News, Politics

Nigeria Decides – Day 4, Minutes Before The Declaration

Michael Antonorsi


April 1, 2023

Nigeria has resumed the collation of the results from the general election. INEC has officially announced the presidential results of 32 states. The four remaining states (Borno, Rivers, Imo and Taraba) are expected to be announced later tonight. Mr Tinubu (APC) has been declared victor in 10 states: Jigawa, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kogi, and Benue. Mr Abubakar (PDP) has been declared victor in 12 states: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Anambra, Osun, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa. Mr Obi (LP) has been declared victor in 10 states: Lagos, Edo, Delta, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River, Abuja, Nasarawa and Plateau. Kwankwaso was declared victor in Kano state. Tinubu currently has 36.75% of the vote, followed by Abubakar with 31.76% and Obi trailing with 21.88%. 

Notable political heavyweights have thrown their opinions into the debacle surrounding the general election, particularly the shortcomings of INEC and its new technology BVAS and IReV. Yesterday, former military head of state and two-time civilian president Obasanjo issued an open letter heavily criticizing INEC’s performance during the election and calling for the annulment and rehosting of elections in locations where results cannot be transparently authenticated.

Obasanjo’s public flogging of INEC and his direct call to president Buhari to step in has led to former general Olu Bajowa to break his silence. The retired general, who saved Obasanjo from being killed during the 1976 coup, discouraged Obasanjo’s incendiary comments. He said, “It is very sad, most disheartening and grossly unexpected that  a man of the calibre of a former military Head of State and two-time civilian President, General Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, could contemplate anything that could truncate Nigeria’s democratic process at this very crucial stage! 

“General Obasanjo was the one who gave me orders to go to the war front in 1967, to fight the legendary Ore Battle, “to keep Nigeria One”.

“Without any attempt to undermine General Obasanjo, I believe that his intentions on the 2023 electoral process, are far from being sincere, given the fact that he openly endorsed a particular candidate who incidentally is not leading the polls, as already announced by INEC. 

“As the saying goes, He who must come to equity; must come with clean hands. Hence, It is obvious that having endorsed a candidate, General Obasanjo’s hands are not clean in this instance, and he lacks the moral right to come to equity”.

Yesterday opposition parties staged a walkout during the collation process saying, “the system is compromised, INEC is compromised, so the entire process be stalled and cancelled.” The election agents of these parties (PDP, LP, ADC and APP) are required to sign the results to validate the election. Addressing journalists outside the hall in Abuja the agents said, “We party agents having observed that the National Chairman of INEC is determined to rig the election, by making sure that results are not uploaded, by vehemently making a presentation that makes it look as if we are all here to rubber-stamp the fraud that has been cooked between INEC and APC, we are saying that we are not here to rubber-stamp the electoral stamp that have been prepared by INEC and APC”. 

Yakubu, Chairman of INEC has said that results of the election can only be reviewed after the conclusion of the process.

Opposition party members have accused INEC of falsifying results where BVAS was not used and using the manual collation process to tailor the outcome. Deputy National Secretary of the ADC said, “the electoral act says, the transmission must be done from the polling unit direct to the INEC server. You are not supposed to be guessing who is the president by now, we all should have seen on the INEC platform the results as it should be”.

Opposition parties are exploring available legal options to overturn what they consider a puppet show.

The Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) accused the main opposition parties, the PDP and LP, of shopping for court orders to halt the ongoing collation of the presidential election. Such a move would throw Nigeria into a constitutional crisis. 

APC PCC spokesman Mr Keyamo stated, “We have it on good authority that the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party have perfected plans to finally scuttle our democracy and throw the country into constitutional crises by surreptitiously obtaining ex parte court orders stopping the announcement of the Presidential Election results which they fear have gone against them”.

He reminded the country saying, “Nigerians would recall that the June 12, 1993, debacle that brought Nigeria to its knees and caused our country international isolation was precipitated by a court injunction stopping the announcement of Presidential Election results. The court order was obtained by a certain Association for Better Nigeria headed then by one Chief Authur Nzeribe. This is exactly what Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi want to foist on this nation again because of their inordinate ambitions. This is not surprising because both candidates where nowhere to be seen when Asiwaju was fighting for the democracy we all enjoy today. However, we wish to draw the attention of Nigerians, the Judiciary and the world to the provisions of section 84 (15) of the Electoral Act which prohibits the grant of injunctions to the stop the holding of elections (which includes the declaration of results). The section states: Nothing in this section shall empower the courts to stop the holding of primaries or general elections under this Act pending the determination of a suit”.

Presidential Candidate Mr Tinubu has pre-empted legal actions by launching his own. Today he and the APC filed a suit restraining the PDP and LP of preventing the ongoing collation and announcement of results.

The suit was marked FHC/KN/CS/43/2023 and filed before the Federal High Court in Kano, listing the Action Alliance and INEC as defendants while the APC vice presidential candidate was listed as a plaintiff. The suit asks the court to restrain the defendants from stopping the collation of results.

As the election draws closer to its conclusion, the polity is heating up. It is paramount to the success of Nigeria as a country that despite the polarity of the situation, cool heads prevail and the security situation does not implode.


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