A “No” Vote is Important in the Referendum
In these two pictures are two separate individuals standing for elections as Assembly man and Assembly woman in the same electoral area. In the picture marked 1, it is easy and clear, looking at the colours on the poster, to identify which political party is sponsoring the candidate. In the second picture (marked 2), you cannot, looking at the colours on the poster, to predict which political party is sponsoring that candidate.
It is interesting to note that, several people, including some chiefs and other opinion leaders who have spoken in favour of electing Assembly members on partisan lines, have alluded to the fact that the political parties are already sponsoring candidates in Assembly elections even though the law is against it. They cite the fact that looking at the colours employed in designing posters by candidates, it is glaring which political party is sponsoring who.
The question is, if we have identified breaches in our laws, do we cure those breaches by reducing the effects of the law to meet the desires of those breaching it? Or we enforce the laws to place those breaching it under its power?
On any day, I would chose a society that is able to punish offenders than to embolden them by amending laws to their comfort.
Do we cure this obvious breaches of the law, by polarizing our base as a people on partisan lines, looking at the vindictive and divisive nature of our nations politics?
We all know, that, armed robbery is a crime. There are laws that are enforced when armed robbers are arrested, and which are used to punish them. Though the law exists, people continue to engage in armed robbery. Should we weaken the law that punishes armed robbery by decriminalizing armed robbery, using the same logic in the above case for the elections of Assembly members?
If we would not succumb to the decriminalization of armed robbery because of its dangers to our society, and if we would even call for stricter punishment for the offenders, why should we not, in the case of political party interferences in our assembly elections, advocate for the laws to be enforced for the punishment of political actors in this regard? Why should we not ban the use of anything that resembles our national political party colours and anything that would give the slightest linkage to a political party in our assembly elections?
For me, on the basis of the two scenarios presented, I would call for the enforcement of our laws rather than placing the law under the control of political comfort. A NO vote in the upcoming referendum is a duty call on all to safeguard our national cohesion. We must not risk the polarizations we have witnessed in our body politic.