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2019 ELECTION: THE NEED FOR RECONCILIATION AND DISARMAMENT IN KOGI EAST

2019 ELECTION: THE NEED FOR RECONCILIATION AND DISARMAMENT IN KOGI EAST

The 2019 election has come and gone, and lessons were learnt, societal problems increases and relationships were broken. Enmity, hatred, prejudice and stereotypic inclinations are currently on the high rate; social vices have become part of our societal norms, our moral value has gone into extinction, running of arms and ammunition reigns supreme, importation of foreign thugs was aliens to our political system as experienced in recent time etc.
As disheartening as these could be, there is room for broken ties, trust and friendship. The most important of all is the need for reconciliation, disarmament, reorientation and amnesty if possible. The traditional authorities must wake up to their responsibilities and birth the need to inculcate humanitarian attitude into our collective existence so as to reduce our suffering, disunity, desperation and idleness.
Keys among the perennial problems identified from the just concluded election include:

(i) POWER OF INCUMBENCY
Power of incumbency was one of the major factors that characterized the recent election in Nigeria. The security influence cum socio-economic power of the sitting governments were somehow high; hence, it contributed to the victory of the party in power. Unverified allegations abound on how state security apparatus were deployed to some areas to intimidate and harass genuine registered voters in favour of the government. It is clear that the same story has always been spread almost in every election year; hence, one may draw a conclusion that incumbency plays a significant role in an election even when the assertion might not be accepted by all.

(ii)GREEDY AND SELFISHNESS
It is generally agreed that poverty is on the increase every day which often leads to malnutrition and illness of different magnitude. Reasonable numbers of the privileged people and those in positions of authority are so greedy and selfish to the extent that giving a helping hand must be for selected few. Most of them use their acquired excesses at the detriment of the downtrodden masses, and in turn create alienation and class differences. The working class people are subjected and exposed to all forms of social problems, ranging from raping, kidnapping, drug abuse, cultism, thuggery, armed robbery, family crisis and psychological trauma. Greed and selfishness were used greatly as an instrument in the election by politicians to win positions by means of vote buying.

(iii) POLITICAL DESPERATION
Most of our politicians are so desperate to attain political powers for their personal benefits; hence, all available means were employed in the 2019 elections: religious/diabolic means, more social deviants, etc. These were done without considering the adverse effects on the society and the entire generation. In the course of their political adventures, they abused, intimated and oppressed their political opponents to score political goals. Empowerment of young idle minds into thuggery and the importation of external thuggery for political manipulation were aliens to our political ideology buth unfortunately that was imbibe in the recent election. Those in political position must be careful of fake electoral promises.

(iv) ABUSE OF TRADITIONAL AUTHORITY
Most of our traditional rulers are not up and doing in their traditional responsibilities. Reasonable numbers of them are carried away by material affairs against their statutory roles to direct the affairs of the subjects and drive home the development of their community. The traditional rulers must be ready to embark on a long-term sacrifice for the emancipation of the society; they must not be said to be fair, but fairness should be seen in their attitude and character. Traditional rulers must not see state government as a veritable means of empowerment and in turn becomes a tool in the hands of the sitting government. It is worrisome that our people of Ibaji have been humiliated by the Umulere of Anambra State on their inalienable right. Similar fate has befallen the people of Abejukolo against the Fulani immigrants; the people of Ebeje and Bassa Kwomu were not spared in this mission of ethnic cleansing. Our traditional rulers must revive our cultural traits without political inclination. ITALO Festival must be reformed to enhance unity and development of Igala nation. Traditional rulers must stop an endorsement of a candidate for a political position to avoid sentiment and parochial reasoning. Traditional rules were used to influence vote during the 2019 election against the tenets on which their thrones was built, despite their shortcomings we must not ridicules their presence against all odd. We must tell the truth and placed them for the advisory role as stipulated in our lay down rules.

(v) LACK OF MORAL VALUE
Our generation is gradually losing its value for morality, and human life has been sold on credit. Shedding of innocent blood has taken our total cohesion, understanding and peaceful coexistence as a people. Our love for hate and hate for love has gone into our fiber. Societal value has shifted from personalities of reputable background in their various profession to political adventures. Our value and respect for money and materialism has necessitated our backwardness almost in all spheres of life.

(vi) DISARMAMENT, AMNESTY & RECONCILIATION
Indeed arms and weapons are in circulation in our society most especially in Igala nation and all the political parties are culprits of this assertion. But the radiant effect may consume everyone. The possible and best way to reduce this dangerous political trend is for the government to embark on sensitization programmes for disarmament, amnesty and reconciliation of various political interests with sincere motives in spite of their party affiliations. All the Igala elite that are devoid of political interest must play a vital role in this accord. The need for Igala Political Submit/Interaction at this critical time must be given attention.

This and many more are my personal assessment of the 2019 election from the sociological perspective.

Sule Isa Akagwu Kpaleko
Anyigba - Kogi State

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