Why 2023 Presidential Election Can’t Be Annuled

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Just this last weekend, I compared notes with my sources in the Obi and Atiku camps; both of them told me of their plans to stampede the tribunal judges through blackmail, to effect an annulment of the 2023elections; the most credible elections I have seen in recent times.

With the assurances that my source in Atiku’s camp gave me, one would think that the Tribunal Judges are on Atiku’s payroll, and would be ready to do the bidding of their paymaster. His team is already preparing grounds for another election; which according to them, their candidate would win.

He is licking his wounds in the most bizarre of manners, a lot of politicians, I understand, carted away the money given to them for the election, which has left Atiku Abubakar completely devastated. The so-called big men who poured petrol into an already inflammable situation, never did deploy the monies they were allegedly given, to deliver their candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at the Presidential election.

They pocketed the monies and now the outcome of the election has exposed their double standard posturing. According to my source, Atiku now knows better even though his lamentations have compelled him to adopt new techniques in handling his pretended friends, who were never honest enough in prosecuting their electoral responsibilities.

While some of them threw up the mole motif, saying their ranks were infiltrated by agents of government, others are saying that Atiku’s arrogance before the election was his nemesis. My source in Obi’s camp came up to debrief me, with damning assurances that Obi would be sworn-in after the Tribunal ruling.

He was so sure of their evidence, that he swore to me that Peter Obi won the election. When I asked him for proof, he started playing the ostrich. There are quite a few people who believe that Obi won the already lost elections; they are obviously delusional.

The assurances they displayed would almost confuse one into believing that their argument holds some water. It was, to me, more of a Dutch courage, that was meant to sustain the “Obidients” who saw Peter Obi as their political armour bearer; but the evidence that are being front-loaded are not steeped enough to cause an upset, the same way the election itself caused several upsets such that seven governors lost their Senatorial bids.

The 2023 election, I have maintained, remains the most credible election outcome I have seen in recent times; there was a harmonious flow and seamless pattern in the outcomes of the series of elections. The ruling APC won majority votes in the senate, governorship and house of assembly elections; and, as a single party won about 162 house of reps positions.

As the party that did so well in those elections, it would have been weird if it was unable to win the big one, the presidential election. Something would have been utterly awry. Those proponents of an annulment cite the Kenya scenario as reference. I say to them, Nigeria is not Kenya.

They will stop at nothing in their vainglorious effort to convince the converted that the elections were won by Atiku and Obi alike; two candidates laying claim to the one coverted seat. Seeing that their dual claim to victory is impaired, the thought of an annulment has become an attraction to them. But that will not be.

The outcome of the election and the distribution of votes across the country scores Asiwaju Tinubu fairly, and his victory was earned. Nigerians don’t want to be detained by religious and ethnic parochialism. Those who see Nigeria from their pinhole camera loathing with religion and fired by the flames of ethnicity are the real dangers of our present democratic engineering.

If the schisms of religion and ethnicity are allowed to flourish in the midst of our already existing faultlines, the country would undoubtedly implode. Our politicians must imbibe the good spirits of being good sportsmen and women, and thus, save their resources from being wasted in the name of legal fees.

Those who do not give “shishi” cannot barefacedly tell us that they aren’t paying their counsels. Those who cannot tell us the amount of money they sourced and received for the election, cannot tell us about a new Nigeria. Those who have not shown enough propriety and probity in the management of their electoral finances, cannot be talking about non-transparent elections.

The cost of conducting a fresh election in terms of emotions, finances, sentiments and logistics will no doubt be humongous. There has to be a cogent rationale for farm – ing such a thought. Electoral outcomes are usually the result of SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE with existing electoral laws and guidelines.

As a human endeavour, there isn’t usually 100% perfection in the electoral process but once there is substantial compliance with the relevant electoral laws, it becomes fait accompli. The concept of majority electoral votes against minority is just a function of two percent; 51 and 49 percent.

The tyranny of the majority is the reason why a man who scores 51 percent will be declared winner over the other who scores 49 percent, such a close call. But that is democracy for you: where one single vote can make a whole lot of difference. The loser is often pained and left with a feeling of anguish.

The 2023 election deservedly won by Asiwaju Tinubu, wears a similar garb. The votes across the states showed a pattern that was instructive and quite frankly, expected. The only shocking aspect of the votes distribution was the outcome of election in the South-East.

Such block votes for the Labour Party cannot pass the true test of transparency and credibility, if subjected to forensic examination. The percentage of votes from the South-East raises curiousity. Yet, the greatest beneficiary of those curious votes, has become the loudest of complainants, laying claim to victory of an election he has raised so much hoopla about.

This last election has been won and lost, and as a country, we need to move on in the spirit of public policy. We cannot be so immersed in “squandering” our hardearned resources, to produce leaders who have not discharged themselves of the responsibility of being good statesmen.

To think of an annulment, is to be fishing in troubled waters. To think of an annulment is to cultivate the unthinkable. When the 1993 presidential election was annulled by the military oligarchy, it was enabled by gluttonous politicians in cahoot with the military irrendentists who didn’t want the adjudged winner to be so declared.

Even though IBB didn’t believe in the annulment, because of the complexities associated with military rule, he had to concur with what was already pronounced via a terse statement that was unsigned. It was a coup within the top echelon of the military which IBB could not con – quer. As a leader of shared commitment, he had to accept full responsibility for the odious outcome.

Till date, that has cast a slur on his achievements in re-engineering the country; but such is life. Across the entire country, IBB’s achievements are well flourished; but most unfortunately, most of what one hears of, is the annulment.

Is that what Atiku and Obi want us to go through again? Tufiakwa!!. Listening to oddysies from IBB on the June 12 issue, one sees a man wrapped in emotions, trying to explain the rationale for him accepting responsibility for an act he was never convinced about.

But as a coup, the beneficiary of that act is no longer alive to tell his own side of the story, and now the annulment remains a sore thumb in the life and times of Nigeria’s chequered political history. Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar should bury the thought that an annulment would fetch them maximum water to quench their leadership appetite.

It won’t! Rather than clutching at flotsam to remain afloat in the murky waters of politics, they should see this 2023 election as a lost battle, that cannot be redeemed. Their best bet is another effort in 2027, when the opportunity will present itself again for another round of elections. As leaders, it is their responsibility to rein in their followers and sustain the momentum of their ideology, if that would help to deepen their selling points.

They should forthwith, stop all attempts to denigrate, blackmail and stampede the judges in doing the unthinkable. This behavior could further deepen the distrust in the system. Asiwaju Tinubu has emerged the winner through popular votes at the election. All other major candidates should now rally round him to lead the country for the next four years in the overall interest of the country.

Peter Obi can still test his popularity in 2027 if his Labour Party finds him worthy to be her flag-bearer. There’s ample time between now and 2027, to patch up their leaking roofs and earn some respect. Constructive opposition is an integral part of any democracy; but the moment the opposition is inured to questionable confrontations and attack on authority, the society is in danger and becomes the biggest loser.

The Labour Party should purge itself of her excesses, and the PDP should recalibrate herself away from the halitosis that presently dominates its discourse and mainstream politics. As for an annulment of the 2023 election, they will wait for aye.

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