Chiemelie Ezeobi who captured some of the highlights of what transpired during the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, writes that it was characterised by violence in some parts, ballot box snatching, voters suppression, disenfranchisement of the blind, among others
The new parties are: Advanced Alliance Party, Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, African Action Congress, Alliance for a United Nigeria, Alliance of Social Democrats, Alliance National Party, Allied People’s Movement and Alternative Party of Nigeria.
Others include Change Nigeria Party, Congress Of Patriots, Liberation Movement, Movement for Restoration and Defence of Democracy, Nigeria Community Movement Party, Nigeria For Democracy, Peoples Coalition Party, Reform and Advancement Party, Save Nigeria Congress and the United Patriots, United Peoples Congress, We The People Nigeria, Yes Electorates Solidarity, Youth Party and Zenith Labour Party.
Meanwhile some of the old parties include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Others are the Social Democratic Party, United Democratic Party, Advanced Congress of Democrats, Accord (A) party, Independent Democrats, Alliance Congress Party of Nigeria, African Peoples Alliance, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Citizens Popular Party, Action Alliance, Democratic Peoples Party, Democratic Peoples Congress, Alliance for Democracy, Kowa Party, Labour Party, Unity Party of Nigeria, Mega Progressive Peoples Party, National Conscience Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party.
Others include the Progressive Peoples Alliance, Peoples Democratic Movement, Fresh Democratic Party, Hope Democratic Party, Peoples Party of Nigeria, United Progressive Party, People For Democratic Change, African Democratic Congress, Youth Democratic Alliance, Advanced People Democratic Alliance, Action Congress, Action Party of Nigeria, Advanced Congress Of Democrats, African Democratic Congress, African Liberation Party, African Political System, African Renaissance Party, All Nigeria Peoples Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Alliance For Democracy, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Better Nigeria Progressive Party and Change Advocacy Party.
Still on the list are Citizens Popular Party, Community Party of Nigeria,
Congress for Democratic Change,
Congress for Progressive Change,
Democratic Alternative, Democratic Front for Peoples Federation, Democratic Peoples Alliance, Democratic Peoples Party, Freedom Party of Nigeria, Fresh Democratic Party, Hope Democratic Party, Justice Party, Kowa Party, Labour Party,
Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria, Masses Movement of Nigeria, Mega Progressive Peoples Party, Movement for Democracy and Justice, Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy, National Action Council, National Conscience Party, National Democratic Liberty Party, National Democratic Party, National Majority Demoratic Party,
National Movement of Progressive Party, National Reformation Party,
National Solidarity Democratic Party, National Transformation Party, National Unity Party, New Democrats, New Nigeria Peoples Party, Nigeria Advance Party, Nigeria Elements Progressive Party , Nigeria Peoples Congress,
Peoples Democratic Party,
Peoples Mandate Party,
Peoples Party of Nigeria,
Peoples Progressive Party,
Peoples Redemption Party,
Peoples Salvation Party,
Progressive Action Congress,
Progressive Peoples Alliance, Republican Party of Nigeria, Social Democratic Mega Party, United Democratic Party,
United National Party for Development and United Nigeria Peoples Party.
One highpoint that showed the burning patriotism of Lagosians was the fact that some of them walked or drove long distances just to vote. These group of people braved the sun to walk long distances just to vote.Speaking to THISDAY, Mr. and Mrs Ikechukwu Edmund, who drove down from Ikorodu to Ago area in Okota, to vote, said they were buoyed by the zeal to fulfill their civic responsibility. To beat the 6am to 6pm curfew, the couple said they left their home as early as 5am and drove down to Lagos to vote. Explaining why they did not register in Ikorodu, they said they were residing in Ago in 2011 when registration was being done.
Another electorate who spoke to THISDAY at another polling unit in Ago said he trekked from Ejigbo. He said, “I really wanted to vote this year. When I left my house, I didn’t see any bus or bike to convey me to my polling unit so I walked.
The only hassles I had on the way was security people who stopped me intermittently but they always released me each time I showed them my Permanent Voter’s Card, which showed my polling unit.”
Although the election has been adjudged somewhat credible it was not without some initial hitches, chief among it being some initial difficulties with the card reader. Across the nation, some of the card readers deployed suffered technical glitches and in those areas, this prompted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resort to manual accreditation in instances when the technical team couldn’t fix it.
In Lagos, despite the deployment of 30,000 personnel comprising the police and other law enforcement agencies, by the state Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu, hoodlums had a field day in some parts of the state. From Ago to Okota, Isolo, Aguda, Surulere, Fadeyi and some parts of Amuwo Odofin, the electorates has difficulties in voting.
Also, at the Aguda area, another place believed to be heavily populated by the Igbos, was also under siege to prevent the Igbos from voting for fear of preference for the opposition. Some areas in Ajeromi Ifelodun local government were also affected, also predominantly-Igbo residence. Oshodi was also not left out in this challenge.
Disenfranchisement of the Blind
In September 2018, INEC had launched a braille ballot guide to assist eligible voters who are visually impaired to assist them cast their ballot without support. According to the commission, it was done in a bid to break every barrier during the election process for voters with visual impairments to vote using the braille ballot guide.
At the polls however, the reverse was the case as none of that was made available for the blind. According to
It was a harvest of tragedies across the nation on the day of the election. From Borno to Zamfara, Yobe, Kogi, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Lagos and Rivers. In Rivers, electoral violence was the order of the day and four persons were said to have been killed. The APC had alleged that one of its chieftains and former Chairman of Andoni Local Government Area of the state, Chief Mowan Etete, was killed alongside his elder brother and also his cousin in Asarama. Also, one of its ex-officio members of the State Executive Committee, Ignatius, was allegedly shot dead at Ajaka.
At Abonema, headquarters of Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the state. THISDAY gathered that many voters were scared away from the polling stations by gun-toting hoodlums. Consequently, INEC suspended voting in Bonny and Akuku Toru council areas pending the return of normalcy to the area.Generally, despite the inherent hiccups and violence in some parts, the entire electoral process has somewhat been commended by many. And as the nation return to the polls on March 2, for the governorship elections, many pundits have called on INEC to see the last election as a litmus test and avoid the pitfalls witnessed recently.