INEC is the scum, the accused, that every politician wants hanged when the results declared are not in their favour.
The fingers pointing at INEC are from all directions and from all parties. Makes you wonder: On whose side is INEC?
Who is the great manipulator at INEC? The one who decides what State should go to APC or PDP or any other political party? Who should win a senatorial, house of representatives or state house of assembly seat. Or what State should or shouldn’t be inconclusive?
Is it Professor Mahmoud Yakubu or one of his national RECs? If it’s Prof Yakubu or one of his RECs, who gives them instructions on how to rig for one or another party from one state to another?
Is it President Buhari or his chief of staff or one of his ministers?
Who can boldly say he or she has answers to those questions.
Nevertheless, let’s do some little thinking.
The Dino Case.
How did Dino Melaye an enemy of his State governor and the Buhari administration win his election with all the talk about rigging? He did not do any campaign as he was either in custody of the police or SSS or hiding?
In the past that would have been impossible. The returning officer of his district would have been a guest of the Governor at Government House such that as election was going on, the governor’s henchmen would be preparing a result for another candidate. But that did not happen. Therefore, was the re-election of Dino credible or not. If it wasn’t, who rigged it in his favour right under the noses of his powerful enemies.
What about the governors who tumbled?
Governor Amosun got elected into the Senate but his anointed candidate for governor lost. In nearby Ogun, Governor Ajimobi lost his senatorial bid and his anointed candidate lost and tossed the state into the hands of the PDP.
In Imo, talkative and boisterous Okorocha has been boxed into a tight corner. His anointed candidate for governor lost while his senatorial result supposedly declared under duress now has K-leg. That would have been impossible some years ago.
The bottom line
All parties seek advantage in every election using various ways- legal and legal. It is therefore, hypocritical to be screaming that the winning party or individual rigged. But in politics, there is no universal truth or good. What is hailed as good by an opposition party is condemned when the same party wins and forms government.
Who is to blame for rigging?
There is some blame to pass around. But the biggest share of the rigging problem belongs to the politicians.
Between 2011 and now, INEC has made great progress and continues to do so. At every turn, the politicians are waiting like pirates to “hijack and disrupt.”
In the 2015 elections, after INEC successfully waged the war against the introduction of card readers into the electoral process, politicians worked hard to influence INEC staff into using incidence forms to rig elections.
This year, INEC did away with incidence forms and made the use of card readers mandatory. How did politicians react? They used arsonists to destroy INEC materials and resorted to vote buying.
While the deployment of the military for elections has been widely condemned, people forget that it is the violent attitude of politicians that made it necessary.
If politicians and Nigerians behave themselves, we may not even need police officers at any polling unit.
Am sure that in the 2023 elections, INEC will introduce more measures to further secure the process. But let us wait and see what politicians will come up with.
For now, those who have lost should stop screaming all over the place about how they are going to reclaim their stolen mandate . Let them go to court to wage their war and allow us to enjoy some peace. When they win, we will know. Winning public sympathy does not count in court.