For most Nigerians, Saturday the 9th of March was a predictable day, and when it ended, not many people were surprised.
If voter apathy was an issue in Lagos during the presidential elections two weeks earlier, it became a crisis during the gubernatorial election. Turn out in many areas was very low, partly because Lagosians had not forgotten the violence that marred the presidential elections, but also because there was no strong opposition to the All Progressives Congress candidate (APC), Babajide Sanwoolu and everyone knew he was going to win.
Rivers and Cross Rivers continued to lead in electoral violence. Rivers state, in particular, did such a fine job of disrupting the entire voting process that elections have now been suspended in the state.
Oyo state also decided to show them that they ‘no dey carry last.’ In a historic show of foolishness, thugs shot at the car of a serving senator, Hon. Temitope Olatoye ‘Sugar’ fataly wounding him in the head.
Kwarans had obviously not had enough of the Otoge movement. Determined to obliterate any memory of the power the Sarakis have had over them for more than three decades, those who could came out and voted in the APC candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq. While everyone is applauding them for their courage and strength, some cynics are here wondering if it was really the decision of the people or the result of the clever manipulation of a few.
Kano also seems to be having their own Otoge moment. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, made infamous by the bribe-for-contract videos where he was the protagonist was contesting for the office that had protected him from the not-so-blind eyes of the Nigerian law and Nigerians were quietly seething.
Until news started to filter in that he was losing to the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party. Nigerians were jubilant, happy that his immunity was slowly but surely coming to an end. Now, INEC has declared elections in the state inconclusive after earlier suspending collation of votes. Of course, we are outraged, but no Nigerian would be surprised if, in a ‘shocking’ twist of events, Ganduje is declared the winner.
This is Nigeria, after all.
While we wait for the final results from all the states on one hand and mourn the loss of a great man, on the other hand, Nigerians have continued with their lives, carrying the weight of a painful truth in their hearts: that in the end, their votes did not truly matter.
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