‘The opposition political parties should go to court in accordance with the law if they feel aggrieved rather than inviting anarchy into the country.
Albeit there is no winner announced by the independent national electoral commission (INEC) yet, it appears that opposition parties particularly the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party are on a voyage that could potentially lead to anarchy in our dear country.
The opposition parties are currently not behaving as good would-be losers based on their recent actions regarding the current process of collation/announcement of results by INEC.
First of all, these opposition parties staged a walkout during the results collation/announcement process by INEC at the international conference centre Abuja. Secondly, they called for cancellation of the results of the election. Third, they are allegedly sponsoring thugs to occupy the international conference centre Abuja to stop further announcement of results by INEC.
There are also calls by some prominent Nigerians who should know better, that the results of the election should be cancelled
These actions are meant to throw caution and due process to the dogs and undermine the fragile peace in the country.
If the opposition parties have sensed defeat and/or are aggrieved, what they should do is not to deploy extra-legal means but to follow due process and laid down procedure as prescribed by the law of the land.
There are laid down procedures for challenging the results of an election but sponsoring thugs to occupy the results collation centre at the international conference centre Abuja or anywhere for that matter is not one of them.
The electoral act 2010 (as altered) is clear in section 133(1) that an election can only be challenged through a petition. Neither the constitution FRN 1999 (as amended) or the electoral act 2010 prescribed thuggery or walk-out as means to challenge the results of an election.
The relevant section 133 (1) of the electoral act 2010 (as amended) is clear, explicit and unambiguous that:
No election and return at an election under this Act shall be questioned in any manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue election or undue return (in this Act referred to as an “election petition”) presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution or of this Act, and in which the person elected or returned is joined as a party.
To this end, the opposition political parties should get set to complete the relevant forms and prepare their petitions instead of plotting to destabilise the eggshell peace in the country. Anybody trying to undermine peace should rest assured that nobody will be allowed by the relevant security agencies to plunge the nation into needless crisis as Nigeria is greater than the ambition of any individual.
The opposition political parties may have come too late to stop the run of play. The best method to beat the ruling party in an election is to form a coalition. The opposition didn’t form any coalition. Now the votes of the opposition parties are divided and it will be left to be seen if one of them can stop the ruling party from coasting to victory after the announcement of the final results of the election by the independent national electoral commission (INEC). All hands must be on deck to save democracy and save Nigeria.
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