THE FINAL SHOWDOWN
Hello Blogville Readers,
It has been a very long day today and honestly, I have decided, since the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) has already concluded the manner in which this election will turn out and therefore voted for me, my ancestors and my unborn chilren, that I deserve to take the rest of the day off, take a long cold shower, a hefty mound of pounded yam and ogbono soup and sleep until Sunday morning. The news coming from around the country is obviously discouraging and is what was expected from I-MESS, I mean I-NEC ,the electoral body. Which brings me to the subject of disorganization. When will Nigeria and Nigerians get organized. Everything is a problem, a fight, big-big wahala. Census na kwanta, Voters registration the same thing, election sef na by the miracle of God we have am. KAI HABA DANGOROBA SHEGE!!!. For example I found my self taking charge of an audition that had gotten out of hand because of the number of people who turned out to the station. Now why did some peopel feel it was their god-given right to jump the line? Worse still is the fact that people never want to listen to simple instructions. Even when they do, they want to challenge and profer their own perceivably better process. What I call I-T-K mentality. This situation, the elections and just some other things around got me thinking about the War Against Indiscipline Campaign in the 80's. Can we go back to that? And if so will it work without the MILITARY operating the program because as it has been shown during this election period, NIGERIANS ARE VERY AFRAID OF THE SOLDIERS. Anyways before I take my mini vacation and disappear till monday, here's what's happening in the news in Nigeria.
There was a failed attempt to blow up the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Saturday morning.
Attackers attempted to roll a petrol tanker laden with detonators into the building. However, the tanker missed its target while the detonators failed to trigger a large explosion. The tanker crashed into a telegraph pole and came to a halt. The presidential and national assembly elections were scheduled to begin at ten o’clock Saturday.
The sixty four million ballot papers arrived Friday evening for immediate distribution to the 36 states and Abuja.
Security has been tight in the country ahead of the elections.
Here in Lagos, military personnel once again, mounted checkpoints at strategic locations. Meanwhile, INEC’s resident commissioner for Lagos, MOSES OGBE, has been replaced with SOLOMON SHOYEBI who supervised the governorship and house of assembly elections in Abia State last Saturday. (Ogbe was replaced presumably for going ahead to announce the AC candidate Babatunde Fashola as the governor elect despite pressure from ‘POWERS’ in Abuja)
The convoy of A.C. governorship candidate of Edo State, ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE was attacked Saturday by suspected thugs in Ibie in Etsako West Local Government Area while monitoring the elections.
His police orderly was beaten and his service pistol stolen.
Two vehicles in OSHIOMHOLE’s convoy were destroyed.
Reports reaching us from across the country indicate that the National Assembly election has been postponed in several States due to the non-inclusion of names and logos of some candidates and political parties on the ballot paper. In Lagos State, the senatorial election has been shifted in Lagos West and Lagos Central as well as seven federal constituencies. In Oyo State, election into seven federal constituencies has also been postponed. There was no national assembly election in Abia State because of a mix-up in the ballot papers. Election into three senatorial districts in Ogun and Rivers States has also been shifted, in addition to election not holding in some federal constituencies. The elections are to be held at a later date. We also heard that voting did not take place in two senatorial districts in Delta State while the Residential Electoral Commissioner had earlier shifted the election in ten federal constituencies. In Jigawa State, INEC office in Ringim Local Government was completely razed by people protesting the non-inclusion of names and logs of some candidates and parties. Election was also shifted in seven local government areas of the State. (This is just more evidence of how insincere INEC has been about this election, I mean didn’t they know there would be elections in 2007, after the last one in 2003. The devil is in the details and elementary problems like no picture, no logo etc is just costing Nigerians more money)
Meanwhile, TINUBU’s mother, Alhaja ABIBAT MAGAJI, is denying the allegation made by the PDP governorship candidate for Lagos State, MUSILIU OBANIKORO that voting was done at her Ikeja home last Saturday. Alhaja MAGAJI prayed God to forgive those behind the rumour. She also urged Nigerians not to allow politics to divide them.
Lagos State Governor, BOLA TINUBU is describing the omission of names and logos of some candidates and parties from the ballot papers as deliberate. TINUNBU who cast his ballot at exactly one twenty three p.m. at Alausa said the development may affect the voting pattern in the State. He said the A.C. was monitoring INEC and that the party will challenge any plan to rig the election in the State.
The Lagos Governor wondered why the elections were full of errors as INEC had enough time to prepare for them.
Voting in Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections ended in many parts of the country at 5pm. Reports from across the country indicate that the exercise was characterized by low voter turn-out. In states such as Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Ondo, Gombe and Bayelsa, voting did not start at 10 o’clock as scheduled. Shortage of electoral materials was reported in some local government areas of Ekiti State. The election was shifted in one senatorial district in Enugu State.
In Oyo State, about forty five people were arrested over election-related offences. Ten suspects were picked up in Challenge area of Ibadan. Twenty five of them were arrested and their three buses impounded for allegedly chasing away party agents from some polling stations leaving only of the PDP. The operation was personally led by the General Officer Commanding the Second Mechanised Division, Major-General MOHAMMED SALEH. Six INEC officials were also arrested in Lagelu local government of Oyo state for allegedly thumb-printing ballot papers in favour of a particular political party. Election did not hold in one federal constituency in Akwa Ibom State due to the death of one of the candidates.
INEC Chairman, Professor MAURICE IWU, is describing Saturday’s elections as satisfactory despite some hitches experienced in many States. IWU admitted that the elections did commence late in the entire south-east due to late arrival of materials. He stated that a presiding officer, FELIX UGBUAJA in Lugbe area of Abuja, who absconded with election materials will be prosecuted. On the failed attack on INEC’s headquarters this morning, Professor IWU blamed it on desperate politicians who did not want the elections to hold.
Professor IWU said results of the elections will start trickling into INEC’s office from tomorrow morning. He is optimistic that the final result will be announced on Monday.
The presidential and national assembly elections took off on schedule in Epe, Lagos, except for complaints of shortage of materials including ballot papers and boxes. However, the situation in Ajah was different as INEC officials arrived the area late and some voters who had waited for hours at polling centres could not hide their frustration.
In Epe, some INEC officials complained of insufficient materials at some polling centres. One of such locations is Ward A-5 Unit 24, very close to the home of PDP chieftain, LANRE RASAQ. This development led to the deployment of old ballot boxes at the polling centre. INEC Electoral office in Epe, ADELEKE OJO, who confirmed the development in a telephone interview with Rhythm FM 93.7 said measures had to be taken to address the shortages.
Security has been beefed up at the INEC headquarters in Abuja following an attempt to blow it up this morning with petrol tanker allegedly filled with explosives. Already, one suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident. Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the Inspector-General of Police, SUNDAY EHINDERO, said a committee has been set up to investigate the attack. EHINDERO also decried the level of violence that has characterized this year’s elections. According to him, thirty two police officers have been killed in election-related violence. The Police I.G. stated that the attack on government house in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, last night was perpetrated by those who wanted to kidnap the Governor and PDP vice-presidential candidate, DR. GOODLUCK JONATHAN in a bid to stop the election.
From Katsina comes this report that there was mass unrest Saturday in Daura, the home town of ANPP presidential candidate, MUHAMMADU BUHARI. The people there were protesting the lack of voting materials. Over five houses and the INEC office in the town were completely razed by the angry protesters while one person was killed. BUHARI, in an interview with correspondent AZUBIKE OSUMILI flayed the electoral process. He said reports reaching across the country indicate that there was no voting in many areas.
The ANPP flagbearer vowed not to accept the election results because the process was flawed.
STV Correspondent CHARLES KALU who monitored Saturday’s elections in Bayelsa State reports that Governor GOODLUCK JONATHAN voted in his town around twelve thirty p.m. Speaking on Friday’s attack on Government House, Yenagoa, and INEC office in the state, GOODLUCK attributed it to miscreants. In Delta State, one Chief NKEM OKKWUOFU, special project director in the state, ordered that one REAGAN UDUJE, a PDP member be shot at her residence in Aniocha north local government area. The woman was allegedly caught with ballot papers and result sheets. She is presently receiving treatment at a private clinic in Asaba.
Voting began on schedule in most parts of Ikorodu, Lagos State, Saturday. Ogolonto, Majidun, Ladega, Agric and Lowa estate were a few of such areas. However, ABIKE DABIRI who is seeking another term with federal house of representatives, condemned the absence of ballot boxes in some wards in Ikorodu. Also speaking, INEC’s Electoral Officer in Ikorodu, ALESHINLOYE OLUWATOYIN gave INEC a passmark over its conduct of the polls. Some residents in Ikorodu who spoke to our correspondent frowned at the delay in commencement of voting in some areas.
Some political parties have risen in defence of Senate President, KEN NNAMANI. National Chairman of the Labour Party, DAN NWANYANWU, said NNAMANI’s comments on widespread electoral malpractices were not different from the position of the opposition.
NWANYANWU said criticism of NNAMANI by some government officials was uncalled for. In the same vein, National Chairman of the Community party, Malam MUSA BUKAR-SANI, noted that NNAMANI had spoken the minds of most Nigerians. Information and National Orientation Minister, FRANK NWEKE JUNIOR, had accused NNAMANI of spearheading moves for the establishment of an interim government. (trust the spin doctor Nweke to turn the attention else where. Frankie, I like you cos you’re smooth and wear cool suits, but dude, c’mon)
This report says INEC in Rivers State has cancelled elections in five federal constituencies in the State. State Resident Electoral Commissioner, ROWLAND UWA who dropped this piece of news attributed the cancellation on irregularities in the handling of election materials. UWA said election in the affected federal constituencies would now take place on April 26. Elections were held in only eight out of the thirteen federal constituencies in the State.
President OLUSEGUN OBASAANJO voted at eleven forty-five Saturday morning at a polling station located in a secondary school near his home in Abeokuta, Ogun State. President OBASANJO told newsmen after casting his vote that the PDP would seek redress wherever it had proven cases of irregularities. He accused other parties of trying to get the election postponed. President OBASANJO called for support and understanding from the international community. (In fact let me not even say anything about this… re-dress ko … re-trouser ni)
Lagos State Governor-elect, BABATUNDE FASHOLA says he is not disturbed over the decision of some aggrieved candidates in last Saturday’s election to challenge the result. Shortly after casting his vote Saturday, FASHOLA advised those people to seek redress through the appropriate authorities. FASHOLA described as unfortunate INEC’s postponement of the national assembly election in Lagos West and central senatorial districts. The Lagos State Governor-elect condemned attempts by some individuals to blow up the INEC headquarters in Abuja this morning.
Chieftains of the PDP and Action Congress have been speaking on allegations that the electorate in Epe, Lagos were given money to influence their choice in the election Saturday. The PDP candidate for Lagos West senatorial district, LANRE RASAQ, made the allegation after monitoring the exercise. In his reaction, A.C. chieftain and Lagos State House of Assembly speaker, ADEYEMI IKUFORIJI confirmed there were reports of irregularities. Some voters in Epe dismissed claims of financial inducement by any political party. Some voters speaking to our correspondent on claims of being offered money by some political parties to influence their choice in the polls.
I'll be back with the report on the result on Sunday evening