Election Race: February 25th, Will Nigerian’s Presidential Election Hold?

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inauspicious clouds appeared over the general elections last week as chaos spread across the country over a lingering insufficiency of fuel and naira notes. The fuel supply crisis has been going on for several months but the currency crisis worsened as the January 31 deadline set by the central bank for use of old naira notes approached.

Speaking at a rally in Ado- Ekiti, on Friday, the presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress( APC), Bola Tinubu, asserted that the insufficiency, which has caused frustration and difficulty for people across the country, was simulated to precipitate a public crisis and force the general elections to be shifted from 25th February.

They’re hoarding Naira so that you can be angry and fight. They want confusion so that the election can be deferred. What they want is an interim government. But we’re wiser than them. We’ll not fight. Any rat that eats the rat venom will end up killing itself. ”

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Allegation at a rally in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of the state, forewarning those allegedly trying to scuttle the elections and foist an “ interim government ” to desist from the plot.

This policy(naira redesign) is targeted at making people angry so that they will demonstrate and riot and also the election would be deferred. also, they will introduce an interim government. No matter the provocation, do n’t protest. This election will hold. This election is by the PVCs. This election isn’t an election of conspiracies; it’s an election of Nigerians.

Of course, Mr Wike has become an supporter of Senator Tinubu as PDP officials in the state have written to the party’s public headquarters that the governor had informed his loyalists of his endorsement of the APC aspirant. But their allegation should spur Nigerians into alertness as it’s a scary flashback to the country’s political impasse of nearly 30 years ago.

That clutch in 1993 acted from the annulment of a presidential election by General Ibrahim Babangida’s conspiracy.

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Mr Babangida inaugurated an interim government after he was forced to retreat by a public insurgence but it lasted less than three months before it was overthrown in a military coup by Sani Abacha, another army general who was left behind apparently to protect the contraption. Mr Abacha went on to run a brutal and corrupt regime for five years and was on the verge of alchemizing himself to a civilian president when he suddenly died on the night of 8 June 1993.

Howbeit, Senator Tinubu’s allegation is also a dangerous expansion of the ambit of an internal crisis that sounded to have magnified in the APC as the general elections got closer. In earlier remarks at various campaign rallies, beginning from Abeokuta, Ogun State on 25 January, he’d criticised the Buhari government’s handling of the fuel crisis and naira redesigning. But until Ado-Ekiti on Friday, he’d simply suggested that the two issues were acts of mischief targeted by his foes in power at destroying his chances at the poll.

On Wednesday, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El- Rufai jumped into the throes when he said on a Channels Television programme that some essentials at the Presidential Villa in Abuja were scheming with the opposition to deny Senator Tinubu and the APC victory at the elections. The governor didn’t directly charge President Muhammadu Buhari of involvement in the anti-party scheme. But he hinted that the president was reproachable through his approval of currency redesign so close to the elections and through some of his utterances on the elections.

The president had constantly pledged to leave behind a legacy of clean elections and had signed the 2022 Electoral Act that introduces reforms that have been hailed for their potential to secure the integrity of elections run by the national electoral body, INEC.

But it’s observable that the president had refused to sign comparable amendments proposed to the electoral law in 2018 when he was seeking re-election.

The administration’s argument also was that the amendments were proposed too close to the elections, although critics said the president simply didn’t want to remove some of the advantages enjoyed by incumbents under the old law.

And when State House reporters asked him about the government’s reaction to Governor El- Rufai’s allegation, after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council the same Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, felt to confirm all the crapshoots. He reiterated the president’s repeated assertion of fairness, saying President Buhari has no favourite among the aspirants.

Howbeit, the presidency thereafter issued another statement denying that aides of the president were supporting an opposition aspirant, rather than Senator Tinubu.

President Muhammadu Buhari shortly after Governor El- Rufai’s appearance on TV, APC state governors assembled on the State House for a meeting with the president. They said the agenda was to persuade him to allow the old bank notes to remain as legal tender and to be little by little withdrawn from circulation over a longer period

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