The Anambra State governorship election of November 16 has come and gone, but its silhouette refuses to go. Its impacts, like an evil omen, will not be forgotten so soon in our democratic space. Like an incubus, the effects will live to hunt us and heckle us. And those who can read the future, who are prescient and have a Ouija board and clairvoyance to tell us what is to come, are already apprehensive of 2015.
I was not there in flesh and blood to witness the action, but I was eager to follow it up through news monitoring in newspapers, radio, television and the online media before, during and after the election. The tidbits and pieces I was able to gather of that exercise does not give me hope to cheer. I am one man whose belief in Nigeria is unflinching. I have this faith that Nigeria will metamorphose into one great nation and compete with super powers like America and China if both the leadership and the followership can get our acts right.
But we falter each time we are saddled with the responsibility to flesh out this vision and lift ourselves from our bootstraps. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) started preparation for the Anambra election from January 2012. And the President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was supportive of the exercise in all ramifications, providing the needed funds and other logistics to enable the commission achieve a credible and acceptable result. But upon all the time at its disposal and government support, INEC bungled the election and left not only the electorate in Anambra high and dry but also all those who dream for the growth of genuine democracy in our fatherland.
Now the question is, if INEC with all its personnel and support could not conduct a credible election in one state, what assurance do we have to believe it will do better when the election is conducted in one day in the remaining 33 states in 2015? Recently, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega has been touring the country to allay our fears. He has not ceased to drum into our ears at every fora the commission’s preparedness to improve on its chequered and charred image arising from its poor outing in Anambra.
We will believe him, but that does not mean we should not be apprehensive.