Violent party primaries, a sign of things to come in 2019?

Primaries to field candidates for the 2019 general elections by different political parties in Nigeria is ongoing on as stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). However, the ones by the two major political parties in Nigeria, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been marked with unprecedented violence nationwide.

The violence which has reportedly claimed some lives and injured others is limited to these two parties that have constantly paraded themselves as the best thing to happen to democracy. In Gombe for instance, the PDP governorship primaries was a battleground for thugs while the ballot boxes were destroyed. In Kwara, the primaries to choose the flag bearer of the PDP for the 2019 gubernatorial elections was also marred with violence which necessitated its postponement till the next day.

In Akwa Ibom, the APC primaries was also marred by violence as different groups protested the validity of the primaries. In Rivers, a grenade was thrown into the state party secretariat from a moving vehicle. The two factions in the state have pointed accusing fingers at each other for that dastardly act. There are several other examples of this unnecessary incident of violence that have cast a huge dent on our democracy.

Politicians are fond of stating (mostly in words) their readiness to serve the people, but how does serving the people involves guns, cutlass, machetes, and bombs?

When does service involve the killing of innocent souls? Are politicians telling us they need human blood for their ascendency into power? These ominous signs are what we need to contain as we approach the 2019 general elections. The atmosphere is already tensed as 2019 is here. We need to protect the sanctity of this country before politicians ruin what is left of the country.

An election should not be a do or die affair. When people are losing their lives to party primaries what will happen during the general elections? We need to embrace peace and eschew violence.

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