The Oasis Reporters
March 23, 2019
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa has again exposed itself to the outside world as incapable of running most critical things successfully, not even elections run and managed by professors within a few local governments in the country.
Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, headed by a University professor, Mahmood Yakubu may be constrained to once again do another rerun election due to the howling protests of aggrieved politicians who feel brazenly rigged out again, because the electoral commission continues to do the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results.
Ukum local government area in Benue state has had it’s rerun polls interrupted by thugs through the burning of electoral materials, attacks and molestations of electoral officials. Therefore it’s rerun elections have been postponed yet again.
Bauchi state in the north east has equally witnessed flashpoints of violence accompanying the rerun polls which ended Saturday, March 23.
Police reinforcements were sent to Gama ward in Kano State because thugs seemingly took over the voting atmosphere with many people unable to vote.
A video by Sahara TV is currently trending where voters were being paid 500 naira each to vote for a particular political party. Those able to wash off the supposedly indelible ink in order to vote a second time, received an additional 500 naira. This has unwittingly exposed the extreme poverty in Kano that votes could be purchased for a meagre five hundred naira.
During the Ekiti State gubernatorial election in 2017, votes were purchased for 4,000 naira, 8 times the amount Kano voters got. As bad as that habit was.
Undoubtedly, both the electoral body, INEC and the government know that if strict electronic voting which is online, real-time is adopted as it is in other parts of the world including some serious states in Africa, the issue of ballot box snatching, over voting, stuffed boxes, switched results, cancelled votes etc would be drastically curtailed or eliminated. But it doesn’t pay them to have a transparent election so as to keep returning failed leaders to power by rigging the polls, unless people stoutly defy odds to protect their votes as recently observed in Oyo State, and the verdict of the Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified INEC’s illegalities by withdrawing the certificate of return issued to the state governor and awarding victory to the opposition candidate.
Written by Greg Abolo