March 19, 2019

Are Elections only credible when opposition wins?

Are Elections only credible when opposition wins?

The 2019 elections according to some is adjudged to be the worst since the return of democracy.

How they arrived at this conclusion is based not on any report from a reliable institution rather than opinion, most times gotten from social media which, as it stands, should be a place to stay away from if one wants to retain his sanity.

However, like most other issues, anything is only right or wrong if it favours or suits a narrative that favours a particular side.

After all, “live within your means” trended for weeks and generated absurd arguments and reasons.

But one trend is emerging clearly, and worrisome, that is, the only election adjudged to be credible are the ones won by the opposition.

Any one won by the ruling party is rigged.

This is a dangerous path for any democracy.

If the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should win in Oyo, it is the voice of the people but if the All Progressives Congress (APC) should win in Lagos, then the poll must have been rigged.

Well, the ruling party did that also while in opposition, but such is not considered rigged, because most voters are not registered members of a political party, and in a secret ballot system, there is no we, as everyone is entitled to a single vote.

A presidential candidate, Fela Durotoye based his optimism for winning an election based on the number of followers on social media, while Ifeanyi Uba rejected the results of the Anambra state governorship election because he has more campaign offices and more social media presence than the other candidates.

Also Read: Is his integrity verified or just character whitewashing? – The curious case of PMB

In fact, because the opposition won the 2015 election, we overlooked all the flaws of that election.

The by-elections conducted in Anambra and Bayelsa, in which the ruling parties lost, were rated free and fair, but Edo, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo were all considered rigged because the ruling party won.

It must be stated that what matters in every election is whether the process is credible or not.

Selective credibility based on outcome is not what democracy is all about.

A lot of people in the US may not agree with Donald Trump, but stills support him, and if by 2020, those who support him are more than those against him, then he wins unless by judiciary intervention if manipulation is proven.

The conclusion, that elections won by the ruling party in Nigeria are probably rigged, is based on some false assumptions.

The first assumption is that very few are supporting the ruling party, which is false because usually, there is no empirical poll to establish that.

Some responded to the reality by making a video of themselves casting disparaging remarks at beggars who appears to be of northern extraction while others rejected the outcome based on social media report propagated by individuals, often motivated by interest.

Different people for different reasons support different candidates, and if any candidate feels aggrieved with the outcome of any election, he/she should approach the court.

While the process surrounding the outcome of the 2019 elections leave room for questions, a careful study of the Presidential and Governorship election reveals an interesting pattern in the behaviour of voters, but this is lost to the selective credibility cry.

In Kano and Bauchi states, for instance, two states the incumbent cleared comfortably, the Governorship election will come out with a different voting pattern, so if Umar Guanduje should lose the election in Kano, it’s the will of the people, but defeat for Nyesom Wike will be regarded as a sinister move by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman and the ruling party.

But here is a poser: why is the ruling party struggling in places it ought not to?

Well, one of the arguments is that you cannot rig elections that are glaringly swinging a particular way in terms of voting patterns.

However, if we are to go by the unprintable names that INEC is being called by some people, the commission could well help rig the US elections.

One thing is clear, politicians will never accept they lost an election, and the social media has helped to amplify their voices.

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