It’s the second day in the month of February, 2015. The clock ticks and we patiently and anxiously countdown to 14/02/2015 – a “date” with “mother Nigeria” that will go down the annals of history as one to be remembered. Nigerians and the world at large awaits this date with their fingers crossed and breathes held, waiting to exhale and heave sighs of relief or gasp in shock depending on the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections.
As i prepare to go back tomorrow to the polling/registration centre where i registered in 2011 for the umpteenth time to exchange my TVC for a PVC (as directed by INEC officials over the weekend when I visited their office in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria), I take a peek at INEC’s website and there awaits me the list of presidential and vice presidential candidates, their parties and their academic qualifications.
You may say I’m naive, uninformed and unlearned but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only Nigerian who is not conversant with over 85% of the candidates and their political parties. Names like Allagoa Kelvin Chinedu, Godson Mgbodile Ohaenyem and Comfort Oluremi Sonaiya are totally and completely alien to me. Maybe I’m alone in this, maybe I’m not; but I’ll like to ask, how many Nigerians know the following political parties, their meanings, their symbols and theirideologies: KOWA, UPP, CPP, ADA and PPN?
I’m sure majority of the electorates do not, which is why I’ve always canvased for a two party and an independent candidate system and a “down play” of financial support to political parties on the part of government as a check on indiscriminate registrations of political parties with little or nothing to offer the electorate and no clear cut ideology. Of course, the politicians who currently benefit from the status qua will vehemently disagree with me – we will delve into and do justice to this issue on a future date.
For now, I can’t help but notice that INEC itself either doesn’t know or isn’t willing to divulge to us the ages of all the presidential aspirants and their running mates in the forth coming general elections as can be seen in the final list released on its official website. How else will you explain the the appearance of just seven ages of the twenty eight presidential and vice presidential candidates listed in the table above? If this isn’t gross ineffectiveness on the part of the umpire for the imminent elections, what is? Or maybe it’s a case of with-holding of information on INEC’s part. If that be it, don’t Nigerians deserve to know the correct ages of these candidates?
These and many more questions play around in my head as I join other patriotic Nigerian to count down to 14/02/2015. I look forward to tomorrow when I shall (if I’ll be given) eventually get my PVC. I love my country and I’m optimistic that we’ll turn out right eventually. How long it’ll take, I truly can’t say but I’ll leave you with this: go out in your numbers, exercise your RIGHT to VOTE and VOTE RIGHT!