April 2011: Combating The Nigerian Security Challenge
The rising wave of violence in the run up to the April polls calls for concerted efforts from all stake holders to stem the tide of the critical election are not to be threatened or marred. Across the polity, violent conflicts are raising fresh concerns on the prospects of smith conduct of the polls which are less than two months away. In Amaimo, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, recently, unknown gun men disrupted the senatorial campaign rally of the Action congress of Nigeria. When the dust neared, an ACN Stalwart, Dr Charles Anokwa was discovered missing. There have also been reports of violence in Gboko, Benue State and Bayelsa State, between rival political parties. Also, on February 25, 2010, unexploded bombs were recovered at the VIP pavilion during the flag-off of campaign for re-election of Government Sullivan Chime of Enugu State. It is significant to up this undesirable trend in the bud before it becomes the
hallmark of the coming elections. The paper identifies the absence and lack of democratic norms among politicians and the politics of winner takes all with scant regard for service delivery to the populace has enthroned a do or die” political culture in which contestants are determined to win at costs, and what ever means, fair or foul are the major threats to April 2011 elections. The paper concludes by positing that the playing of politics with bitterness could torpedo plans for peaceful polls. This is because violence has now become a way to settle scores, with lives sometimes lost in the process, as political assassinations have also been employed in some states. The paper enjoins Nigerian politicians to eschew playing of politics with bitterness.