Edo Poll, Democracy And The Disaster To Come, By Samuel Ajayi

Edo Poll, Democracy And The Disaster To Come, By Samuel Ajayi

By Opinions | The Trent on September 30, 2016
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Oshiomhole, APC, Chairman
FILE: From left: Chief Bisi Akande, Interim National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, former Speaker, House of Representatives, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, fornmer Head of State and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC leader hoist the APC flag at the official opening of the party’s secretariat in Benin City, November 12, 2013 (APC Photo)

I made myself a vow: I won’t comment on the Edo election until after the exercise was over.

After the election was postponed, and going by how elections go here, I simply closed my mind and concluded that only a miracle could prevent Godwin Obaseki of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, from winning! I was not disappointed.

Before some intellectually challenged persons say this is about People’s Democratic Party’s, PDP, Osagie Ize-Iyamu. Let me make it clear, it was NONE of my business who ruled Edo State till 2020. But democracy is further taking flight from this country. And mark my words: conduct of elections will only get worse under this regime.

Impeccable sources informed that the postponement had NOTHING to do with Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC or any security. (Even die-hard defenders of this regime knew that). Though INEC initially grand-stood, but it bulged. Who born am? And that was when the ‘job’ started. New ballots secretly printed and outgoing Edo governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was well aware including the serial numbers of the ballots. You can quote me.

It did not end there.

During the conduct of Osun, Ekiti and Bayelsa elections, collation was done all through night with live television beaming it to the whole world. In fact, Osun was announced around 5am the day after the election while that of Ekiti was virtually same day. But in the case of Edo, it had to be suspended and journalists ordered out. Your guess is as good as mine what might have happened after.

I just finished a long phone call with an editor friend of mine who edits one of the nation’s leading newspapers before doing this post. Incidentally, he is from Edo State. He gave me a graphic picture of what transpired; some of which I cannot repeat here. He told me his cousin and nephew told him they were given N20,000 each to vote APC. I told him to ‘rewind’ if he meant N2000 and he repeated: two, zero! N20,000 while some got N10,000.

“My kid brothers said they have never seen money brazenly spent during election like that,” he concluded. He said he had told them to forget about asking him money again until further notice!

My issue is not with APC! PDP could not have fared better were they still the ones in charge of our treasury and in control of our security apparatuses. But those little minds who went to school but school not passing through them. To them, only one party could rig elections. To them, only one set of politicians could steal money. Only Jonathan could share money before and during elections. Only PDP steals votes. And yet, from what we have seen so far, PDP might likely turn out to be angels as far as these things are concerned!

The tragedy is that APC is showing that it is the grandmaster when it comes to those things we criticised PDP for. But the greater tragedy is that there are thousands of ‘hailers’ who will find a way to justify it.

Then you begin to wonder: what then has really changed?

Samuel Ajayi is a Nigerian journalist. He runs a blog, SamuelAjayi.com. Connect with him on Facebook

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the authors. 

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