During an interview with journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed asserted that the Federal Government deserves to be commended by Nigerians for the calm demeanour in which the crowd managed themselves in last Saturday’s governorship election in Osun state.
On claims that the election was an indication of a vote of no confidence in the current administration, the minister stated that every politics has its local peculiarities, and went on to say it was not the first time in the country that an election would be declared inconclusive. This was about the allegation that the Federal Government influenced INEC to institute the declaration.
When pressed further on the matter, he said, “You see people have very short memory. I must tell you they exhibit a lot of ignorance. How many people remember today that in 2015, the governorship election in Kogi State was suspended even when the APC was leading with over 90,000 votes? And there were reruns ordered in about 90 polling units or so. So what happened in Osun has nothing to do with whether APC was winning or not winning or it is in government. It is the prerogative of the Independent National Electoral Commission to decide whether an election is concluded or not.
“And that is why we submitted to the decisions of INEC; not that we didn’t have things to contest. We have a lot of things to contest also, but we submitted to the decision of INEC because we believe in the rule of law.
“At times, we are a bit shallow in our assessment. If there is an election and APC has just a margin of 353 votes and you said APC had lost heavily, you should learn to look at context. Two, this is an election that was very peaceful, highly competed for, even though the APC had control of all the state institutions, we refused to abuse them.”