It was not easy, but Nigerians braved the odds, including intimidation and threats to their life, to come out and cast their votes for their preferred candidates at the 2019 presidential/national assembly elections. It is now the turn of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to live up to its billings by announcing the results immediately as they come in so as to avoid the immense and intense pressure being allegedly mounted on them by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to manipulate the entire process including result collation and announcement, in their favour and against the will of the people.
The massive turnout of Nigerians for the polls indicates that they are ready to make a change in order to get Nigeria working again. It would be the height of callousness on the part of INEC to allow itself to be used as a tool to scuttle the will and free choice of the people. This, no doubt, is an opportunity for the commission to make history by siding with the people rather than few selfish power drunk individuals whose stock–in-trade has always been to deny the people their rights.
The results coming in from different polling centres across the country indicate that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is leading in the presidential polls. This is in spite of the fact that Atiku’s strongholds were deliberately militarized by the authorities as cases of violence purportedly instigated by the ruling party were recorded in those places.
Nigerians have played their own part. Prof Mahmood Yakubu, and INEC as a whole, must play theirs by resisting every form of harassment and intimidation from whatever quarters and see this as an opportunity to write their names in history and etch them in gold. Whatever happens at the end, Prof Yakubu will forever be remembered either in honour or in infamy. The choice is his.
Nigerians on their part are even readier and more willing to defend their free choice more than ever. They have suffered enough and have spoken loudly with their PVCs, and their voice must be respected. INEC should make haste to clear the doubts of Nigerians over its impartiality in this contest by announcing the results immediately. Nothing short of this would be acceptable to Nigerians!
Jude Ndukwe, Lagos