Nigeria: Blood On The Ballot
Jennifer’s plight has ignited real concerns that incoming state-wide elections may need to be more peaceful.
In a manner of speaking, Nigeria’s general elections of February 25 placed blood on the ballot in many polling units across the country due to reported acts of violence at several polling centers. But the country’s most searing and symbolic image of bloodied votes has become that of Mrs. Jennifer Efidi.
Definite accounts regarding who attacked her and why she was a target remain sketchy, just as no one has been arrested for the brutal assault. As reported in several Election Day Twitter posts, Jennifer was stabbed in the face.
Mrs. Jennifer Efidi was attacked on Dele Olubi Street, Surulere, Lagos state, as she waited in line to vote in the country’s contentious general elections. Narrating her ordeal, she told The Punch newspaper that she felt a significant impact on her face and heard the sound of a gunshot after some scary-looking boys arrived at her polling unit. Afterward, health workers dressed her wounds at a nearby hospital before she could return to cast her vote with a plastered eye and blood-stained clothes.
Resilience on Display
Gbedebo Rhodes Vivour is the Labor Party candidate for governorship in Lagos state in the upcoming election of March 11. He has commented on Jennifer’s tragedy. His tweet of February 26 says: “I just spoke to Jennifer who was stabbed in the face & still went back to vote at the same unit where she was stabbed in Surulere. This has been the level of resiliency shown by Nigerians. Lagosians, we need to take back our state; this can’t continue. Eko E dide!!-GRV.”
I just spoke to Jennifer who was stabbed on the face & still went back to vote at the same unit where she was stabbed in Surulere.
This has been the level of resiliency shown by Nigerians.
Lagosians, we need to take back our state, this can’t continue.
Èkó E dìde!!
~ GRV. pic.twitter.com/AcwaB7j02f
— Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (@GRVlagos) February 26, 2023
But Architect Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is not alone in his observation. The “Obidient” movement drives the campaign of the Labor party. An active member of the crusade has also commented on the assault on Jennifer. Tweeting under the label @firstladyship and identifying herself as Nefertiti, the fiery Labor party supporter noted, “Jennifer has become the symbol of our resilience & defiance against our oppressors. The hero of our time!!”
Jennifer has become the symbol of our resilience & defiance against our oppressors. The hero of our time!! ✊ pic.twitter.com/53y3FlqtfC
— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) February 26, 2023
Local media and several Twitter users have highlighted the plight of Mrs. Jennifer Efidi and what her serious injuries mean in Nigeria’s keenly contested general elections.
Jennifer’s plight has ignited real concerns that incoming state-wide elections may need to be more peaceful. And this may happen if adequate security measures are implemented to prevent further blood on ballots when Nigerians return to the polls to elect governors and members of state houses of assembly.
Securities agencies tasked with protecting citizens must not fail; otherwise, we may witness more blood on ballots on March 11.