Eben Enasco Reporting

Twenty-twenty-four is an off-cycle governorship election in two states in Nigeria, Edo, and Ondo.

Faces of interested people have surfaced since the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared it legal for the election process to commence.

In Edo State, local Billboards are occupied by both known faces and unknown faces who want to continue from where the incumbent government will call it a shot sometime in November 2024.

Some have been old faces that will always show interest after every four-year tenure of the incumbent, while others are new faces in the political space who are either discontented with the ruling power or lured by personal beliefs that if they attempt it could come their way.

The 2024 elections matter because they will provide opportunities for the people of Ondo and Edo to choose the right leadership who is expected to transform their lives for the better.

However, there is always the belief that the people’s votes don’t count, as there have been a lot of unmet expectations since the advent of democracy in Nigeria, especially in the 2023 general elections.

While many blamed INEC for lack of transparency some blamed it on weak institutions for the flaws.

One major deficit of the last election was the non-transmission of the results from the polling units electronically and in real-time and that seriously took away the last general election’s required legitimacy.

This created room for suspected fraud in the electoral process with fingers pointed at Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC, gaffer who is still there after the horrible debacle and continues to deny any fraud.

The National Commissioner and member of INEC Information and Voter Education, Mohammed Haruna once said in a forum that for the avoidance of doubt, the most accurate and up-to-date Voters’ Accreditation Data is available in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, which is used for the authentication and accreditation of registered voters at various polling units on election day. He said It automatically retains the accreditation data of all voters.”

Haruna explained that the BVAS machine is designed to work primarily offline while it uploads accreditation data to the Accreditation Backend System, ABS, gradually depending on network availability.

INEC’s guideline for the election explicitly states that results from each of the more than 176,000 polling stations will be electronically transmitted to the commission’s collation system and also uploaded to its website.

Nigerians expected that the election results would be uploaded on election day as promised by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

INEC, however, did not fulfill this promise and did not upload the result at the portal, resulting in a wide range of criticisms from Nigerians.

Following the concerns raised by Nigerians, INEC has taken full responsibility for self-aggrandizing
associated with the delay in uploading most of the results to the IReV.

Another area that seems a challenge is the conduct of the party’s primary elections by political parties in the country.

The most qualified persons don’t easily get the nod and it’s always the highest bidder who may possess the lowest quality to win an open election that will always be a party standard bearer in Nigeria.

There is always going to be a booby’s snags that would define the direction of the various party’s standard bearers.

The fortune of the party in most cases in the states is not because of poor performance but several personality clashes over the choice to represent the platforms.

The deciding factors have affected performances and will continue to do so if party delegates are not allowed to make their choices.

Democracy being about the will of the people or popular sovereignty, will face the highest level of oppression from the corridor of the same people that determines the faith of others within the party’s internal structure.

The next person irrespective of the party’s line must be acquainted with the liabilities and the possibilities of the state not party leaders alone.

The election process during the primary election must be according to the people’s wish if the standard bearing candidates is to defend societal-oriented policies.

Party leaders must also realize that after collecting millions in Naira or dollars from a certain aspirant, your voice is lost in the wilderness and can not be heard.

Parties must exhibit and believe strongly in a level playing ground for all aspirants and not any anointed candidate by godfathers if they are to be trusted.

The direct primary will be fairer but also cumbersome. Indirect primary is full of booby, traps and could allow for unfair practices. Our leaders would be guarded by what they think will be in the best interest of the party. This is always the case.

Previous primary elections in Nigeria have mobilized inducements and won by aspirants with enough money to “mobilize”.

Edo state is in dire need of good governance, self-reliance, pro-masses priorities, and perhaps a continuation of the work done so far by the incumbent

According to the data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Edo State’s external debt was $268.31 million in June 2022 and $281.47 million in June 2021. The state’s foreign debt stood at $276.29 in December 2021.

The state’s total debt is about N384 billion as of June 2023.

The state used to be one of the food baskets of the country.

This master plan covers all contending interests.

Today, people can understand that the agriculture sector harbors a great deal of potential to grow IGR and achieve self-sufficiency in food products for ion.

The new state governor has to correct the deficiency in the coming elections in the Edo State.

There has to be a continuum master plan. Edo State needs to have a consensual master plan, which successive governments can key into.

That way, it is possible to judge every government by the degree of implementation plans. Institutions are dynamic.

Major among the reasons for the flaw of the electoral process witnessed is the corruption in primary elections where the right person is throne to the dustbin in Nigeria which arises from the nature of accumulation of resources.

In Nigeria, politics has become the only game for both the good and the ugly. Governance must be seen as a social responsibility a social, not self-aggrandizement

The electoral commission should improve on the degree of transparency and credibility of our elections.

It is a big opportunity for party leaders and INEC to excel and win the trust of the electorate.

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