Uploaded by Gabriel Sumomoh


Sometime late last year, when the ruling party decided to have a Muslim-Muslim ticket, I
wrote and posted on one of my pages that the same religion ticket would not fly in Nigeria.
People started giving their opinions and at the end of the day, I felt perhaps it was a
political maneuvering on the part of the APC; to solidify its presence in the north that is
predominantly Muslim. It might be a way to win the hearts of the people in the north.
There are two prominent candidates in the north and they are both Muslims; one from the
north-west and the other from the north-east. It was just my conclusion and the
consolidation of my ideas. Many experts spoke, criticizing the idea of religion having any
relevance in determining the president of the country in the 21st century. They felt
Nigerians had grown beyond some of these primordial attachments.
A week later, I wrote extensively on the party that would win the presidential election and
my conclusion was that the party with the STRONGEST STRUCTURE would win the 2023
presidential election. This is how it should work, except if anything to the contrary occurs.
But come to look at things, if all the members of a political party work for the success of
their party; it will be very difficult to win such a party especially if it is the ruling party.
Many things started to change; the financial institutions began to withdraw money from
circulation, which caused a cash crunch in the system. The hardship was so agonizing that
many people felt disenchanted with the government and the ruling party. This on one hand
and the spread of the growing populist ideologies within the country caused a change in the
political dimension. Populist ideas have continued to gain momentum in Nigeria. A populist
leader attempts to capitalize on the gaps in the polity to win votes; making claims and
giving promises, some that may be unrealizable. The people are led by the nose only to be
left in the lurch with shame and disappointment of broken promises.
Politicians have a way of instigating and accentuating ethnic and religious differences; they
will then capitalize on this to win elections. When there is a break in the structure it
affects the entire system. The structure is like the skeletal framework that holds the
system together and makes it function. Before APC came in, PDP thought it could rule for
a very long time but unfortunately, it was a dream that became stillborn because of the
cracks in the structural make-up of the party. Some Governors that were members of the
party decided to gang up against it; consequently moving to the other side. Yoruba adage
says, "The crack in the wall, gives room for the lizard to infiltrate." This was the beginning
of an end to the PDP reign. President Goodluck Jonathan went into the election and was
defeated by the APC candidate.
After the APC primary, some aspirants for the post of president became disenchanted and
unpacified. They stood and waited to strike at the right time. This became very obvious
before the elections as some dissenting voices against their presidential candidates were
The elections on the 25th of February went on not without hitches, but the infractions
were not substantial enough to nullify or invalidate the elections. Many people cried foul;
this was expected as some sections of the country had believed their brother would win
the presidential election. Many of them were dumbfounded. It was extremely disturbing
that even some of the ruling party members were criticizing their party. It was very
obvious these people must have worked against the party.
The truth is that the people who voted against the elected president were far more than
the people who voted for him. The winner got over 8 million while the two runners-up got
over 12 million votes. This means that if it were not for a simple majority system of voting,
there would have been a second election.
On the day of the declaration and before it, we had dramas as some agents of the
opposition parties criticized INEC for not listening to their protests. But the truth is that
they had the opportunity to protest even from the ward level. The good thing about the
Nigerian electoral system is that it combines both open and secret ballot systems. This is
unlike the situation in the past when people did not have the entitlement to get the results
at the polling units. INEC has continuously innovated to ensure free and fair elections in
Nigeria. The introduction of BIVAS was another step taken by INEC in the right direction.
According to the post-election review of INEC, BIVAS recorded 98% efficient utilization.
This has dwarfed all the records of all devices for accreditation in Nigeria. There is
another thing that the BIVAS has put a stop to, which was the use of incident forms; that
was the case in the past. Many of our politicians have used the incident forms to rig
elections. They were jolted to reality.
The last general elections truly revealed how the mighty had fallen. Many of the so-called
powerful politicians lost out in their various states.
The opposition parties, the ruling party, and INEC are still at the tribunal. The petitioners
and the respondents have all closed their cases. In a few days, we shall know how to
proceed. The truth is that many of our people do not have good access to information that
will make them make informed decisions. What is legal might not necessarily be moral. The
court of public opinion might not be objective enough to dissuade the decisions of the
courts. In days to come, I want to talk about how the courts are not "Father Christmas".