Imo Supplementary Election as Watershed of INEC General Performance
Editor Professor Attahiru Jega had seven extra days to prepare for a supplementary election in only four local governments of a particular (Imo) state. He also sacked his Imo Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Selina Okoh, and replaced her with as much as four new RECs. Mrs. Okoh who conducted the (larger) elections in Imo was removed for poor performance and was believed compromised. Yet the 'Imo supplementary election' could not be held freely, fairly and transparently. Election materials could not reach the areas any earlier than 10a.m in most cases and by 4p.m in Oguta where election could not hold. Though the right person, Rochas Okorocha, has won but one must not stop commenting on the ugly situation.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim littered the small Imo State with over 10,000 Police officers and men, yet as we read in the media, in many of the polling booths affected in the little supplementary election, there were no policemen but the Civil Defence Corps members.
The above situations are clear indication that the general public are disappointed. Professor Jega may also be feeling disappointed by his lieutenants; the entire elections may be considered not fair, free and transparent, after all. Though few states like Akwa Ibom, Benue , Bauchi, Katsina and Kwara where April 26 elections were known to have been heavily, conspicuously rigged are likely to be corrected through the Election Tribunals. This type of situation happened with the 2006 elections where the usurper governors of Ekiti, Edo , Osun, and Ondo were later removed for the rightful winners; ACN becoming the larger beneficiary and Labour Party, for Ondo.
Another area which would show that figures may have been falsely written, especially in the southern states, during the elections is when one considers and compares the total recorded vote cast during the governorship elections. Take Imo for example: during the presidential election, Ohakim delivered about 1,400,000 for PDP and today the total number of votes cast at the Imo governorship election is not up to 800,000; notwithstanding that more voters are supposed to have turned out to vote for the governorship and houses of assembly elections that have direct impact on their immediate environment and daily living. I think we were all deceived by the INEC but we should not take laws into our hands. We should just learn and correct the mistakes in future elections.
Dr Tarilabo Opuaya, (
Plot 1897 Aba Road ,
Port Harcourt )