By Amb. Adichie, Izuchukwu.
Election: To elect means, ‘to choose or make decision’ Election has been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th Century. Election therefore, it’s a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office(Wikipedia).
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Election can also be defined as a formal and organized process of electing or being elected, especially members of political party who are being choosing for a public office by voting.
Politician: A politician can mean someone who identifies with a political party. It can also be a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially a holder of or a candidate for an elected office.
Africans, Nigerians and Anambrarians sees 80% of politicians as people who acts in a manipulative, dubious and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organisation.
The above definition of ‘a politician’ by Ndi Anambra can be used to also agree to what Harold Laswel refers politics as. According to him he maintains that Politics is he who gets what he want, when and how.
From the above, you can argue less that the posit by Laswel 1958 has proved most politicians are dubious in character.
In everyday parlance, the word politics has been the most abused and used term in the political lexicon. This is because the populace sees politics which involves a politician and election as being crafty, bargaining, scheming and always manoeuvring for advantage.
This is simply because, our politicians who we entrusted with our votes after listening to their ‘Campaign Promises’ when clinched political powers turns to prove Laswel’s position right.
Politicians and Election promises has done more harm than good. Election promises or campaign promise is a promise or guarantee made for the public by a candidate (politician) that are trying to win an election.
Election promise is another instrument needed in getting a politician elected into public office. In Nigeria, especially South Eastern Nigeria, election promises which are usually huge are often abandoned once in office.
Popular cynicism and new media hype has not only increase the public perception of lies, betrayal of the masses, abandonment of public thrust and broken promises, but has only help increase the ‘the general deception of masses of the more you look, the less you see’
We can argue less by the fraction of the broken election promise by the above politicians remain roughly high day by day, dispensation by dispensation.
It is agreeably that before you win an election, you must make exaggerated promises, failure to make such promises might make you lose gullible voters.
In Nigeria context, we are witness to so many election promises starting from Former President Goodluck era, where he promised South-Eastern Nigeria 2nd Niger bridge, and massive construction of our high ways but all were empty promises.
2015 General elections brought in so many campaign promises, like making 1$=1#, 5000# payment, etc.
Situations has proven that in Nigeria, precisely Anambra, politicians need not only exaggerated promises to win, they also need money to win election or re-election.
Can we ever change influence of money politics in our polity?
The answer remains NO! Because the masses are hungry, the promised development and growth are not there to be seen, real youth empowerment is not there. There’s total disconnection in local integration.
To change the influence of money in election is easy but, its hard. Every aspiring politician believed that without enough money in his disposal, its a difficult journey to start. Why? Because they knew that all the promises which they made before getting elected were all abandoned. They therefore retort to money Politics as means to win.
Principally, because of the advantages of incumbency who is seeking for re-election or supporting his candidate, it has become a tradition to have a challenger invest so much money while introducing himself.
In Nigeria electioneering, it has been an uphill task for a challengers to challenge an incumbent factor who has corrupt ‘federal structure’ or for an incumbent to win a challenger who has a corrupt ‘federal structure’.
Every incumbent is believed to have an advantage over a challenger by virtue of having held the office being contested for a specific period of time while every challenger who has Federal might is believed to have an advantage over the incumbent.
For instance, in the current political dispensation in Nigeria, Kogi, Ondo, Edo, Bayelsa, AkwaIbom and Imo North has proved it to be so true.
The fraudulent nature of our political godfatherism has stunted our political development. it has held governance to a cage, we could not neglect the inevitability of godfathers in politics and spheres of human endeavours. It denied the people the opportunity for rapid development.
Politicians knows the implication of political godfathers and how it undermines political process, hence, the services of the so-called godfathers are been recruited by young politicians and less political minded ones who always serves as a bait for massive exploitation.
Conclusively, we can agree that in Nigeria, precisely South East region what we need a sustainable Democratic state. A state free from dubious and devious politicians and state free from maneuvering.
All we need according to Laski 1930, is politics as a life of man in relation to organize state.
All we just needed is a REFORM!!
Amb. Adichie Izuchukwu writes from ENUGU!!