The off-season elections for Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa States scheduled for 11th of November, 2023 is being trailed by violent campaigns, arson, assassinations and the emergence of street urchins hijacking the political space as enforcers and thugs of their political leaders.
It is called off season elections because the courts in 2003 and 2007, ruled against the election results declared by a compromising umpire in INEC that interfered by collusion, connivance and manipulation of election result sheets in favour of their choice party for filthy lucre thereby distorting an initial National general elections plan.
The courts having upturned such previous discredited elections expected INEC to reinvent itself, make necessary corrections and remain neutral to give credibility and transparency to the election process that will encourage the contestants to accept the verdict and gain credence and acceptability from the electorates.
Elections fail once the umpire is seen to be partial, financially seductive, slow in execution, weak in anticipation, excuses, obstructive, benign, insensitive, lateness to deploy, inefficient staff on duty, ineffective security, indifferent to collation of election results, non-compliance with election procedures, interference of non INEC staff with sensitive election documents and processes and poor leadership of INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner.*
The Imo State Governorship election has become a matter of serious concern not because Ndi-Imo are quarrelsome but rather worrisome of making their votes count and allowing the peoples mandate dictate the result that will be announced by the umpire, INEC.
This implicit misgivings of Ndi-Imo about honest declaration of Governorship election results dates back to the controversial elections that returned Ikedi Ohakim as Governor, the rerun election that that brought in Rochas Okorocha as Governor, of Imo State, the unfathomable Supreme Court judgement that sacked Emeka Ihedioha as elected Governor in 2020 and installed Hope Uzodinma who came fourth position in the race as duly elected.
The distrust, trust deficit and high alertness being exhibited by Imo state people and electorates in the November 11, 2023 election should not be misconstrued as belligerency, confrontation and mindless agitation but the right of Ndi-Imo to elect their Governor unencumbered with INEC or Police interference by denying the will of the people as original source of Power placement in a democratic system of government.
Nigerians have watched INEC conduct commendable off season elections in Osun state, Edo state, Ondo state and Anambra state but could not continue in that public acclaim in the shoddy manner it distorted the results of the 2023 Presidential election results on a flimsy excuse of technology glitches that derided what would have been a great outing in election conduct for INEC.
It is the disputations surrounding the less acclaimed 2023 general elections by INEC that is firing up tensions and general apathy of INEC’s readiness and sincerity to come clean in the November 11, 2023 off season elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa States.
It is our prayers that:
The electorates in Imo state and others should behave well.
That the Police should not aid or abate unnecessary interference in the election process.
That INEC should not allow its staff to connive with politicians to manipulate election figures in favour of any political Party.
That the Resident Electoral Commissioner must be above board, neutral, diligent and uncompromising.
That elections must start as scheduled and be concluded with results declared within 24 hours of the entire process.
The reason for election litigation occurs once INEC in connivance with the security agencies supervising the election allows infractions to take place during voting, counting of votes and declaration of election results.
Power belongs to the people and therefore the people’s votes must count.
We in Cultural Credibility Development Initiative CCDI Platform pray for peaceful elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa States and that the choice of the people be respected and declared accordingly to warrant participation in future elections in Nigeria.
Long live Imo state.
Long live NDIGBO.
Long live Nigeria.
God bless the off season elections and it’s outcome.
Power belongs to God.
Peace must reign in Nigeria.
From all of us, members of:
Cultural Credibility Development Initiative CCDI Platform.
Ide Goddy Uwazurike.
Thursday, November 9, 2023.