Open Letter to INEC

Dear INEC,

Nigerians do not believe that your name is correctly spelt, many think it should be iNEC since the ‘I’ in your name — which should stand for ‘Independent’ — appears compromised. I know, for a fact, that the only way to become INEC and not (a pain in Nigeria’s) NEC(k) is to use the opportunity of the 2010 Anambra State election to correct the self-acknowledged mistakes we saw in the Ekiti State 2009 elections. I can imagine how some of your staff freely discuss how much they hope to work for an institution that will make them proud to wear their identity cards without the fear of being immediately judged as dishonest.

Considering the fact that Nigeria has seen a lot of troubles in its 49-year history, and that we have hopefully reached the proverbial point where the ‘harmless goat’ turns around and bites its ‘predator’ in self defence, I hope you are also feeling the sense of anger that envelopes the nation. What appears as a silver lining in the dark cloud is the obvious dissatisfaction among the nation’s youth. One hopes that this will be sustained, and that it will join forces with the desire of the elite to spend less on what they should probably not pay for in the first place.

INEC, I do not need to remind you of the fact that you hold an important place in the possible emergence of a New Nigeria — in terms of governance, institutional efficiency and much more. You might have noticed the increased level of concern expressed through various activities both on the ground — and online. If you haven’t heard about #lightupnigeria, I’ll be quite surprised. It’s an example of how young Nigerians have decided that maybe the first election after Nigeria’s golden jubilee (for which the word ‘jubilee’ would be an irony) should be the chance we must take to seize back the nation.

I visited your website, www.inecnigeria.org, today, with the hope that you would at least have information about voter registration and more but I was disappointed to see that you had more room for the speeches of your first employee than you had for the information which you were actually tasked with providing. Your webmaster even forgot to change the copyright notice on your website from ‘Copyright 2006’, and that makes me wonder if you have paid any attention to that window through which the world communicates with your institution since your last ‘major assignment’ in 2006 — while preparing for the 2007 selections.

INEC, please wake up from your slumber and prove to us that you are preparing for the 2010 elections in Anambra state and the 2011 elections. It doesn’t take so much time to put information on your website about how people can register to vote, verify their registration and also identify where to vote. We are only 19 months away from April 2011 and trust me, you shouldn’t bother responding to say that you’re waiting for April 2010 because we now have scattered elections thanks to Anambra and such other states.

You should take this letter quite serious because it is coming from someone who is not a member of any political party (that you may accuse of any anti-‘whatever’ agenda). It comes from one of many angry young Nigerians who are tired of being laughed at in the assembly of nations. Trust me when I say this: people are tired and awake. Tired of hearing Nigeria referred to as a ‘potentially great nation’ or ‘a failing state’, and awake to the possibility of a nation whose passport we can hold high up (and without non-green passport covers) across any immigration point!

Best No regards,
‘Gbenga Sesan

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