In what can be descried as the remarkable victory of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Osun State governorship election one issue stands out and must be welcomed for the significance it means for politics in Nigeria.
The role of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the national empire that superintendents election in the country has always been a source of worry for many who feel they are never getting it right because of political preponderance.
In 2018, the PDP’s Senator Ademola Adeleke took the lead at the end of voting with 254,698 votes but the poll was declared inconclusive because the difference with Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, APC was 354 votes as Oyetola polled 254,344 votes.
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The margin of lead was less than the 3,498 votes outstanding from polling stations where voting was re-ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Getting it right on Saturday 26th 2022 in Osun State, says something good about how INEC has grown from 1999 and how electoral bottlenecks are being handled.
Before Prof. Attahiru Jega became INEC Chairman ahead of the 2015 general elections, it had not been heard in Nigeria that an incumbent elected official, even at the Councillorhip level, lost an election.
In taking up the gauntlet, Prof. Jega made it clear, in English that everyone could understand, that he is bringing the best technology that the nation can afford to bear on subsequent polls.
It is noteworthy that he was granted the freedom, contained in the name of INEC, to attend to the matters pre and post the 2015 elections, which the then President Good luck Jonathan lost.
Going forward, Nigerians were not too sure if INEC will make progress and grow the electoral system or if it will go back to its old ways and leave such matters in the hands of politicians who by instincts are given to rigging.
However, Nigerians were not disappointed as President Muhammadu Buhari has stuck true to type as a disciplinarian and has continued to strengthen INEC, the electoral laws and security at polling units.
Given the political strength of the APC at the national and state level and how Sen. Adekele’s votes counted for all lovers of democracy, one cannot but give kudos to INEC for a job well done and pray they continue to tow the path that will grow the nation’s democracy and along with its good governance.