Election: Nigeria Sitting On A Keg Of Gun-powder

By Lateef Adegbite

When President Muhammadu Buhari, of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, had assured Nigerians that their vote will count will in the 2023, general elections, which may have  informed why many came out to exercise their Franchise in the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

The people may have come out   to vote in their large number in different parts of the country with the believe that Prof. mahmood Yakubu led Independent  National electoral Commission , INEC, will  also keep to his promise of conducting  a ‘’free, fair and transparent elections’’. Note Prior to the elections on Saturday, February 25, 2023, the INEC, Chairman, had boasted that’’ the election will be the best that would have been conducted in the country since 1999’’.

Indeed, Nigerians may have been disappointed by the turn out of events because of the allegations of irregularities in the conduct of the   election in several parts of the country, particular, Rivers, Lagos, Imo and some parts of Edo state.

 Signs that the election may not be free and fair in the oil Rivers state became pronounced when Nyensom Wike, who has endorsed Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and APC, Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections, was said to have directed all Local Government Chairmen, Aides, and party Executive members ‘’ to deliver, Tinubu, the APC Candidate at the Presidential polls.

Gov. Wike Of Rivers State

  As a prelude to ensure that his preferred Candidate, TiAPC, wins the state’, his foot soldiers were said to have compromised the electoral officials. The governor was said to have doled out N9 million to each of the Local government Chairmen in the state in other to help facilitate the APC Candidate winning the state. Some other his Aides at the deployed to work at the polling units and wards were said to have been given  the North American country of the United States, US,  $100 and $50  each, depending on your posing.  The Heads were given $100 and others $50. Those who were said to have rejected the money during the election were said to have gone back to collect the cash.

A source confirmed that the rigging in the state to jerk up the APC’S Candidate votes was done at the point of uploading the result to the Electoral umpire viewing portal at the FCT but Prof. Yakubu, the country’s Chief Returning officer had said at the Collation centre in Abuja, that rigging was usually done at the Collation centre.

. Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, may have known that the Presidential election will be rigged in favour of the APC, by some governors working for him as he has demanded for upload  of the February 25, 2023, Presidential election results to the Commission server immediately. He may have alluded to Wike ,    Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Hope Uzodinma,  his two Counterparts in   Lagos and Imo states respectively.

  Atiku, the PDP, flag bearer, had argued that  ‘’there is need to checkmate  the governors  who are trying to compromise  the results  at the Local government and Collation level, describing it as a negation for anyone to subvert the will of the  people  as freely expressed in their votes in the last Presidential elections.

The Leadership of the Labour party, LP, may  have  also  known that the Presidential election result are being Compromised  that he has raised alarm citing ‘’the manipulation  and manufacturing of new results by INEC officials  in several states across the country, including  Edo, where one Comfort Muoneke , a 73 year-old woman and two  others were  arrested in   Benin city, the state Capital , by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,   with 20 ,PVCs,  deployed to monitor the February 25, 2023, Presidential and National Assembly elections.  

   Julius Abure, the LP, National Chairman,  had accused  the Commission of ‘’compromise, working closely with the ruling APC’’. Despite the fact that Prof . Yakubu , the INEC .Chairman and the country’s Chief returning officer, has not yet announced the winner of the elections,  the LP, Chairman, who  could not hide his feelings has called for ‘’the cancellation of the results described as manufactured , stressing that’’ the party will only accept results  obtained at the polling units’’.He will want the Katsina state born Nigerian President to keep to his words of ensuring that the 2023 general elections are free, fair and credible.

Akin Osuntokun,  Director General of the LP, may have spoken the mind of Peter Obi, the party Presidential Candidate  when he said that he is hoping that  the Commission will do ‘’the right thing regarding the  just concluded Presidential election. He noted that the delay in uploading of results on its election results portal raises some questions on the conduct of the election.

Festus Okoye, the Commission, Chairman, Information and Voter Education , had made Nigerians to understand that its results viewing portal, ReV, is facing some Challenges and not that it has been sabotaged or Compromised by any politician. He had said that ‘’outstanding problems will be resolved soon’’ but that was how far he could go.

 Perhaps, the pressure from Civil Society Organisations and party Leaders on the Commission over the delay by state INEC officials at the state level and FCT, to upload the results to the Commission viewing portal. There was drama at the collection centre as Senator Dino Melaye, Atiku’s agent  during the election has challenged the INEC boss to direct the state Returning officers to declare that the result they are presenting are what they have uploaded into the Commission viewing portal. He has threatened that if the INEC boss cannot do that , he should not expect them to rubber any result that would be presented at the Collation centre. The Opposition part agents had challenged the Ekiti and Kara states results on grounds of over voting, insisting that it should be cancelled.

Tinubu:APC Candidate, Loses Lagos State

 For the results that had been declared in Lagos state, Sunday, February, 26, 2023,through Monday, February , 27, 2023, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of the APC, had won in  II, Local government Areas , while Obi, his closest rival, won in nine LGAs. The APC , Candidate was said to have  won in  Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu, Ekpe, Ibeju Lekki,  Lagos Island,   Badagry  Apapa , Ifako-Ijaiye  Surulere and Mushin.

The LP, Candidate,  may have proved that he is not a baby politician, as he gave the APC  Candidate a good fight, a in a state described as his stronghold by winning in nine  LGAs, which include, Ajeromi Ifelodun,  Oshodi Isolo, Etiosa, Kosofe,Amuwo Odofin, Somolu , and  Surulere, home LGA, of Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of House of Representatives and Babatunde Fashola, a former governor of the state  and now minister of Works and Housing.

 Going by the result declared by the Lagos state the Returning Officer, Obi, the LP, Candidate also won in Ojo  Alimosho, and Ikeja, the Seat of the state government.  The LP Flag bearer was said to have polled a total vote of 582,454 votes to Tinubu, of the APC’s 571,575 votes.

Obi, LP, Flag Bearer, LP, Clinches Lagos State

 Given that Tinubu, could not win Lagos state, may have informed why the Area boys, popular, ‘’Agberos’’  had attacked the Igbo traders at the popular  Computer Village, Alaba International Market, Lagos Island, and Lagos Trade Fair Complex, markets,  forcing the  traders  to close down to allow temper to calm down. The APC Flag bearer was said to have have called the aagrieved Area boys to order, urging them not to do anything that would heighten the tension in the state as the people have voted for their preferred Candidate which is the beauty of Democracy. Whether the Agberos will liste listen remain to be seen.

The biggest shocker to Tinubu,in the 2023, general election was the loss of Katsina, home state of President Muhammadu  Buhari,to Atiku, Candidate of the PDP.  Atiku, had garnered a total vote of 489,045 votes to Tinubu’s 482,283, votes.  Atiku had won in 13, LGAs to Tinubu’s 21. He was said to have also lost Kano state, to Rabiu Kwankwaso, the New Nigeria’s People’s Party, NNPP, which may jeopardise his Presidential ambition.

 The biggest loser in the 2023, general elections was Senator Abdullahi Adamu,  a former governor of Nasarawa state and Ntional Chairman of the APC, who had lost his polling unit to the  Presidential  LP Candidate during the election was said to have failed to deliver  Shehu Tukur , who had lost out to Ahmed Wadada, of the Social Democratic Party, SDP,, fueling speculations  making the rounds that the  four members of the ruling APC,  who defected to contest the National Assembly election on the platform of the unknown SDP,  due to the alleged irregularities  in the party’s primary elections last year have sent a message to the APC, National Chairman  that he political feather weight.

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