There is hardly any election in Nigeria that is not contested both on the streets and in the law courts. Right now, weeks after the polls, most of the candidates are up in arms against the winners. In most cases, the losers accuse INEC of complicity, and call for the sack of Resident Electoral Commissioners.
The winners on their part receive their certificate of return and commend INEC for doing a good job. That is expected because nothing succeeds like success. A few losers congratulated the winners and moved on. We have heard of such cases in Oyo State, where Senator Teslim Folarin, the APC Governorship candidate in the last election has congratulated Governor Seyi Makinde, and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who has also congratulated the LP Governor-elect in Abia State, Sir Alex Oti. In Ogun State, the story is a different kettle of fish altogether. Ladi Adebutu of the PDP staged a protest along with party leaders in the state in Abeokuta against the victory of Governor Dapo Abiodun. Similarly, in Enugu State, the story is different as many of the governorship candidates are protesting the marginal victory of the PDP in the state. APGA Governorship Candidate, Mr. Frank Nweke, and his LP counterpart, Chijioke Edeoga, had in separate statements criticised the result of the election as a subversion of the people’s mandate. PDP, however, insisted that the people of Enugu rose above clannish, religious and party divides to elect the PDP candidate, Dr. Peter Mbah, as the best-prepared for the job.
Mr. Nana Ogbodo, the Director of Communications/ Spokesman for the PDP campaign council, condemned claims that PDP rigged the election in favour of Mbah. He stated, “If any party should complain bitterly, it was indeed the PDP, which was manifestly rigged out in several local government areas, where the election was militarised against their supporters, despite being the ruling party”. It is sufficient to say that election is not a do-or-die affair and losers should adopt the spirit of sportsmanship in cases like this or resort to the court of law. For now, Nigeria’s democracy is an evolving one and everyone should follow due process and law in attaining his political ambition.