In less than six weeks, Nigerians would have started casting their votes for their preferred candidates in this year’s general elections. The first in the series of these elections is the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for February 16, while the Governorship and State Assemblies elections will come later.

Accordingly, many people had expected a lot of activities in form of electioneering campaigns to have started in earnest, with candidates of various political parties criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country, selling both themselves and their programmes, to the electorate.

So far, as far as we are concerned, we are yet to witness any of such activities. Other than what we already know and read from the press about some of these political parties and their candidates, not much is happening in the field to educate the electorate on what to do during the election as well as the manifestos or programme of activities of these political parties.

Both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and its main opposition challenger, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in particular, are yet to make any significant impact on the electorate.

While some leaders of these two political parties are currently busy engaging themselves in war of words, one had expected that by now their Presidential candidates would have started making rounds the 36 states of the country to sell themselves to the people.

Though the PDP had held campaign rallies in five of the six geopolitical zones in the country, the APC had reluctantly held only one zonal campaign rally. The other smaller political parties are not fairing better either.

Thus, when some people begin to wonder and to ask why, with the nearness of the elections, the tempo of political activities are yet to pick up, the probable answer would be that the leaders of these political parties are becoming wiser and are only busy perfecting their strategies aimed at outwitting the others, rather than wasting their time shouting on top of their voices in campaign rallies.

That is to say, each of these political parties are cautiously watching the others’ footsteps to counter whatever plan or strategy they had, and in the process, launch their own counter attacks aimed at maneuvering the others.

In other words, leaders of these political parties are beginning to believe that elections in Nigeria are no longer won and lost in the field of play or with ballot papers, but inside the boardroom of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), strongly aided by the various security agencies.

Thus, when President Muhammadu Buhari refused to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill, members of these other political parties think or believe that the man had something up his sleeves. They therefore began to think and plan how to counter or thwart whatever the President had in mind.

Similarly, when INEC announced that even with the use of card readers, they would still make use of “incident forms”, and went further to appoint President Buhari’s niece, Amina Zakari, as the one who would announce election results, these political parties saw it as an affront and began to mobilize against it, how to counter the plan.

So, why would these other political parties be in the field campaigning, while the other one was not campaigning, but busy perfecting how to rig itself to power?

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