Its beginning to read like a story being serialized in newspapers. Every week there must be a PDP Governor's election being revoked or another so called election victory being reversed. Like a house of cards, its all falling apart.
Last week it was Aliyu Wammakko of Sokoto State, this week Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa. And there are still a few more states to go, one year after the elections were held.
All these would have been bearable but for Professor Iwu's INEC's posturing. Now they have gone ahead to take up ample airtime on TV justifying their conduct of the April 2007 (s)elections by saying that "It is politicians who rig elections not us".
WTF! How can politicians rig elections without the active connivance of the Umpire INEC? Sebi I said it that if all the INEC officials have been arrested, tried and locked up since the past one year for 'electoral malpractice' (just like any other professional misconduct/malpractice), this story would have been different. After all, even students get 21 years jail for exam malpractice.
As it is, the more elections are reversed, the more money for Iwu and his cohorts as they simply present a fresh invoice.
The case in Bayelsa is even more interesting as some House members came up that they had impeached the Speaker who was to be sworn in as Acting Governor until the rerun elections are held. They nominated and presented their own Speaker for swearing in as Acting Governor!
Many people have always held that elections do not take place in the Niger Delta states particularly Rivers and Bayelsa. The sheer logistics of navigating the creeks alone is daunting. INEC just collects its allocation for those areas and simply allocates figures for them according to the powers that be.
In the 2003 elections, the then Rivers state Governor, Dr. Peter Odili scored a whopping 98.8% of total votes cast in the state gubernatorial elections leaving the remaining 1.2% for the other 13 (yes, THIRTEEN) political parties to share in a field that included veteran politicians like Chief Sargent Awuse of the ANPP.
That election was also remarkable in the fact that voter turnout was 100%. Everybody who was registered for the election came out and voted! No one was ill, no one had died, no one traveled or relocated between the period of registration and elections proper which were more than eighteen months apart! It was a feat only the PDP and INEC could have produced.
And Iwu says it is politicians who rig elections.
I was in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state last year for a burial and it fell in the period when a rerun of the Assembly elections were being held. The burial was on Friday and I wanted to leave town by Friday night in order not to be caught up in the movement restrictions that usually go with elections on Saturday.
My friend Okon told me not to worry myself. He told me that the elections would actually hold on Friday night. Saturday was just a day of rest.
'You think this is Lagos where you people kill yourself because of elections?', he had asked.
On Friday, the anointed candidate would go round the wards distributing food items ranging from a mudu of rice, a bottle of oil and a cup of salt to a bag of rice per household depending on the position.
The people are then told to stay at home and cook their rice on Saturday. The politicians allocate figures to themselves and INEC declares a winner based on figures submitted to it.
I actually stayed to witness elections, AK-style. I was around the Ewett Housing Estate and there was a polling booth right across the road from the house. I sat in front of the house reading a book from morning till evening. Apart from a few people who obviously came around to confirm that there was nobody at the polling station, nobody came around. Not even INEC officials! And yet they announced results.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record ... E no make sense.