Professor Mahood Yakubu, Chairman of the Inconclusive, sorry, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has gone down in history as the head of an electoral body who could not conclude national election in two months, and whose every election he conducted would always turn out to be inconclusive.
Since February 16, 2019, Nigeria has been under the frenzy or the fever of elections, and this will not end until April 19, 2019, at the latest, according to the newly released INEC timetable.
INEC had previously fixed February 16, 2019 as date for the Presidential and National Assembly elections, but Nigerians woke up that very morning to be told that the elections had been postponed. That was after they had travelled far and wide to their various homes for the exercise. Many people were disappointed, but nevertheless, they agreed to wait till the new scheduled date of February 23.
On that very day, February 23, everything went awry. The exercise was charaterized by all forms of malpractices – vote buying, militarization, selective use of card readers, underage voting, burning and scattering of ballot papers, snatching of ballot boxes, manipulation of figures at collation centres and gunning down of voters, etc.
But because the Big Oga was involved, INEC hurriedly declared the result and announced the man as the winner, even when the figures could not add up. Nigerians cried foul. They complained, but nobody listened to them.
Then came the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections held on the new date of March 9. It witnessed worse scenario. While exhibiting all the same characteristics as the Presidential election held on February 23, the Governorship election which took place in 29 states, saw the exercise declared inconclusive in as many as six states, with the exercise completely suspended in the seventh state.
This was unprecedented. Nigerians were amazed. They were dazed. They were flabagerstered. They were worried. Why all these inconclusive elections? What has gone wrong?
Millions of people who trooped out to cast their votes during the elections, were disappointed that INEC was hanging their hopes in the balance. Some candidates who did not feel comfortable with what happened, decided to go to court to seek redress. There was anxiety, and there was uncertainty. That’s too bad.
For now, there is still no end in sight, according to INEC’s pronouncements. While voters in Sokoto, Kano, Benue and Plateau States may likely know the fate of their governorship candidates on Saturday, March 23, when supplemeantary elections are scheduled to hold, voters in Rivers State would have to wait till April 13 before they would know who will be their governor. But for voters in Bauchi and Adamawa States, it will be till thy kingdom come. This is due to various court injunctions.
In the case of Rivers State, INEC said they would resume collation of results for the already concluded local governments from 2nd to 5th April, while supplementary election will hold in the state on April 13th.
But why wait till April for the collation of the results, thereby creating more anxiety and giving room for politicians to continue with their intrigues?, one would ask.
For those who sailed through in all these elections, they may have to wait till April 19 before they could collect their certificate of returns. In order words, an election that started on February 16 may likely be concluded on April 19, two clear months and three days!
All these while, Nigerians would be dying. They would be worried about who is going to be their governor for the next four years. They would not be at rest. This is unfortunate.
If every country were to conduct their own election the way we do it here in Nigeria, and particularly under this present INEC leadership, I do not think they would still have been in the process. Look at Senegal, we started our own election before them, but they have since forgotten that they went into election. And we are the giant of Africa. Nonsense.
How can we ground our entire social and econimic life for more than two months, simply because we are conducting election? We must therefore do something very urgent and serious to sanitize our electoral system in order to restore people’s confidence in the ballot box.
Leave a Reply