There is a dawning of reality which happens after the results of an election have been announced. Candidates, especially those who have lost to a majority vote begin to have flashes of reflection on what they did wrong or where they went wrong.
It was on the wings of this pain point of losing that some eminent Nigerians had been asking the flagbearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to concede, rub in the pain and congratulate the winner, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC). There were even reports of a purported meeting by members of the National Peace Committee, seeming to pacify Atiku and make him accept defeat by congratulating the winner.
Ordinarily, one would have expected the members of this committee which includes former president Alhaji Abdusalam Abubakar, Fr. Mathew Kukah and others to know better than calling for such spurious concession from Atiku. In the face of a loss to Buhari, which an election known by many not to have been very free and fair, calling for such a compromise should only have come from his political party alone.
In the history of election tribunals since the 4th Republic, a good number of disputed election results which were taken to the courts were won by the prosecution fair and square. In fact, such a process can only strengthen our democratic processes more, as we get more definitive interpretation of the Electoral Act by the judiciary. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) itself is positioned to gain more from such a process.
Despite the calls for him to concede, Atiku, as well as the PDP are however switching up plans to present their case to the tribunal which has a window period of 21 days. There were reports that the PDP National Working Committee met on Monday to finalize per the election appeal case.
In an alternate universe, where negotiations and consensus are the major things being hatched, alliances are beginning to take shape ahead of the upcoming gubernatorial and state assembly elections coming up by Saturday, March 9th. More conspicuous is the last minute switch which former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala who is also contesting the gubernatorial seat at the upcoming polls made back to the APC – declaring full support for the candidacy of Mr. Abebayo Adelabu, the APC gubernatorial candidate in the state. Of course, such a last minutes switch might have succeeded in tilting the pool in favour of the APC in the state. Akala, who was until recently in the APC before he left, got wooed back into the APC again from the effort of the Ekiti state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. It may not be farfetched to say then, that our politicians seem to have permanently unlocked this vicious cycle of compromises, alliances and fallouts.
Even in Lagos state where it appears there are only two major candidates contesting the gubernatorial seat, we should be expectant of such last minute switches. In a state with the presence of political juggernauts such as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a mere last minute pulling of some strings could largely favour Jide Sanwo-olu of the APC against Jimi Agbaje of the PDP.
We are in desperate times indeed. From the look of things and with the way this past presidential election was conducted, there is all likelihood that the incumbent party would do anything possible to retain gubernatorial seats across the country, and even claim new ones in previously unoccupied territory.
But as it is always a commonality in the game of politics too, people who collude to achieve sometimes selfish aims still fallout, and then make up again in consensus – as the cycle continues perpetually to the wonderment of the ordinary citizen.
Featured image source: Vanguard NGR