Please allow me a space in your widely read newspaper, to correct the misunderstanding and misconception of the open ballot by one Ogom Najim Abdulazeez in the Sunday Herald’s letter page of December 30, 1990 titled “Open Ballot is not ideal.”
What a hasty criticism by this writer to go to such length to condemn the recent successful election system, which Nigerians daily applause during and after the election for its hitch-free and peaceful conduct witnessed. Being the first successful election ever conducted in the country, it deserves not only words of praise but also a call on the Federal Government to let the open ballot stay, as it has effectively checked rigging, corruption, thuggery and other habitual vices in Nigerian elections.
I don’t see any reason why Najim brought out a distorted view into limelight. It was not surprising when the write-up completely delved on wrong path of history without giving the needed options and suggestions.
In his write-up, we only read of “Ancient Greek,” the 1856 Australian ballots and the “Great Britain in 1872.” What do we Africans gain in foreign copy-copy not even recent time policies but of primitive ones in the name of having a successful hitch-free election?
The just concluded local government election is an example to these foreign countries to emulate and not Nigeria imitating theirs. It is time the Giant of Africa realises it’s really a giant.
I call on the Federal Government to let the open ballot system stay forever.
This rejoinder by Yushau A. Shuaib was originally published in Sunday Herald January 13, 1991