Ondo, Anambra Gubernatorial Polls: The Take-Home

The governorship election conducted by the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Ondo State , which saw

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Ondo, Anambra Gubernatorial Polls: The Take-Home

Chevron Nigeria

The governorship election conducted by the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Ondo State , which saw Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN of the All Progressives Congress, APC emerging victorious and subsequently sworn-in as governor of Ondo State at the expense of the PDP candidate who was the preferred choice of the then incumbent governor, Olusegun Mimiko and the unsurprising landslide victory of Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano in the November 18, 2017 Anambra State governorship election, are bold statements of the impact of performance in our growing democratic process.

The backlog of salaries owed staff of Ondo State Civil Service, the Local Government Workforce and pensioners, with little or no effort to assuage the pains of the afore-stated categories of workers, aside the purported below performance of Olusegun Mimiko as governor of Ondo State, are believed to have swayed votes in favour of the former NBA President, Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC, whose credibility and exposure are not in doubt.

Even those who initially labelled the current leadership of INEC “inconclusive” due to the experience of the Bayelsa governorship poll, which was marred by wide spread violence, may by now be having a rethink.

While questions were still being asked about the credibility or otherwise of the Prof. Yakubu led INEC because an APC candidate won the Ondo governorship poll, the arguably seamless conduct of the Anambra governorship election Saturday November 18 without incidences of violence, ballot box snatching and other forms of electoral malpractices, is by far a huge plus to Yakubu leadership of INEC appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The deserving victory of the APGA candidate and incumbent governor, Willie Obiano over his APC counterpart, Tony Nwoye, Oseloka Obaze of the PDP and other candidates, further attests to the reasonable level of freedom INEC enjoys from the federal government, despite the fact that APC is the ruling party at the centre.

The victory of Willie Obiano unlike the case of Ondo, speaks of the importance of good governance. Willie Obiano at a gubernatorial debate organized 6 days to the election and aired live on Channels TV, boasted that he is the only governor around not owing salaries of any category of workers and pensioners, yet constructing roads and other infrastructural projects.

The ex-banker even declared that when Nigeria’s economy was in recession, Anambra State experienced positive economic growth and her IGR increased. These factors may have played key roles on his eventual landslide victory. It’s also an eloquent testimony of the fact that the best form of campaign is positive performance that will provide the needed economic, infrastructural and human capital development by those in government, not preaching ethno-religious hate or mudslinging.

In essence, while poor performance of Olusegun Mimiko made the PDP lose Ondo State to APC, good governance ensured that Willie Obiano of APGA gets a second term as governor of Anambra State.

It must also be stressed that the large turn-out of voters in the Anambra governorship election explains the fact that IPOB was more of a propagandist tool used by failed politicians and not actually influential to the voting public. This is because despite the stay-at-home order of the Nnamdi Kanu led proscribed group, voters reportedly came out enmasse to participate in the Anambra election and surprisingly there were no incidences of violence, but civility.

The security agencies should also be commended for their high level of professionalism in both governorship elections, particularly that of Anambra which has been the hub of the Biafra agitations lately.

While the electoral commission should equally be given kudos for its steady improvement in the conduct of elections which is reducing post-election litigations, It is vitally imperative to note that INEC must improve on the functionality of card readers on Election Day, so as to better the credibility of the polls.


Chevron Nigeria Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)

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