As the nation prepare for another transition through the democratic instrument of elections, Nigerians are becoming apprehensive as to what the aftermath of the March 28 presidential elections in Nigeria would be. Pastors, Prophets, Muslim clerics and even witches and wizards have not predicted a consensus outcome for the elections. While some insists that the elections will be smooth and without violence to the extent that people will forget there was an election, others disagree, claiming the there will be much violence in comparison to the June 12, 1993 elections, a day, many Nigerians pray to forget.
This has created panic in the hearts of the citizens as many are now preparing for life in a violence-thronged Nigeria after the elections. To many, March 28 and the days that follow, will not be violent-free. The manner with which the political parties has conducted their campaigns has not helped matters either.
As I was preparing for work this morning, I received a WhatsApp message which further buttresses my claim in this post. I am posting the message so you see the problem the ordinary Nigerian have to deal with as the election approaches. Read below:
“As Nigeria decides on Saturday, I wish to share 10 very important election safety tips which I strongly feel you should take into consideration this weekend. Please take note of the following:
FOOD: Stock up your house with food and water (at least 1 week’s supply) in case markets & stores are not open longer than the weekend and you can’t go out. Prioritize non-perishable food like those stored in cans over fresh food that takes time to cook and requires freezing (in case the power in your area is cut off). Don’t forget about cooking gas!
FUEL: In some parts of Lagos there is a panic scarcity of fuel so try and buy enough fuel for your generator in case there’s no electricity. Also make sure there’s a full-tank of fuel in all of your vehicles. Please Note – This is not an instruction to buy fuel in kegs and keep in your house as this measure can be very dangerous. Do not over stock fuel o!
CASH: Make sure you withdraw enough cash to avoid going out to use the ATM in case of an emergency.
EQUIPMENT and NECESSITIES: Ensure you have working equipments such as flash lights, batteries, candles, medical supplies (e.g. First Aid Boxes), recharge cards (or add sufficient credit to your phone), etc.
RALLIES: For the next few days please stay away from Political Rallies, Avoid engaging in group political discussions with strangers and avoid protests as much as possible. If you must attend any of the above mentioned gatherings, then be very vigilant. Wait till you get to safety before updating your Social Media.
HOME: In the case of civil unrest, keep yourself and your family members indoors at all times and keep your homes on locked down. Ensure that all windows and doors are secure.
VEHICLES: Park your vehicles in secure areas, preferably within the walls of your compound and well away from the main roads. If you do not have space in your compound, make arrangements to park them somewhere safe.
CONTACTS: Go out of your way to get the telephone numbers of relevant security and safety agencies in your state. Remember your State Emergency Numbers and the numbers for the Medical Emergency Services and Fire Services. Notify them in the event of any emergency.
FAMILY: Make sure all your family members (especially those living with you) know the numbers to call in case of any emergency. Discuss with them about what to do in case of an emergency or in case you get separated for any reason.
MOVEMENTS: Know at least two different routes to your house. You can easily confirm the safety of routes via on twitter handles such as @TrafficChiefNG and @Gidi_Traffic before departing. I suggest you spend the entire Saturday at home with your family and do not make other plans after the election.
The Nigerian Police has announced restriction of movement between 8am – 6pm on Saturday, 28th March, 2015. so adjust your schedule accordingly. Carry out your Civic Responsibility & Vote according to the guidance of your Conscience.
Please forward to your friends and loved ones.”
What do think about this message, warning, or information? Is this not enough to disenfranchise Nigerians, especially #10?