Following the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organize a supplementary election in Kano state, a video showing Abdullah Abbas, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), describing the forthcoming rerun in the state as a do or die affair, has emerged.
On a personal note, I am not surprised that Abdullah Abbas has allegedly described an election as a do or die affair, because it is common for politicians in Nigeria to aggressively express their desperation to remain in power towards an election.
An average Nigerian politician is obsessed with power and he will do everything to ensure that he clings to it or get it as the case may be. May I remind us that, this is not the first time that a politician would describe an election as a do or die affair, Obasanjo also said something similar in 2007.
In addition, some politicians vibrated aggressively during the last elections. For instance, Uche Secondus, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party National Working Committee allegedly said, there would be war if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rigged the presidential election. Similarly, Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state also allegedly said, “international election observers were at risk of returning home in body bags if they attempted to interfere with the elections.”
Nonetheless, an election is not supposed to be bloody or claim people’s lives and property, it should be a seamless process where the electorate would be able to choose their representatives. If the people say that they do not want you, there is no point trying to force yourself on them. To do this, may degenerate into needless violence that if not contained may lead to chaos.
The last time the Independent National Electoral Commission collated the results in Kano state, the PDP candidate, Abba Yusuf was leading the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Ganduje. However, the election was declared inconclusive because the margin of cancelled votes was higher than the margin of victory. Which was why INEC scheduled a rerun.
Based on the result available, the people of Kano state have spoken loud and clear. They do not want Governor Abdullahi Ganduje again and any attempt to manipulate the supplementary election as suggested by the do or die affair statement of Abdullah Abbas may erupt into violence that is capable of spreading to the other states in the North. Already, the PDP supporters are still nursing the defeat of Atiku Abubakar in the presidential election, they may not take it likely if INEC or APC manipulates the rerun.
In order to avoid mindless killings and wanton destruction of property in Kano state, APC should not manipulate the rerun. It should allow INEC to work without interference. Winning an election is not a do or die affair, it is a function of what the people want and why. The same people of Kano state “willingly” voted for Governor Ganduje four years ago and for years after, they said they do not want him again.
I think it is high time we adopted an electoral system that respects the will of the people. Kano state can be the watershed.
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Ibitoye is a content and creative writer for Qwenu. He is a pen-lover who enjoys writing outside the box. He believes that writing can be a veritable tool of social transformation if writers can think creatively a century ahead of their society.