forthcoming Local Government election in Enugu State won't be any different
from the ones conducted by Enugu State Independent Electorate Commission
(ENSIEC) under the two former governors of the State, Chimaroke Nnamani and
Sullivan Chime, these two former Chief Executives installed their choice men
who they used to secure their second tenure through massive rigging and that is
exactly what is about to play out in the November 2017 local government
elections in Enugu, APC and other opposition parties in the State are also not
The major challenge in local government elections in Enugu and most other States in the Southeast is that the polls is conducted by sitting governors who use the State funds and State-owned electoral body to stampede any form of competition that may arise from those who would want to unseat them in the general elections. They use the same old tactics since the time of Chimaroke, which includes trying to disqualify candidates of other parties using ENSIEC, they also impose outrageous fees on these candidates in the name of forms and tax clearance. This year's nomination form for chairmanship is at N300,000,
The Government does not pay attention to awareness creation as per campaigns and electioneering, like in the instance of voter education which the State electoral body ought to enlighten the masses on, the ruling party enjoys the loophole to help them starve the people of the timetable, guidelines and other information on the processes in the exercise. APC and other opposition parties like in the previous years are approaching the election to fulfill all righteousness, they have not demonstrated much readiness to show that they are contesting against a State ruling party in an election.
PDP with their incurable impunity has started showing that they have no regards for people's opinion by desperately imposing candidates at the primary election level, an example of this is the case of Amebo council war in Igbo-Eze South L.G.A, where a young man by the name Jude Nkem Onah won the primary as the choice candidate of the party delegates but is now being short-changed by some high ranking members of the party, Onah's case has been reported to many stakeholders including the State chairman, their house of rep and even the governor as the gods of their party who all turned deaf ears to the young man's cry simply because he has no god father, the story is the same in many other wards and local government areas, despite the call by the governor that the position of councilors is 'akamu' (Pap) and should be left exclusively for youths.
Ordinarily a party that fails to allow popular aspirants emerge as their flag bearers through due process during primary elections is bound to fail in the main election but that's not going to happen, you will see these imposed unpopular persons declared winners through the survival of the fittest system in the November 4th election, they will be ones to score themselves, claiming that the exercise was peaceful and extremely free and fair, when less than twenty percent of the people actually have their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and most people don't even know what the exercise is all about.
Those who feel less concerned and don't get involve especially the youths are the ones at the receiving end when these highest-bidder business men mount the leadership position at our various local government secretariats, the allocations and Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) that should be used for the development of the citizens are shared as entitlements and compensation to a few individuals who will assume ownership of the government by relationship, party positions and appointments plus the ones that will be carted away as returns on daily, weekly and periodic basis. The BIG question is why don't we bother? How long shall the youths continue to keep quiet stay away from getting involved? Most young people would prefer to waste time, energy and data on social media for uploading of selfie and other photos, chatting, browsing porn sites and other useless things instead of fully taking their destinies in their own hands, which starts from obtaining their PVCs and forming strong alliances with one another on individual basis and collectively in groups to constructively access and engage those who are contesting, so that they can choose the best man for the job through their votes and also have the chances of nominating and supporting any one of their own who they feel has and demonstrated outstanding leadership and people oriented traits. Surely the Southeast can be turned into a first class society with a stable economy and be made the Igbo nation of our dreams if we all see it as our collective responsibility.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Onyedika Agbo is a Political analyst and Youth developer who strongly believes that Nigeria can be great and one of the best countries of the world, if not the very best.