Renowned Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, is not impressed with the manner in which the 2015 elections are being conducted.
According to Guardian, Soyinka spent election day in Nigeria “working the phones late into the night, gathering reports of technical glitches, irregularities and violence.”
Based on the information he received, Soyinka stated:
“We’re talking about a very positive response by the public in terms of determination to register and vote but, you know, this has been one of the most vicious, unprincipled, vulgar and violent election exercises I have ever witnessed…I just hope we won’t go down as being the incorrigible giant of Africa,” he said.
Soyinka further stated that “a very sinister force” could attempt to exploit disputed results to try and plan a coup.
“The stakes appear to be so high that all scruples have been set aside and it’s very distressing to compare this election with the election of 1993, which was one of the most orderly, civilised and resolute elections we ever had. This one was like a no-holds-barred kind of election, especially, frankly, from the incumbency side. One shouldn’t be too surprised anyway given the kind of people who are manning the barricades for the incumbent candidate.”
He also decried the millions of dollars spent on the election campaigns.
“Most expensive, most prodigal, wasteful, senseless, I mean really insensitive in terms of what people live on in this country. This was the real naira-dollar extravaganza, spent on just subverting, shall we say, the natural choices of people. Just money instead of argument, instead of position statements.
And of course the sponsoring of violence in various places, in addition to this festive atmosphere in which every corner, every pillar, every electric pole is adorned with one candidate or the other, many of them in poses which remind one of Nollywood.
I get a feeling sometimes that some of these candidates were just locked in their wardrobes and they were told: ‘Just take selfies in there and don’t come out until you’ve finished the entire wardrobe.’ All kinds of postures. Just ridiculous. It has been an embarrassing exercise in terms of electioneering…
Obviously this money didn’t come from personal pockets only, there’s no question. It’s been bankrolled by lots of businesspeople – many of them I’m sure have been taxed indirectly – and they’ll be expecting some returns for this outlay, and so how are we actually going to get rid of this thing called corruption, if the electoral process itself has been so corrupted? It’s a money election. How on earth is that bugbear going to be lifted from the neck of society? I just don’t know,” he said.