Connect with us


BIG STORY: This Is How Public Trust Was Kidnapped At Nasarawa Governorship Poll



BIG STORY: This Is How Public Trust Was Kidnapped At Nasarawa Governorship Poll

The folks of Nasarawa State, like each different Nigerians in the 28 states where elections had been held for the Governorship and Houses of Assembly seats, filed out of their numbers and exercised their rights as provided for by the constitution, and extant legal guidelines of the electoral body, by voting for candidates of their decisions on Saturday March 18, 2023. …Continue Reading.

As it were, the exercise went peacefully, uninterrupted, with all amount of enthusiasm from the electorates without any rancour or political upheavals that used to accompany the exercise of this nature in the past. And this was largely due to the introduction of BVAS technology into the electoral process. Nigerians, especially the people of Nasarawa state, were quite hopeful that their votes would count, and their candidates would win.

In Nasarawa state, political parties field candidates for the top job of the governor of the state. The major political parties were the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), which fielded the incumbent Governor Abdullahi Audu Sule, for the second and concluding term in office. Others were the leading opposition’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with Dr David Emmanuel Ombugadu, as well as the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and the Labour Party (LP), among others.

Despite the fact that the election was conducted peacefully in all 147 electoral wards in the state, the final result turned out to be a huge embarrassment, to say the least to the novel electoral process and to the Independent National  Electoral Commission (INEC), and the majority of the people of the State that voted for change.

First, it is important to understand the areas or local governments of the state that have huge voting population clusters. These include Karu, because of its proximity to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, where there is a huge population settlement. Others are Doma, Nasarawa Eggon, which is housing the single highest ethnic group in Nasarawa State, and Akwanga, the home local government of the incumbent governor of the State.

Closely followed are:  Keffi, Lafia, as the seat of government of the State, Obi, and Nassarawa local government areas. In all these areas, results came early, and barely 12 hours after the conclusion of the voting, the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party led with a comfortable margin. For instance, PDP won in Doma, the hometown of the Deputy Governor; won in Akwanga, the home base of the incumbent governor; Karu and Nasarawa Eggon, as well as Obi and Kokona.

This shows clear rejection of the incumbent administration of Abdullahi Sule by the people of Nasarawa state for a combination of several factors. Chiefly among the factors is his abysmal performance in his four years of administration, as well as his collusion with well to do Nigerians to buy off the peoples’ lands at a give-away price, at the detriment of generations to come, who will not be able to recover, among several other factors.

However, this is how the result was manipulated. Apart from undue cancellation in some selected wards that were believed to be the PDP’s strongholds – such as Ashige, Agwan Mangu and Arikya electoral wards, the epic of this electoral fraud was when the result of Awe was to be turned in. It was kept away. As a matter of fact, government in collaboration with some agents of the security operatives, and active support of INEC’s ad-hoc staff, dispersed people at the venue of the local government collation centre on framed up allegation of threat to peace, which enabled them to move the announcement of the result from Awe after realising that PDP convincingly won the local government.

The announcement was first moved to the Federal University, where the electoral figures were crudely manipulated giving a win to the ruling APC, before it was  further moved to the State Collation Centre, at Ibrahim Abacha Youth Centre, Lafia. As if that was not enough, the mother of all rapes to democracy and outright overturn of the peoples’ mandate is the Gayam and Chiroma Wards within Lafia metropolis, where results were delayed for over 72 hours after the conduct of election, for whatever reasons. Well, perhaps as Governor Sule admitted, and I like him for being frank to admit wrong whenever it occurs.

Governor Sule admitted that his party, the APC in collaboration with INEC, agreed to release the Awe and Lafia results having waited to see the figures their political rivals will bring from their strongholds. There can be no other evidence of rigged elections than this open confession by the beneficiary of the illegal electoral process.

The election results from Chiroma and Gayam Wards, reputed as the rigging enclave in Lafia, should raise curiosity. For instance on Election Day, voting ended in most parts of Lafia as early as 2:00 p.m. But for more than two more days, they could not sum up the results; funny isn’t it? 

The result had to be mutilated several times, and this explains the role of collation officers who connived to shortchange the people and the PDP, as there were countless breaks to see if the figures will add up, to upturn the victory of the PDP with wide margin. And until that was done, victory was not announced.

It was after one of the many breaks announced by the Returning Officer that security men were drafted to the venue of the State Collation Centre, where most of the media men and some party agents were denied entrance into the hall.

It must be noted how unintelligent the manipulators of the election result are. They manufactured results for the governorship; they could not do the same for the House of Assembly. As it is today, there are two different figures from an election that had the same accreditation.

The figures for the governorships are in several thousands; those of the Assembly are in paltry hundreds. …Continue Reading.

This, no doubt, should be an embarrassment to INEC, and particularly the so-called Returning Officers involved in this act of shame. It is so outrageous to note that the figures for two electoral wards are far higher than the result of an entire local government!

Odama wrote from Abuja.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply