Yet another inconclusive poll
The prospects for free, fair and credible electioneering process seem to be fading at every poll so far conducted by the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
On April 9, residents of the Federal Capital Territory came out to elect chairmen and councillors for the six area councils. Elections in Abuja are largely peaceful, orderly and without any major hitches.
It is therefore often expected that the results will come in as at when due. But given the new found tendency for inconclusiveness by the electoral commission, nothing prepared residents and the political parties for four of the six area councils to be suspended and save the final results for another day.
On Sunday, at the different collation centres in the FCT, elections into Abuja Municipal Area Council, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Kwali were declared inconclusive for reasons that were not adduced by the Returning Officers.
The danger of the worrisome trend is that electorate will lose hope in the system and erode any vestige for a well-defined representative government.
It has therefore become imperative for the electoral commission to situate what the reason or reasons are that has eroded its ability to deliver timely and credible elections.
The worry for most persons, which is not misplaced, is that if the INEC is unable to hold poll in just one state or in a small area like the FCT, it is doubtful if it will be able to hold a general election under the leadership of Prof. Yakubu.
So far, almost all of its rerun elections have ended in inconclusiveness. From Kogi to Bayelsa, Rivers, Osun, Taraba and now the FCT, should bother those at the commission.
Besides the financial implication in such a lean period as now, the human toll and the credibility deficiency that the people’s choice may have been tempered with should be a source of concern to the government.
It is about time that President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly which has oversight functions on the commission engages it to determine the reason for the unfortunate development.
As per the FCT, there are already insinuations in some quarters that the APC-led regime is determined to undermine the choice of the people, therefore the shenanigans of inconclusive by the INEC.
Whether true or not, the APC should demonstrate to Nigerians that it is committed to deepening of democracy by ensuring that the electoral body works impartially without undue influence of the ruling government.
Also, it is up to the commission to truly earn its independence by learning from all the failures these polls that were not concluded.
It is by so doing that the APC and the INEC can show that its emergence in 2015 was not a fluke rather a deliberate engagement to make the votes of Nigerians count at every election.