‘Nigeria may experience widespread chaos if 2015 poll is rigged’

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BY TONY EDIKE

ENUGU—A Professor of Criminology, Femi Odekunle, has warned that the country may face widespread public disorder, chaos or a semblance of undeclared civil war if the forthcoming general election in the country lacks credibility and acceptability among Nigerians.

Odekunle, who was a guest lecturer at the ‘2014 Feast of Barracuda’ of the National Association of Seadogs (Pirates Confraternity) Enugu Zone, weekend took a critical look at the possible scenarios of the 2015 election from the most optimistic to the most pessimistic position.

He identified the major threats to the 2015 elections as lack of leadership ethos by the irresponsible political class, corruption before, during and after elections, partisanship of operatives of the electoral body among others, saying he envisaged a situation where elections do not hold at all.

He would not also rule out a situation where elections hold with minimal violence and/or rigging and qualifies as ‘relatively/grudgingly’ credible/acceptable election.
“There is also a possibility where elections hold but excludes the North Eastern states and therefore considered inconclusive but situation saved by some contraption designed by the so called elder statesmen,” he said.

According to the don, the most critical situation would be where elections hold but are actually or allegedly massively rigged resulting in post election violence on a scale that makes the 2011 violence a child’s play and/or resulting in blockage or sabotage of oil and gas facilities leading to widespread disorder or even a semblance of war.

Odekunle, who spoke on the topic ‘Security and Political Temperature of Nigeria: Implications for 2015 General Elections called for a committed presidential leadership with the political will to do what is right and for deliberate re-education of the political class, INEC, the police and other security agents on the importance of free, fair and credible elections to the survival of the polity.

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