It is no news any longer to Nigerians and Imo State electorate that the governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Imo on April 11 has been declared inconclusive.
Again, it is no news that the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in that election according to INEC statement is leading with 79,429 votes in the election. Even as it is also no news that the electoral umpire said that the re-run on Saturday, April 25, would hold in 250 polling booths.
For Imo State electorate, there is nothing funny about those pronouncements because it points to the fact that INEC has its data accurately and therefore prepared to give to the people a transparent and credible election and result.
We think also that INEC should do more by saving Imo State from self-predicated crisis. It is our feeling that INEC and infact the state resident electoral commissioner, Dr Gabriel Ada should go further to tell Nigerians and Imo indigenes the number of voters that it expects to vote in the 250 polling booths at the re-run.
The electoral rule has it that each polling unit has the capacity of about 500 voters. So, if that is correct, the simple calculation therefore is to multiply 500 voters by 250 polling booths. Without engaging the services of the renowned mathematician, Professor Chike Obi, this should give us 125,000 voters if INEC is sincere to itself.
Unfortunately, the news making the rounds is that Dr Ada is of the opinion that those who did not have the opportunity to collect their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, before the elections of 2015, will be given the opportunity to do it now so as to enable them participate in the re-run election.
We gathered the above information as a rumour and therefore do not want to believe or rely on it. However, we know as well that INEC and Dr Ada know equally well that you cannot shift the goalpost at the middle of a sport contest. At least for now, INEC has closed further issuance of PVCs until the elections are over.
Otherwise, Dr Ada should cancel the 2015 elections in the state to enable more voters collect their PVCs and participate in all the elections. After all, who told him that every Imo citizen must participate in any election? The Imo State resident electoral commissioner, we think, should be urged to toe the line of honour and wisdom by doing just what he knows is the right thing.
It will amount to an afterthought for the Imo REC to think of cancelling, more booths and Wards other than those already cancelled and announced to the world.
Imo people expect him to assure them that he is unbiased and transparent in the remaining re-run elections. He is not an indigene of Imo State and therefore should not come here to set the state ablaze. Dr Ada should be courageous enough to announce the verdict to Imo people as he sees it as he will be grossly held responsible for any funny action at the end of the day.
He should not plunge Imo political situation and hope into a stalemate. He has already goofed by accepting and declaring results from areas where the number of votes cast outnumbered the number of accredited voters. What an irony! We think and strongly too that the Imo State REC is here on a mission. Yes he is up to something, and therefore should be checkmated before he wrecks havoc in the land, this weekend.
Ndi Igbo And 2015 General Election: For What Purpose?
It’s the commencement of the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, Political parties and her various candidates transverse the lengths and breadths of their constituencies canvassing for votes. We find it difficult to say, they are begging for votes. I know very well that they are actually begging for our votes.
Those going for the positions at the National Assembly tell us stories of goodies. You and I know that once they pocket our votes, we become history. My major concern here is not about the National Assembly.
General Mohammadu Buhari (Okechukwu ) was in Imo state on the 23rd of March for further campaigns to convince Imo people while they should vote for him. What did he tell them? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The only thing I can extract was a private promise he made to Governor Rochas Okorocha that he, General Buhari will hand over to Governor Okorocha in 2019. People are cheering and clapping. What a shame. On this same date Dame Patience Jonathan our First Lady was in Anambra and Enugu states canvassing for votes un behalf of her husband. What do we make out of these? Nothing.
The West, the North and South-South have negotiated for themselves relevance in the Nigeria project. Ndi Igbo, Ndaa? We are only busy abusing each other in the media, social media and gatherings. When shall we reason and think? Can we stop these abuses and negotiate for the common good of Ndi Igbo. We can start now, it is not late.
By Ekemezie Macdonald