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Democracy In Nigeria

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Nelly Brown - March 10, 2012 - submitted in Culture & Society - 541 view(s)

The country and the entire world watched closely as the April 2011 Nigerian presidential election approached. Nobody was really sure what was going to happen while some said it was going to be peaceful others said it was going to be war. Some predicted it was going to be free and fair while some said it was going to be marred with rigging.

Prof. Attahiru Jega who was chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission a body which has been given the power to conduct elections in Nigeria has promised Nigerian of a free and fair election.

The Nigerian government released enough fund to ensure that the election was a success. So INEC wouldn't bring up the issue of fund as an excuse should in case anything goes wrong.

During this period I was serving my nation as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member and we have been chosen as ad hoc staffs by INEC to conduct the election.
On that faithful day I was ready to give my best and ensure that I keep to the rules guiding the election. I was selected as the presiding officer (PO) of my unit and was to work with two others. I was determined as well as my colleagues to see that the election was free and fair at least in our unit hoping others will do same in there different units.

On our way to our polling unit, we saw some people already gathered in some units waiting for the time to reach for commencement of accreditation. As I looked at them I saw people who were ready for change. On getting to my polling unit it was the same thing. People were already gathered in small groups discussing while waiting for us.

In most of the polling units across the country the electoral officers arrived on time with the complete voting materials. Except in few locations were some delays were experienced.
In previous elections conducted, voters normally leave as soon as they cast their vote. Apart from the turnout of people to vote during this election, people insured that their votes counted. Most of the voters stayed back until the votes were counted and the winner in that particular unit was declared.

Both the local and international observers who monitored the election gave it a pass mark. This goes to show the effort INEC and Nigerians put to ensure the election was a success.
The results were collected starting from the different units to the wards, then to the local governments and then the states. The final result was then announced by the chairman of the INEC Prof. Attahiru Jega declaring Godluck Ebele Jonathan who represented the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner.

It is a thing of joy to me that in my little capacity I was among those who made this possible. Though there were still room for improvement but it was a job well done by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The election brought back believes in people that the electoral process in Nigeria can still get better.

To other African countries and the world, it served as a reference that things can still work if people are determined.