2019: Osun Puts INEC on the Spot as Local and International groups Put Pressures on Buhari, Mahmud

By Uche Mbah

The 2019 elections appears to be on the firing line from both local and international targets due to fears by opposition parties that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, are allowing themselves to be compromised by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Meanwhile, bears are on rampage on the floor of the Stock Exchange as Foreign Portfolio Investors pulls out billions of Naira on election fears.

In the wake of the Osun governorship elections that was narrowly won by the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, but declared inconclusive by the resident electoral commissioner, there has been both local and international outrage, with the PDP insisting that their candidate won the election and must be declared winner. Legal experts have been over doing themselves in rationalization or otherwise of the inconclusive declaration. After the election, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States signed a joint statement advocating for a violent free election.  “We commend the people of Osun for voting peacefully, the Independent National Electoral Commission for the improved organisation of the election, and security services for their conduct. We urge that all continue to support a peaceful, free, fair, and credible completion of the process as INEC re-runs the election in seven polling units where – through no fault of their own – voters were not able to cast their votes and have them counted last Saturday. We stress the importance that the re-run should take place without any violence, intimidation, or vote buying. Whoever wins the election after Thursday’s vote should be magnanimous in victory and whoever loses should be gracious in defeat”, the statement read in part.

As the meeting of the international bodies was proceeding apace, the chairman of the peace committee, Abdulsalam Abubakar, was having a closed door meeting with the INEC chairman, Mahmud Yakubu. “We are all aware that we are approaching the 2019 election and already you are very much aware how the polity is being heated as a result of which we have decided to step our action in ensuring that there is peace in the country and the politicians play by the rule of the game and also the security agencies and the INEC play their role accordingly”, he told the press after the meeting. But this magazine learnt that he was not comfortable with the heat being generated by the inconclusive election. The election itself was less tensed than the rerun election that was being planned by INEC. This magazine had reported that Buhari, under international pressure to make sure that the election was free and fair. It was gathered that the news of the Osun election was a shock for him, and he had to dispatch the governor elect of Edo state to rush back home and see what he can do under the situation. PDP had asked for the resignation of Mahmud and Farida Waziri, the director of operations of INEC, who is Buhari’a Niece. They hinged their call on the allegation of collusion with the ruling party to rig elections. “With INEC’s fraudulent conduct in the Osun governorship election, and approval that a concluded election be declared inconclusive, the PDP and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians no longer have confidence in Prof. Yakubu,” their spokesperson, Kola Ologbondayan had said.

It is highly unlikely that they will resign. But the backlash of the Osun elections may result in their becoming less combative and blatant in what-can-you-do bravado activities.

The latest data from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, threw up a total of N435.41bn that fled from the market from January to July this year, almost double the N236.32bn that went out within the same period last year.

The total listed value of equities has been on downward spiral.

 

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