors first before many others can see them. Nigerian press should say something when you see something that is not right. What good are you to the public if you cannot do your job well? Let the electorate know what you have uncovered in the course of doing your job and keep talking about it until something is done to correct it. Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation (PNF USA), Inc. will be talking to you more but for now we want you to wise up and claim your rights in the cooperate Nigeria. Although the social media platforms have been influential in information dissemination and they are major opinion shapers and are influential.
“The umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should endeavor to leave no stone unturned to conduct free, fair and credible elections. The electoral body without mincing words needs to be deeply committed to democratic elections that would contribute to political stability and consolidation of democracy, which would propel the nation to greater economic prosperity. The 2019 general elections need to be credible and made to meet the goals of election integrity comparable to developed nations. It is true that political stability is a prerequisite for economic growth and development and it is also true that no economy flourishes in a situation of uncertainty. So, no nation develops if that nation is unstable. We have seen nations and cities destroyed by unacceptable electoral outcomes, hence democratic transition through periodic and credible elections is the best way to ensure certainty that will guarantee and sustain political stability.
“To achieve this goal, all stakeholders – governments, election administrators, security agencies, civil society groups, the media, political parties, candidates and their supporters — to play their roles. It is therefore expedient to advice against `do or die’ mentality of politicians, vote-buying, incendiary speech, security impunity and lack of consequences for electoral offenders.”