Home Politics #NigeriaDecides2023: Despite Electoral Mistrust, INEC Holds Off-Cycle Gubernatorial Election

#NigeriaDecides2023: Despite Electoral Mistrust, INEC Holds Off-Cycle Gubernatorial Election

Would Nigerian electorates decide and INEC select, yet again?

Ahead of the governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States, the Not-so Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has “assured” respective political parties, stakeholders and potential electorates going out on Saturday 11th of November to exercise their right to vote the next Governor of respective States on the basis of “free and fair election”. However, the last general election of February and March, as it appears to all, has eroded a flood of mistrust into the free and fair election the electoral body proclaims to be offering concerned parties, especially the electorates whose sovereignty was made to appear irrelevant by the kind of politics and injustice Nigeria institutions currently embodies.

However, on the need to prioritize free and fair elections over politics, the major opposition parties urge respective support bases to come out without fear of intimidation as they ensure adequate security for the protection of lives and ballot boxes, especially against the tyrannical behaviour of the ruling party depriving citizens the right to elect their choice of candidate on every election cycle be made readily available.

It is with utmost importance that the coverage of media and security is assured, but the enablers of criminality shielding electoral violence or possible heists are a show of negligence to the peace accord signed and or press freedom that disrupts journalists from covering the stakeholders’ meeting held on the 4th of November, 2023 in Imo State is never considered a breach peace and or possible free and fair election.
Speaking of the peace accord, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Douye Diri, accused his counterpart, Timipre Sylva of All Progressive Congress governorship candidate of Bayelsa State, of stockpiling arms on Wednesday. Allegedly, any sight of violence jeopardizes the peace bargain, making it a thing to be trashed in the bin. However, this is not a considerable action any leader should portray, knowing this risks such moves expose the lives of the voters they somewhat relied on to bring the next governor-elect.

And despite INEC calling on the National Labor Congress (NLC and TUC) to halt any nationwide strike planned up, the recent happenings around Imo, I hope the people of Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi States see to what’s at play here and come all out to defend their votes as shutting down the state with a nationwide strike and state flights blacklisting are no sign of free and fair election. How do the press get to the polling units? How do international observers get into the country, and where do they lodge? Hope Uzodinma booked all the hotels for the forthcoming Saturday historical event.

Nonetheless, the people whose right to elect a governor is at a political crossroads at the moment, understand that being frightened or hopeless doesn’t bring about the change they want their votes to bring about, but coming out en-masse to vote for the candidate that represents their interests is a real democratic revolution that brings about real change.

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