At last, the tension in Nigeria over who becomes President and governor has reduced drastically, as almost all the elections have been concluded and results announced except that of Rivers State.
An overview of what really happened nationwide on the general conduct of the elections really leaves much to be desired. It is true that there were intimidations, this is irrefutable. It is also true that in Nigeria, elections are rigged, there has always been violence but that notwithstanding after much hues and cries some would go to court to get redress, whether they win or lose at the courts or election tribunals that would be decided by the tribunal members after much deliberation.
But the major headache in the electoral system has always been working out modalities on how to checkmate desperate politicians who will go all out to subvert the system. It seems that the politicians in Nigeria are more creative in election rigging than in other clique. Here it has become a profession that sometimes is not done with finess.
The worst of such elections was the supplementary vote in Kano State where election observers were prevented from doing their job, security agents were helpless or indifferent to their primary assignment allowing thugs to hijack the process in full glare of the public.
Reacting to the charade in Kano, The Coalition of United Political parties (CUPP) called for the cancellation of the election following violent activities by thugs who took over the accreditation process. On its part the Nigeria Civil Society situation room, condemned the abuse of the Nations electoral process by politicians inspite of the deployment of top-level police officers to Kano in particular.
Spokesman for the group, Clement Nwankwo said “it was ironic and curious that the level of violence and political thuggery would occur with the quantum of Senior Police Officers deployed to Kano.
Invariably, what this mean is that thuggery can only be stopped if the nations security agents are really serious with their statutory duties. The situation whereby people mandated to protect lives and property shy away from their responsibilities raises more questions than answers and paints such institutions as unrealiable and untrustworthy.
Notable Nigerians apart from social activits including clerics have condemned the inherent disruptive tendencies of some Nigerian politicians, especially the Notion of cutting corners by riggers themselves into power stressing that elections should always be seen as a vehicle for sustainable development. This view is apt as hooligans use the opportunity created by their masters to bring shame to the country.
Politicians continue to blame the past military government and past civilian administrators for the nation’s short-comings, but what have they really done to eliminate the evils of the present day such as electoral malpractices. Are they also offshoots of the military governments?
What Nigerians should be thinking now is how to go out of the whirlpool of primordial politicking and fast forward ourselves to think like 21st century social scientists who have all the modern gadgets to get things right. But this not really hard, the problem has always been the mindset of the average Nigerian politician or those in authority to cheat. Maybe if we continue to wobble and fumble it will get to a situation where we will have to invite our neighbouring counties to assist us especially in conducting our elections as a critical look at the governorship elections has shown that the new slogan “Inconclusive” has become the hallmark of our electoral system.
Collation and announcement of results are now uphill tasks that will take weeks and huge manpower to conduct. No loser is ready to accept defeat even if the collacted results shows that his opponent is leading him with a huge margin. No wonder people describe Nigerian as a country of contradiction. “a society where the best are never given the opportunity to serve but only excel outside the country.
This year marks 20 years of uninterrupted democratic governance but we seem to have learnt nothing, seen nothing and have given out nothing to the younger generation except cheating, riggings, stealing and deceit. For how long can we as a people be honest to ourselves and collectively do what is right?
To be fair to INEC the fallout of the electoral process is not its fault but the problems created by the political class. And for the first time an the country’s political history elections in seven states were declared inconclusive which nobody envisaged.
However in Rivers State INEC is being looked at with suspicion in some quarters that it might not do what is right by announcing the clear winner of the election but rather call for a re-run. From available records it was only in Abua/Odual local government area that collation was not allowed to take place as the army hijacked the process.
INEC should not keep the people in suspense any longer and do the needful by announcing Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike as governor re-elected to govern the state. Because to do otherwise would be seen as a conspiracy between the APC led federal government at the centre and INEC to truncate the will of Rivers people.
Why should the case of Rivers State be different that it should be treated last? Are there hidden truths that INEC does not want the people of Rivers State to know? Or is INEC and the federal government perfecting plans so that a scenario would be created whereby the governor’s tenure will expire creating room for the appointment of a Sole administrator?
We hope that INEC will not allow itself to be used to formed injustice and instability in Rivers State.
Rivers PDP Reaffirms Support For Wike
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has said it would continue to support Governor Nyesom Wike to enable him succeed by delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.
The state PDP Publicity Secretary, Darlington Orji, who stated this during a live Radio programme monitored by The Tide in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, noted that the governor has performed well going forward.
On speculations in some quarters that the state PDP is divided because of who succeeds Wike in 2023, Orji said it was too early in the day to talk about 2023, insisting that there was no division in the party’s fold.
He stated that election was over and that it is time to govern, saying, the governor himself has said that he was elected to solve problems and address issues in the state.
“I have told those who care to know that the time of election is over. It is time for governance now. The governor of Rivers State himself has said it very clear that he was elected to solve problems and proffer solution to issues and not to complain and for us as a political party, we are giving him all the support that he needs.”
“It is barely three months old and we are talking of 2023. There is no disunity in PDP, Rivers State. We are aware that the only instrument we have to win election in Rivers State is to give the dividends of democracy to the people.
“These are the weapons we have otherwise in the 2019 general elections, the level of militarisation, intimidation and harassment we saw here but the people stood their ground and the party won the election,” he stated.
“So, for us in PDP we will continue to say that we are now in governance and we are supporting the administration of Governor Wike to make him succeed and deliver all the goodies he promised the people and to ensure that the dividends of democracy are delivered to the people,” Orji said
On some of the achievements of the Wike- led government, he said, “It is on record that in the first leg of this administration, several primary schools were upgraded and renovated and put into proper use in several local government areas across the state.
“The Eleme General Hospital in Nchia, was constructed by this administration, completed and commissioned. Government Secondary School, Onne is also in Eleme local government and it was built by this administration.
“The Eleme/Oyigbo road is constructed and about 90 per cent completed amongst other projects that have been executed by this government. Yes, every local government/individual has the right to complain or ask for more but it should also appreciate the man that has done a little before asking for more,” he stated.
Bayelsa Guber Poll: PDP Warns INEC Against Inconclusive Poll
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to wake up and put their acts together as to avoid any inconclusive election in Bayelse states governorship election this year.
Bayelsa state governorship election comes up in November this year and INEC said it is on top of the election matters.
Speaking with our correspondent in Port Harcourt recently, the national Vice Chairman of the PDP, South- South, Chief Emmanuel Ogidi warned INEC to ensure that no stone was left unturned in their efforts to conduct a free, fair and credible election as to avoid any inconclusive election in the state.
Ogidi said his party was not satisfied with the INEC preparations so far for the election and was therefore weary and fed up with the electoral umpire which he said had always ended up with inconclusive election and court cases.
According to him,” INEC is always saying they were ready for all the elections but the elections would end up as failures with their new name” inconclusive election” and marathon court cases”.
“The new name for the Nigeria’s electoral empire should be changed from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be known as the Inconclusive Election Commission (IEC)”, he stated.
The national vice chairman further warned that the PDP would not accept any heat up in the polity, especially in the South- South that would cause disaffection and rejection of election results across the region.
Chief Ogidi described the present INEC in the country as the worst when compared with the previous ones the nation had.
“Yes, we thought that the Professor Jega’s INEC was bad enough but we have discovered that the present INEC is the worst thing to happen to a nation”.
Don’t Rely On Party Leaders For PDP Guber Ticket -Secondus
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised its members seeking the party’s nod to contest the Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections against relying on the party’s leaders for the ticket.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja, at the presentation of clearance certificates to the aspirants.
“Work on the delegates; don’t rely on any party leader. Even members of the National Working Committee (NWC) cannot help you,” he said.
He assured the aspirants of a level playing ground, adding that the party had no preferred aspirant.
“Go and work on the delegates. They are the ones that will elect you as candidate; no one else, not even members of the NWC can help you.
“All I can assure you is that we are going to conduct free, fair and transparent primaries in Kogi and Bayelsa States,” he said.
Certificates were issued to the cleared aspirants from the two states.
Among them were former Governor of Kogi, State Idris Wada, Senator. Dino Melaye, Abubakar Ibrahim, a son of former Governor, Ibrahim Idris, and 10 others.
Those cleared for Bayelsa State include the Deputy Governor, John Jonah, the Secretary to the State Government , Kemela Okara, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe.
Also on the Bayelsa list are Ambassador Godknows, Senator. Douye Diri and 16 others.
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