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My Takeaways From The General Elections

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Save for the pending inconclusive governorship elections of Benue, Bauchi, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa and Plateau States, the much-talked about 2019 general elections can be said to have come and gone.

Like every election, this year’s came with surprises and upsets.Who thought that by the end of the general elections, Senate President Bukola Saraki, George Akume and Godswill Akpabio will be on the verge of political retirement. Pictures have gone viral on social media, which were obviously photoshopped, of certificate of retirement being handed to Saraki and Akpabio.

We have heard much talk about INEC and some persons, who are obviously PDP sympathisers, have labelled the 2019 presidential election as the worst in the nation’s history. Maybe they were not born in 2003 and 2007 or they rather chose to have selective amnesia.Typical of Nigerian politicians and their sympathisers, when they win, the election is free and fair and when they lose the election is rigged and democracy is under threat.

In my opinion, one of the biggest takeaways from this election season is that our politicians are the biggest threat to our democracy. No matter what INEC does, our politicians have made up their mind to subvert or sabotage the system.They have vowed not to make the system work. I know INEC led by Prof Mahmud Yakubu want to bequeath to Nigerians a legacy of free and fair elections but it is obvious the commission was overwhelmed.

That brings me to the next point. For 2023 elections, electronic voting method should be the focus. In this time and age, Nigeria should not be doing manual voting. Even countries like India and China with a population of over 1 billion have gone the way of electronic voting. With electronic voting, incidences of ballot box snatching, thuggery, rigging, killing and violence will reduce considerably.The National Assembly should rework the Electoral Act and insert a provison for electronic voting. Let President Muhammadu Buhari go down in history as the first president to sign the electronic voting into law.

Also in my opinion, the 2019 elections to an extent reflected the will of the people. If the elections were massively rigged as claimed by the opposition why did the likes of Saraki,  Abiola Ajimobi, Akume, Akpabio and the guber candidates of Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha lose? Why is the Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje struggling to win his reelection? How did Senator Dino Melaye win inspite of the opposition against re-election?

Also, the influence of the n- PDP bloc in the APC was grossly overrated.  President Buhari like in 2015 won in Kwara, Bauchi, Sokoto without the n- PDP bloc this time.

Another lesson from the election was that Nigerian voters are becoming more discerning and enlightened. Kano electorate proved to us that they are arguably the most sophisticated in Nigeria. Who can explain how the President recorded a landslide victory in Kano, the APC cleared the three senatorial seats, almost all the House Of Reps seats and almost 80 percent of the State House of Assembly seats and Ganduje is struggling to retain his seat.The President won in Bauchi but from the results so far in the guber election, Governor Mohammed Abubakar is on his way out.

Another lesson learned is that the influence of the social media is overrated in Nigeria. Going by stories and reports on the social media before the elections, you will think President Buhari will not garner up to 1 million votes. Infact on Facebook, Atiku Abubakar had already won the election and was only waiting for his coronation on March 23. I believe Atiku would have written his acceptance speech by the feelers and endorsement he was getting on the social media.

Many myths have been shattered and this is definitely an election to remember.

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