Nigeria News

Nigeria News

Still A Distance To Go; Nigeria Democracy

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Nigeria News takes a look at the fallout of the Saturday election.

I Think Africa lacks the stamina to run a democracy. In Nigeria I can’t remember an election without complaints.

Since the days of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, many have lived through complaints to their adulthood.

Most adults can easily testify how the Old Grand Parties like UPN, NPN GNPP, PRP ran the elections then. Truth be told, it was not better. Many of us witnessed it.

However, in 1993, the aborted election of the late Chief MKO Abiola brought some sanities. The June 12, 1993 election was adjudged the freest, fairest and the most peaceful poll the country ever had.

The election produced a winner who was never allowed to attain the presidential seat. The military ruler at the time, Gen. Ibrahim Babadamosi Babangida annulled the results of the election.

Election became worse in 1999. The poll that brought in former President Olusegun Obasanjo was marred by rigging.

The PDP’s 16 years was synonymous to rigging. I monitored and reported several elections by the ruling PDP government.

As a matter of fact, a PDP President Umoru Yar’Adua confessed that a fraudulent election brought him to power. However, it took ex-President Goodluck Jonathan a term to relax the rigging spree but the malpractice was never abated.

Politicians deduced a new way of using the judiciary to change election results. But I must confess that in my work as a reporter, things have changed a bit, there is a conscious effort to curb electoral fraud.

Still, there is a distance to cover. Among all the regions, only the Southwest has made democracy interesting. The results of the presidential election of Saturday show how politically sophisticated the region has grown.

Yes, the debate over the election irregularities in Okota Lagos will always come up, it does not erase the Rivers State’ s wrongdoings neither will it erase the Akwa Ibom political crisis nor the Kano’s electoral crunch.

But the results in Southwest show that it is the only region that has voted for both Buhari and Atiku with each candidate recording over 25 per cent of the needed votes.

As a matter of fact, Atiku won the election in Ondo State. In Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun and Lagos, the APC and PDP are on neck and neck.

This is not so in other regions where it is winner takes all. Let all the results be released, am very sure, Buhari may not win 25 per cent in any of the states in the East.

There is a need to grow democracy in that part of the country. This is not a castigation but observation. In the north, this is where the real battle is. If Atiku could win in FCT, the government seat, then it means democracy is growing in Nigeria.

If Buhari could defeat Atiku at Atiku’s polling unit, it is good for democracy. But what happened in Lagos could not happen in Kano because the civility is different.

Over there in the far north, it is still winners take all.

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