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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Gubernatorial Election and Concerns about Electoral Terror in Edo State



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The last image that any one wants to see is the oppositional political party members, and even the various political communities destroying themselves in Edo State.

With about two months to the Governor’s election in Edo State, assuming we live in a healthy democracy the results of a series of debates between  Governor Adams Oshiomhole and retired General Charles Airhavbere, as once suggested by this psychologist would have being the current talk of the market women, office workers, students, and the media at this time.

Actually, the psychology of the debates would slowly be transforming inside the minds of voters as to whom amongthe two candidatesmay be able to  attract more voting and positively affect the lives of everyday citizens in the State as elections have consequences.

Instead, what we are hearing are such words, incidents or acts as “Assassins”, “shocked”, “shooting”, “evil”, “do-or-die”, “suspicious traffic accident”, “intimidate”, “horrific” and “mastermind”.

Most disturbing now is that direct names are being mentioned as possibly responsible for a killing or an assassination, a dangerous road to go at the worse times in the country.

The danger here is that while some of these words and insinuations cannot change reality, they certainly could change how the people of Edo State perceive the entire State at this time.

Right now the respective mind of the warring parties is more identified with self-protectionand possibly they have lost touch with the real theory of election as there is on both sides, fear of attack anywhereand at any time within the country, within the State in particular—a fear that weighs heavily on two of them.

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The candidates and those very close to them which include their families and supporters may find themselves in a psychological state marked with subconscious concern about death or severe injury and may even be thinking of horrific primitive responses to these fears in regards to any possible or anticipated danger.

With the fear of the unknown in these times of political crisis the ordinary citizens certainly need federal protection while the warriors may be doing all kind of things in order not to lose power and their lives.

These political warriors are in the fight against fear, instead of showing the people how one of them would fully fight against leadershipproblems, State insecurity, poor economy, pitiable education, unemployment and other day-to-day challenges.

Giving what is currently happening in the State the President using the  Inspector General of police should announce the launching  of a new investigation to reveal any criminal act, or deadly  conspiracyin order to stop the possible built-up of militants, end unnecessary name accusation or speculation and to avoid any  cynical plan.

There should be at this time the presence of highly professional police operatives for the purpose of securing lives and properties as well as to help terminate any planned or concealed plot to destabilize the July election.

Each of the Gubernatorial candidates requires extra-security in order remain protected against any violent threats and attack.

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President Jonathan or the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. AttahiruJega, should immediately call for a top-secret emergency meeting of the two candidates, mandating each of them to quell the current burning tension that is  disturbing Edo State.

And should the current election tension continue to rise there should be a curfew from 11.00 pm to 5.00am from now untilthe Election Day.

As long as there is tension in the State, for fear of political unrests many voters will remain in their homes in order to protect their lives and properties thereby leaving the election primarily in the hands of riotous minded party members, explosive minded politicians, and highlypassionate supporters.

This means there could be more strains of intimidation, violence, and fraud brought in by corrupt executors.

What we need now is a sensational or a memorable election but not in an inflammatory fashion as that would be bring in possible murderous, destructive, and mob behaviors.

This is the time for the Oba of Benin and father of the entire Edo Kingdom, OmoN’ObaErediauwato askthe people to cry out for an air of decency and peace during these times, as well as prayfor an election that will be rooted in security and safety.

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is an Abuja-based Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association (NPA), Abuja. Jos5930458@aol.com 08126909839

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