In June this year, when Justice Okon Abang [that judge that is becoming increasingly notorious for controversial judgments] ruled that Uche Ogah of Master’s Energy, was the candidate of the PDP during 2015 general elections for Abia Government House, our Independent(?) National Electoral Commission, INEC, quickly issued Ogah a Certificate of Return.
The speed with which the judgment was carried out should tell my eight year-old twins that a script was being played.
In Kogi, it was even more obscene. Abubakar Audu, the APC governorship candidate, was coasting home to victory.
But before that, shortly after casting his vote, he fell ill and died.
But by the time his death would be made public, every vote cast in the election had been counted but Audu’s death was a sure opportunity for Aso Rock goons to bare their fangs.
Buhari never liked Audu while Audu too never hid his support for Atiku Abubakar for the APC presidential ticket.
This bad blood ensured that Buhari never went to Kogi to campaign for Audu despite entreaties. He only sent his deputy.
Audu’s death presented him the opportunity to impose his boy, Yahaya Bello.
After Audu’s death, and all votes counted, INEC boss put a call through to Malami, the Attorney-general of the federation, for “advice”.
The latter told him to simply say the election was inconclusive. And what happened next?
Instead of election results being announced, in most bizarre manner, INEC said Bello was the new candidate of APC, gave him the votes of Audu and Faleke, his running-mate, and conducted fresh election for less than 6000 votes.
Bello became governor in a most unusual manner and the rest is history.
In Edo, every available security report showed that Ize-Iyamu would trounce Obaseki.
Not because PDP was that better or Obaseki was such an unpopular candidate, but simply because Edo people were angry with Oshiomhole.
INEC simply postponed the election for “security reasons” and new date set. And what happened next?
INEC, according to sources, printed certain ballot papers and gave them to APC leaders who were to thumbprint and go round on election day, snatching ballot boxes and shoving already thumb-printed ballot papers inside the boxes.
That was why people were surprised that votes cast and counted in many locations were different from what INEC declared.
Not that alone. For the first time since 1999, newsmen and news TV crew were ordered out of the collation centre.
Those of Ekiti, Osun, Bayelsa and even the most delicate presidential election collations were all beamed live.
But when it came to Edo, our INEC chose to do the collation behind closed doors! Kindly ask them why.
In Imo, the by-election for Okigwe Senatorial Zone was by-word for fraud. So many have been said on that that I need not dwell on it again.
Now in Ondo, INEC, yes same INEC, that recognised Ize-Iyamu in Edo, despite he being produced by the Makarfi faction of PDP, is recognizing Jimoh Ibrahim in Ondo produced by Modu Sheriff faction as ruled by same Justice Okon Abang.
They know what they were doing. There would be resistance. Eyitayo Jegede would go to court.
PDP won’t be able to campaign freely because they would be fighting between themselves.
In fact, by the time the case is decided in Appeal Court, election would have been held and probably without a PDP candidate.
Now, if Jimoh Ibrahim wins and the court says he was not supposed to have been the candidate in the first place, this INEC will simply disqualify PDP from the race.
Hence, either head or tail, the aim would have been achieved.
I know those whose minds have been permanently colonised; who believes everything done under this dispensation is ordained by God, will try to rationalise all actions of this INEC.
I can understand. But from all indications, Shagari’s FEDECO, Babangida’s NEC, Abacha’s NECON and even Obasanjo’s INEC will be considered saints compared to this Buhari’s INEC.
It is so obvious and the signs are there. Ominous signs for that matter.
Under Obasanjo, when Maurice Iwu was so brazen in doing the bidding of the then ruling PDP, INEC still did certain things with some modicum of decency.
But this time, it is Operation-Rub-It-On-Your-Face!
And may I advise Nigerians thus: if this INEC is to conduct elections between now and 2019, it is better for Nigerians to stay indoors on election days instead of wasting their times under the elements.
With this umpire in charge of our electoral process, democracy is no longer a game of numbers again.
That is another fall-out of this change increasingly turning to a mis-buy!
Samuel Ajayi; you can also read this on samuelajayi.com