By Danlami Baban Takko
At the time of writing this piece, a Federal High court in Abuja has barred INEC from collation of the Gubernatorial Election result for Tafawa Balewa pending hearing of a suit earlier filed by Governor M.A Abubakar against the Electoral body. Even as laymen, we had earlier raised concern on INEC’s decision to resume collation of Tafawa Balewa Results inspite of revelation by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in which she alleged harassment to the point of being forced to announce the results by PDP agents.
According to our understanding, INEC should have considered the threats, reports of irregularities and other manipulations by the PDP instead of succumbing to pressure by the party in its desperation to grab power at all cost. From all indications, PDP has manipulated Tafawa Balewa results through massive irregularities in the voting process and that explains why the party forced the Resident Electoral Commissioner to announce fake and tempered results in its favour. It was then the APC cried foul and INEC was forced to set up a two-man committee to investigate the matter.
As it turned out, the committee set-up by INEC was conceived and bias right from its inception and the electoral body was a partner in this conspiracy. Their mission is to force out Governor M.A Abubakar from office at all cost. The chairman of the Fact-Finding committee is no other than Festus Okoye, Fabian Okoye’s Brother, and Festus Okoye is an INEC commissioner nominated by Dogara and Tambuwal and he is a close friend to Dogara. Fabian Okoye is also a senior media aide to Governor Tambuwal.
So, one could clearly see where the conspiracy lies. This is not the only case where INEC showed its open bias and unfairness. In River state, the headquarters of 6 Division Nigerian Army have observed with dismay and sense of betrayal how the electoral body compromised its position in the case of Gubernatorial/State House of Assembly Elections.
The army gave details of what really happened to its team when aides to Governor Wike and other armed thugs stormed the collation center at the outer perimeter of Obio/Akpor local government headquarters, shooting Captain Adams Salami and matcheting Corporal Adeosun Adebayo. Thereafter, election materials were carted away and electoral officials abducted by Governor Wike’s thugs to an unknown destination.
This was made known to INEC fact-finding committee but INEC does not see it worth condemning or mention in it report. It is part of the conspired evil intention to give PDP an edge. In Bauchi, the same evil conspired scenario is being played to give the PDP power through the window what they could not get through the door. The court order barring INEC from collation of Tafawa Balewa results will prove a litmus test for the PDP and its desperate supporters who it appears, are so eager to grab power even if it means brushing aside the normal process of the law.
Lest we forget, the PDP gubernatorial candidate had earlier gone to court asking it to compel INEC to declare him as winner even before collation of results were completed. The court out rightly dismissed the request. INEC should respect court order and rule of law and stop the collation of results from Tafawa Balewa pending the outcome of hearing in the case. INEC should also stop aligning with others to truncate our match towards true democracy by living up to the true mission and foundation for which it was established.
Danlami Baban Takko is a Public Policy Analyst.