Unnecessary Fixation on Rivers’ Poll

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That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) both engaged in electoral malpractice during the last general election is an obvious fact. What is irritating is the fixation of the APC on the outcome of the poll in one out of the 36 states of the federation. That state is Rivers.

Just last week, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), the president-elect and presidential candidate of the party in the poll singled out Rivers State, vowing that he would neither forgive nor forget those behind the electoral fraud and violence witnessed in the state as if elections in other states were fraud and violence-free.

He was on Sunday joined by the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, who during a church service in Port Harcourt, the state capital, also vowed to bring to book perpetrators of electoral fraud and violence in the state during the elections.

It is good that both Buhari and Amaechi have vowed to deal with those behind the alleged electoral fraud and violence in Rivers State during the polls, but they should be reminded that their party, just like the PDP which they seek to crucify, also committed varying degrees of electoral fraud and violence in states other than Rivers.

This, they should admit, and stop making it appear as if it was only in Rivers State that electoral fraud and violence took place during the polls.

So, enough of this fixation on Rivers State. Both the APC and PDP cannot in clear conscience swear that they did not engage in electoral fraud and violence during the polls in all states of the federation, Rivers State inclusive.

Therefore, they should to allow the judiciary to adjudicate on all cases brought with respect to the outcome of the polls not only in Rivers State but also all others.

Beyond this, there is the need to further reform the nation’s electoral laws to make it difficult for elections to be manipulated. There is also the need to make public office less attractive such that candidates and their parties find no need to spend outrageous amounts during elections which they hope to recoup once in office.

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