Kogi senatorial and governorship elections were held during the weekend and the winner of the governorship election as being declared by INEC as Yahaya Adoza Bello having scored the highest number of votes. But before we discuss the issues of the elections, let us first look at the breakdown of the results. As we all know that we have 91 registered parties in Nigeria but elections have always seemed to be between two parties or three at most.
In the just-concluded Kogi elections, 49 political parties submitted nominations out of which 8 parties nominations were declared invalid by INEC and leaving 41 parties to participate in the governorship election but out of these 41 political parties, 18 political parties later withdraw from the election leaving only 23 parties that participated in the just-concluded Kogi elections. I have attached the breakdown of this below and here is a link of the full list of the nominees of each party:
Governor Bello polled a total of 406,222 votes to defeat his rival and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Musa Wada, who scored 189,704 votes in the election. Governor Bello won in the following local government: Ogori/Magongo, Ijumu, Adavi, Okene, Kabba/Bunu, Kogi (Koton Karfe), Okehi, Mopamuro, Ajaokuta, Olamaboro, Ibaji, and Lokoja and scored 25 percent in other nine local governments.
While Wada, won in Omala, Igalamela/Odolu, Yagba East, Idah, Yagba West, Bassa, Ankpa, Ofu and Dekina where he hails from. Although PDP has claimed that they will challenge the result in court but that is meant for the PDP stakeholders to decide.
The elections were plagued with various sorts of violence such as thuggery, ballot snatching, kidnapping and possibly killings, why I used such a term is that I wasn’t around there to observe the election which would have been good evidence but I could see some evidence of the violence online.
But can we put say that an election that is plagued with violence and intimidation is fair? Be it far from it but it is now the norm in Nigeria that elections are rated as fair even when it was very clear that it was rigged and violence was the order of the day. Or Nigeria is full of uncivilized people who take violence as the order of the day?
Well we are all Nigerians and Nigeria belongs to us, so we will need to start to define things properly especially when it comes to elections and educate ourselves that violence doesn’t achieve anything, it only destroy and that we will only make a mockery of ourselves when the foreign observers observe our election rigged with violence and still hear us declaring it as free and fair elections.
We all know that most of the politician themselves are the ones sponsoring the violence in elections especially to turn the tide of the election in their favor but notwithstanding, they will employ Nigerians, who will be willing to do and undo due to the money they have received from the politician, meaning the politician cannot singlehandedly promote violence, he needs you and me, so if we don’t yield to them, then the violence of rigging and killing during election will stop and only then can we have a free and fair election.