Nigerians are waiting with bated breath to go to the polls this Saturday. The election was postponed for six weeks due to security concerns but they cannot wait to quench their thirst for the ballot come Saturday.
From my own personal view, even with the tense security situation many are still very enthusiastic to cast their votes in an election that many pundits say will be a tense showdown.
President Goodluck Jonathan is pitted against ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari in a nation troubled by chronic insurgency and fears of political violence
In the city of Abuja the streets are still alive with banners of the candidates who will face off on Saturday many saying it is a tale of two parties, in a classic example of elections elsewhere in Africa many would say it’s a Horse verses Donkey race or better yet, a two Horse race.
Campaigns have been ongoing regardless of fears that the vote may be postponed again, however there’s nothing official about that, maybe its just the anticipation of many awaiting when they will eventually cast their votes.
I landed in Nigeria on Saturday 22nd being part of the CCTV Africa crew covering the elections. Its been four days and there’s just a sense of apprehension with many awaiting the D-day.
Security is one of the major issues that have surrounded this elections because of what has been experienced in the past with Boko Haram terrorizing the country.
The government has stepped up security in its capital Abuja deploying soldiers and putting up barricades before Saturday’s election.
Many are also concerned about security on polling day, and the inability of the military to keep the polls safe which was one reason cited for postponing the vote, which was originally scheduled for February 14.
There’s also some speculation that this vote may be delayed again, but the electoral commission has come out quite strongly to dispute this.
Regardless of the issues that are making many restless in this country that is Africa’s biggest economy, there are voters out there who eagerly await voting day.
”I have received my voter’s card and am ready to go and vote. My hope is that the leaders will be elected through a democratic process so that we maintain peace and order. I know i have to vote because first it is my civic right and because i want to see change and Nigeria moving forward.”
“I believe the forthcoming elections are going to be peaceful. They postponed earlier but i believe now they will be conducted as planned. Personally i will not be voting. I did not get a voters card because am supposed to vote from my state, Imo. Currently am in Abuja for work so i did not have the time to travel for registration. Regardless i believe all will go well. ”
“After elections Nigeria remains a single entity despite who wins the elections. There is development in Nigeria. The youths already have a platform to participate in development which is change already. I will vote because i believe in Nigeria.”
“I believe that Nigeria is going to be an example for the rest of the world. We will vote peacefully and this is going to pass.”
By Claire Munyana