Why Politicians Divide and Create Boundaries for Political Gains in Nigeria

By Primus C. Igboaka – Cleveland, Ohio.

“Boundry Redistricting” is a Western constitutional practice that today as I write and in the United States is used every ten years to legally redraw the constituent maps to favour the party in power at local, county and state levels.

” Boundary Redistricting” is a congressional act enacted in 1967 in the US . It is the state legislature that has the primary responsibility (not the federal government, the Congress or the President) for creating a redistricting plan in many cases subject to approval by the state governor.

The Reappointment Act of 1929 in the US imposed strict criteria for lumping or carving out districts from their original geographical boundaries. One of the key criteria is that “Each state can set its own standards for Congressional and legislative districts.”.

As witnessed In Nigeria with anything West, we copy and apply the worst of constitutional provisions (prescriptions) and policies from the West. We twist them and crudely use them against one another to weaken or desyroy ourselves, to suit the tribal and religious objectives of the central government or people or tribe (s) in control of power for purposes that take us nowhere but backwards.

But let us not forget that this policy is not without abuses in the US where it originated. Gerrymandering is it. It is what this practice has been turned into in the US. A practice that is intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group (mostly by party in power at State levels). Politicians accomplish this by manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts every ten years. Ohio my state just lost a congressional seat in 2020 elections.

Two principal tactics are used in gerrymandering. “Cracking” and “Packing.” Cracking entails diluting the voting power of the opposing party’s supporters across many districts. Packing is concentrating the opposing party’s voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts.

Gerrymandering could be dangerously abused in a country without a functioning constitution and democracy. Since the decisions to redistricting is on the presidency ( as with Nigeria) not even on States as provided by then constitution as witnessed in the US where it is still abused, meaning that redistricting is still a flawed policy in a country where it all started.

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