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Presidential election reflections

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(Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP)

Sir: It is very needful for knowledgeable Nigerians to analyze and reflect on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published results of the recent presidential election in spite of the flaws there in. Of concern are the coming state elections for the governors and state assemblies.

In the national elections there were only 27,324,583 valid votes and 1,289,609 rejected votes. The rejected votes were quite high due to the insufficient voter education and very large number of political parties with about 71presidential candidates, which a foreign observer said are more than their National Assembly members! There is the need to reduce the eligible number in future for logistical purposes.

The APC had won in 19 states while the PDP won in 17states and the FCT. However, the APC had more states and votes in the two zones of the North West and North East than the PDP, despite the insecurity and IDP camps in these NW and NE zones! But the PDP won more states and votes as announced in the Southern and Middle Belt states and four zones. There is no doubt that these are the zones which have embraced the restructuring agenda!

It is surprising to note that there was only a 35 per cent turnout of voters nationally and that Lagos State had the lowest of just 18 per cent turnout in the polls. It is worrisome for a state which is the most cosmopolitan, former national capital and the economic hub of Nigeria and West Africa, with a population of about 20 million and with the highest educated and business class in the country.

The APC and PDP governorship candidates in 2015 election scored a total of 1,472,132 votes in spite of the disenfranchisement of many Igbo non-indigenes who contribute significantly to the state economy and administration. In 2019 the result last week for the presidential candidates of the APC and PDP was a very low figure of 1,028,540 votes than that of 2015 and the lowest in the whole nation with just a token 18 per cent of which all Lagos residents should be very ashamed of as it will represent our say in national matters “as siddon-lookers with bullion vans!

It is mutually beneficial for the Yoruba indigenes and Igbo, Ijaw, Ibibio and Hausa non-indigene to wake up from their present negative affiliations and pursue their common beneficial future being advocated by some of their cultural associations such as Afenifere and Ohanaeze.

It is expected there will be a higher voter turnout in the coming state elections of March 9 than that of the national on February 23. The grassroots are the real areas for development and progress, particularly in a restructured governance system of a True Federation.

Guy I. Omenife, president, Pan Ndigbo National Forum-PNF and member South West, South South, South East, Middle Belt and Northern Elders Leaders Forum.


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