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Politics [OPINION] Bloodbath in Bayelsa: A Charade Called Election – Lawrence Nnoli



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Few weeks after the Bayelsa gubernatorial election, especially the Southern Ijaw rerun, Lawrence Onoli analysed his experience and rate the nature of the Bayelsa election under the new INEC boss, Mahmood Yakubu.


On the 9th of January, 2016 Nigerians were again entertained to a live horror movie casted in Ijaw South Local Government Area of Bayelsa state titled “Gubernatorial Election Re-run”.

The two main actors of this live horror movie did not in any way fail to uphold their pre-election threats to rain terror and exchange fire for fire .

Indeed they made good their threats. The film was well shot and concluded as planned. As usual with all films, what then is the rating of this show?

All manner of ratings have flowed in from various supporters of the main actors but ultimately all those ratings have adjudged the movie as one too bloody. Though no ratings were proffered by the director cum producer of this live theatrical horror movie, the entire Nigerian audience expected no self-assessed rating from them contrary to the ultimate conclusion already drawn by various supporters of the main actors which is that the election was repulsively bloody.



A situation where more than 50% of eligible voters stayed indoors on the day of the re-run election for fear of violence and the few that even dared all odds to go out and vote sustained varying degrees of trauma and intimidation is a situation that Nigeria should bow its head in shame. This incident has reminded the ordinary Nigerian that our political industry is still filled with political entrepreneurs who have little or no value for human blood.

The election has again brought to the fore the conclusion by many political researchers that election in Nigeria is war. If the recent bloodletting which occurred during the Bayelsa gubernatorial re-run election is not conclusively investigated and culprits brought to book, it will enbolden these honourable criminals to continue their merchandise.

All dramatis personas in the just concluded elections ought to be dispassionately investigate including the winner and the loser if such occurrence must be avoided tomorrow. A situation where unjust killings during elections are swept under the carpet must henceforth cease. Well, this call will sound laughable to most Nigerians, afterall this has been a normal occurrence in our nation and there are other current issues which seem to be begging for attention. No. The life of every Nigerian must be valued if we must make progress as a nation. This call is for all and sundry to rise up against this bloody show regardless of party affiliation.

A nation that shows little or no concern for the life of its citizens is tottering on the edge of extinction. Who knows whether this is the reason Biafra agitations have gathered morale and momentum all of a sudden. To the Government, I dare ask, Where lies the best investment? Isn't it in human beings? Ironically, while a lot of capital is mapped out by the Federal and the state governments to develop Nigeria, issues of this nature do not always catch the fancy of the governments of the day.

Could it be because occupants of political positions in government were products of the bloodletting electoral activities? Let this present government add to the genial gesture of the immediate past government headed by Goodluck Jonathan who made good his often quoted statement that his “political ambitions are not worth any human blood” by peacefully acknowledging defeat and handing over to the winner of the last general presidential election. This they can do by bringing the actors and sponsors of those devious acts to book. If they do not do this, the blood of the slain innocents will continue to cry against Nigeria for justice.

This injustice must be addressed if there will be a meaningful and long lasting development in Nigeria.

Opinion by: Lawrence C. Nnoli