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.
‘Reps Passed 88 Bills In Two Years’
The House of Representatives has passed 88 bills out of 1407 bills in the past two years, its spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) has said.
The House clocked two years on June 11 and has two years left.
Mr Kalu had earlier released different data on the status of legislative activities. However, The Tide source is yet to independently verify this latest data.
Mr Kalu had claimed that the House considered 853 bills and 41 of them passed, in the previous statement.
According to the new statement released on Friday, a total of 554 bills were introduced between June 2020 and June 2021. It was a sharp decline considering that the House introduced 853 bills between June 2019 and June 2020.
Although the decline could be blamed on the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The accurate number of bills considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021 is 1407 out of which the House has passed 88 bills.
“Additionally, the accurate number of motions considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021, is 730 out of which the House has made 98 resolutions on security issues.”
The data released by the lawmaker shows that while the introduction of bills has been easy, the progression of bills has been very slow.
A total of 942 bills are awaiting second reading, only 327 bills have been referred to committees, and 79 are awaiting committee of the whole consideration.
Within the same period, 730 motions were considered by the House. However, out of the 663 referred to committees, only 40 reports have been laid, and only six have been considered by the House.
Legislative activities suffered a great deal in 2020 due to the breakout of Covid-19. The National Assembly was shut down for about two months between March 2020 and May 2020.
At a point, the plenary was reduced to once a week.
However, the lawmakers did not help the situation by embarking on holidays at the slightest opportunity, thereby missing deadlines on passage of key legislation.
Also, a review of the legislative agenda of the House by The Tide source shows that the lawmakers are far behind in fulfilling their agenda.
Accord To Contest In 12 LGAs
Accord Party plans to contest only in 12 local government councils and 37 local council development areas at the July 24 council polls in Lagos State.
Its Publicity Secretary, Dele Oladeji, told newsmen in Lagos, yesterday that the party chose to contest only in its areas of strength rather than dissipate energy across the state.
He said Accord Party would contest chairmanship and councillorship seats in Somolu, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Igando-Ikotun, Agbado Okeodo, Agege, Alimosho, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu, Oshodi/Isolo, and Ifako-Ijaiye LGAs/LCDAs.
Oladeji said that the party had a good outing in these councils at the last council elections in 2017.
“We are set for the election and we are competing in our local governments of strength where we won in 2017.
“We are set to repeat the same feat and even win more than the eight councillorship seats we won in 2017 to become the only opposition party in the local government administration in Lagos State,’’ he said.
Oladeji said that the party was ready to go to court wherever its mandate was stolen as it did in 2017 local government elections.
“As against 2017 when we went to court only in few areas to get back our rigged mandate, this year, we will go to court in any number of local government areas where our mandate is perceived to have been stolen through rigging.
“As the only opposition party in the local government’s administration of Lagos State, we have retained the abiding hope of Lagos residents as the alternative party.”
Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession
The Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, has cautioned the South-East against their agitations for Nigeria’s breakup.
Okorocha warned that Igbos would be the worst hit if Nigeria breaks up.
The former Imo State Governor spoke in Abuja while addressing some women groups yesterday.
Okorocha stressed that the South- East should push towards fixing the country and not its disintegration.
The lawmaker stressed that Igbos are nationalistic in nature, hence they should dismiss the urge for Nigeria’s disintegration.
He said: “It is only an Igbo man that goes to a place and remains put in that place, buys a land and builds a house for his family without feeling insecure. The Igbos will lose more if Nigeria divides.
“Most Nigerian leaders who were successful had one thing or the other to do with the Igbos. It is either they married Igbo women or had some links with them. I can call names like, former President, Obasanjo; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Buba Marwa, just to name a few”.
South-East groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereignty State of Biafra, MASSOB, have been agitating for the disintegration of Nigeria.
IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu has been in the forefront, calling for Biafra’s actualisation.
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