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.
Senate: Bill Against Small Arms’ Proliferation Passes Second Reading
The Senate yesterday passed for second reading a bill for establishment of the Nigerian National Commission against proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi).
Adeyemi in his lead debate on the general principles of the bill noted that the bill was first read at plenary on Dec . 18 2019.
He said the bill essentially seeks to provide for establishment of National Commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons to coordinate and implement activities to combat the problems of small arms in Nigeria.
This, he said was in line with ECOWAS states on small arms and light weapons.
Adeyemi listed the objectives of the bill to include identifying sources and main routes of small arms, light weapon and reasons why the illicit trade thrives in Nigeria.
He said the bill when passed would help recommend possible ways to monitor, control, halt, and mitigate illegal activities of people involved in arms proliferation.
He said the commission would also help to identify the promoters, users, patrons of the illegal activities.
He said the bill when passed would also make provision for the training and building the capacity of the corps and other security officials towards an effective enforcement of the mandate of the commission.
He said the proliferation of small arms and light weapons has been a stricken issue in the international agenda since 1998.
“It is eating into the survival of emerging nations in the international scene especially in Africa.
“It is a phenomenon that is destabilising the peace, development and threatening the national security of sovereign nations,” he said.
Adeyemi expressed believe that the bill, if passed would further help to curb the insecurity challenges in Nigeria.
Other bills that passed second reading at plenary are: A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy, Pondogari in Niger State, sponsored by Sen. Musa Sani (APC Niger).
A Bill for an Act to provide for establishment of the Federal University of Environment Technology, Saakpenwa, Ogoni Rivers State, sponsored by Sen. Mpigi Barinada (PDP Rivers).
Others are Bill for an Act to establish the Police Academy Wudil, Kano as a degree awarding institution, sponsored by Sen. Jika Halliru (APC Bauchi).
Kwara By-Election: 43,695 Voters Collect PVCs In Patigi LG -REC
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, has said that 43,695 voters collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Patigi ahead of the scheduled by-election into the vacant state assembly seat.
The REC disclosed this on Wednesday in Ilorin during a meeting with the eight political parties that would participate in the by-election and members of Inter-Agencies Committee on Election Security (IACES).
Our source reports that eight political parties have so far signified interest to take part in the March 14, by-election into Patigi state constituency.
The political parties are All Progressives Congress (APC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), People Democratic Party (PDP) and New Nigeria People Party (NNPP).
Others are the Action People Party (APP), Action Alliance (AA), African Action Congress (AAC) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
Attahiru-Madami promised to be open, transparent and give all the political parties participating in the by-election a level playing ground.
According to the REC, there are 52,233 registered voters in Patigi state constituency, while 51,476 PVCs were received from INEC headquarters.
He added that a total of 43,695 PVCs were collected, leaving 7,781 uncollected PVCs which he said were kept in the vault of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Ilorin.
Amaechi Loses Security Aide To Electrocution
Mr. Tony Iwelu, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has passed on.
The aide, who died on Monday, February 17, suffered an electric shock from a shower hose in a Kaduna hotel while on an official assignment.
A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Eric Ojiekwe, said until his passage, Iwelu was in charge of all issues relating to the minister’s security, a job he was reputed to have executed with utmost professionalism.
“There is no gainsaying that the professionalism he brought to bear in the discharge of his job sustained him for the over two decades in the service of the minister,” the document read in part.
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