By Ama Chukwugoziem (Abia writers)
Edited by Livingrich Ezeikpe
From the inception of election in Nigeria in 1959, the voting behaviour of Nigeria has not marched with the democratic principles as obtained in other parts of the world. The massive wastages of the public fund characterize the so-called election in Nigeria. Nigeria from 1959 till 2015 has spent their fortune in conducting up to fifteen (15) elections in the federal and state level, and all were adjudged to be fraudulent. The 1983 elections were so bad that the courts overturned many elections; one state, for example, is the Ondo state election. Had the Babaginda administration released Justice Babalakin commission of enquiry reports on the 1983 national fraud called elections, it may have served as a pointer to the massive 'rigging' and wastages of public funds.

This terrible word: ‘'rigging'’ means in the English language 'To manipulate fraudulently', a way of swindling. To "rig" election to the tune of Nigeria politicians means to play dirty tricks on your opponents, manipulate voter’s registration figures, to bribe electoral officers, to steal and buy votes, to stuff ballot boxes with illegally printed papers, to announce false election results on the radio etc.
Nigeria elections are characterized by all the above-mentioned lists.

Since the departure of the colonial administration in 1959, Nigeria has developed the evil act of election 'rigging' into a fine art. An example of this is during the 1963 western Regional election, the party in power stuffed its supporter’s bellies with illegally printed ballot papers making them 'pregnant' instantly. This pregnant voters both men and women delivered their ballot babies inside the polling stations. Rigging of elections in Nigeria has become a norm and a natural phenomenon which has ruined their experiment with democracy and will never move the country's democracy forward even at half a century after she got her independent.

Atrocities committed by politicians were unlimited. Nobody tolerated electioneering campaign in their domain by their opponents, incessant attacks and killings by hired thugs, in fact, there is no election that is not marred by violence and other vices. One time in Sokoto state, a district head ordered that a local party leader who allowed his party presidential candidate's helicopter to land in his compound to be tied to a tree. The 'rigging' of election is so widespread and blatant that it is a complete mockery of democracy.

Voting behaviour has made the procurement of the permanent voters' card irrelevant because the old breed politicians with their corrupt tendencies do what they know best - 'Election rigging' whether you have your permanent voters card(PVC) or not, whether you vote or not, no election in Nigeria can be free. For instance, the electoral officers will be forced to collect huge sums of money as bribes, whether they like it or not. Poverty is another evil tool in the hands of these politicians, imagine when a family is not well fed or properly taken care of, they can resort to bribe-taking to make ends meet. A school of thought has it that the politicians purposely impoverish the populace to make it easier for them to manipulate citizens.

The electorates do not know their rights and cannot use them judiciously because of the nature and political culture of Nigeria; the result is that people of dubious or doubtful integrity and unclean records are voted in. No election held in Nigeria since 1959 could be called elections in any meaningful sense; with this kind of experience who would have the mind to go and collect his/her permanent voter's card (PVC) for an election that is undemocratic? Doing that means total time wasted.

From the history of election rigging in Nigeria, I suggest that Biafrans go for the best, that is the total boycott of the PVC and seek for the restoration of Biafra. Biafrans be wise. The only solution towards emancipating us from this total mess and mental slavery is total restoration of Biafra.
Biafra restoration is our last hope.

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