Soon after the gubernatorial elections held on March 9 and after election in scores of states were declared inconclusive, the PDP went hysterical about inconclusive elections. To them, declaring elections inconclusive is a new way the APC planned to employ to rob them of victory. They wondered why elections should be declared inconclusive despite clear specifications in the Electoral Law that justifies such declaration and as has become their new fad, they threatened, cajoled and cried in ways that suggest clear mischief in their attitude to issues since they lost post power in 2015. As has been the fad in recent times, PDP members of the National Assembly went to the chambers of the National Assembly to stomp, threaten and abuse Buhari as they have found so pleasurable doing in recent times. They stopped at levying declaration of elections inconclusive a cardinal sin and puffed so much empty airs in their attempt to befuddle their followers over an issue that is as cadent as the morning star. They devoted that session to the ventilation of their frustrations at the dwindling fortunes of their party especially the fatal crash of their hallucination about returning to the same power they were ignominiously shoved aside from just four years ago. Who is better placed to receive their impotent rage than Buhari who has become a nemesis for PDP?

But should inconclusive elections draw such noisome and empty furore as the PDP and their sympathizers are trying to weave around such innocuous issue? Is inconclusive election such a difficult term for anybody to grasp? Is declaring an election inconclusive even with the overwhelming evidences supporting such decision so strange to the pretenders in PDP who are ruled by a clear desire to continue cheating the system for their selfish benefits as they did in 16 whole years? I don’t understand why the PDP gentiles rage and their nations utter folly on an issue that is not only clear and concise but well provided for in the extant laws that govern and guard electoral conducts in Nigeria.

Is it true, as the PDP mandarins posit, that there were no inconclusive elections during their era? The answer is no. In 2011, the election that brought RochasOkorocha in as Governor of Imo State when he defeated IkediOhakim was declared inconclusive and was resolved through a supplementary election. Also in 2015, the re-election of the same Okorocha was declared inconclusive even when he was leading his main challenger by a whopping 78,000 votes. It took a supplementary election to resolve this. Also let us not forget that the election between Senator Chris Ngige and late Dr. Dora Akunyili for an Anambra senatorial seat was resolved through a supplementary election as it was initially declared inconclusive. These are few examples that happened during the PDP era so why will they seek to mischievously present Nigerians with the false claim that supplementary elections were new inventions in the lexicon of Nigerian electoral contest because they are so desirous of claiming unmerited victories in election? Why will PDP seek to deliberately misinform and mislead Nigerians because it has its eyes set on underserved victories? Why is PDP playing the deviant character in a play they scripted?

But what really is supplementary election? It is a makeup election to a main election where the number of voters who were prevented by a combination of factors outstrips the margin between the two leading candidates. Simply put, where the margin separating the first and second or even other opponents in an election falls far below the number of voters who couldn’t vote on election day due to certain redeemable constraints, the election is declared inconclusive and plans put in place to organize a supplementary election where the disenfranchised voters will vote and decide who wins between the combatants. It is as simple as that. To illustrate it better, where for instance Candidate A scores 500 votes and Candidate B scores 400 votes and Candidate C scores 300 votes and there still are 400 voters that couldn’t cast their votes on election because they were prevented from doing so, the election would be declared inconclusive and a supplementary election is needed to decide who wins among the three candidates because the 400 voters that couldn’t vote on election day can swing victory to any of the three candidates. 

Supplementary election is provided for in the electoral law. It is supported by natural justice. There should be no dust raised about it. The fact that more elections are in recent times, being declared inconclusive signifies a noticeable desire on INEC to conduct free and fair elections where every vote counts contrary to the mischievous slant the PDP is trying to give an otherwise credible process to ensure more credible elections. The PDP was wrong to say there were no inconclusive elections during its times. As I have proved above, there were but it should be noted that in the few cases that happened during the PDP era, the evidence of a strong opponent snatching victory from PDP necessitated such plot. So we agree that it wasn’t frequent during the PDP years because there were little evidences of free and credible election in the PDP years. Why inconclusive elections were not too common in the PDP era was simply because the electoral process then was a mish mash of concocted jeremiad that favoured PDP members. Then, there were no election that could near the definition of free and fair. Election figures were merely allotted as it pleases the lords of the PDP and often these were done weeks before the election day which merely served as date for announcement of already allotted figures. How can there be inconclusive elections in such sordid scenario? We are very much aware of the many malfeasances PDP passed as elections during their 16 regrettable years as to grant them the license to mislead and obfuscate the beauty of inconclusive elections because they do not grant them their prodigal luxury of walking away with unmerited electoral victories. We know of how PDP would simply append 1 in front of their votes in elections to cart away doubtful victories as the subjected the electoral process to serial abuse and mutilations while they presided over our affairs. So should we seek a return to that old jaded order just because PDP raises questionable outcries against inconclusive elections?

So whatever be the argument of the PDPcrybabies (of course they don’t have any coherent argument), inconclusive election shows keen contest for votes. It shows an electoral system that is eager to mend from the putrid past. It shows an open contest between contending forces and not whimsical determination of electoral fortunes by compromised fronts of a decayed state. Inconclusive election shows that elections are no more déjà vu for members of a ruling party. It shows that everyone has to sweat for the votes he or she gets in every election. It shows that the days of writing electoral results as it suits the fancies of the ruling party is gone. Most importantly, inconclusive election shows the desire of the electoral umpire to ensure that every vote counts. It shows the disposition of the electoral umpire to do right to every contestant. It shows the inclination to conduct credible elections that will stand the test of time. It is understandable why it is unpopular with those used to having their ways with elections through foul and reprehensible means but it goes deep in the heart of the electoral system to attend to its desire for free and fair election where no one is shortchanged. The syndicated wailing of PDP crybabies who were yesterday’s lords of the manors over inconclusive elections should be discountenanced for what it is; a mischievous rant of displaced slave masters for the rotten fruits of electoral fraud they were used to.

 

Peter ClaverOparah

Ikeja, Lagos.

E-mail: [email protected]

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