Countdown to the Nigerian Presidential Elections: Twists and Turns

For the past several weeks, the world’s attention has been drawn to the theatrical stage of the forthcoming Nigerian presidential elections such that the US Secretary of State paid an unscheduled visit to the top two presidential aspirants; President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP and  General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC. And in typical there have been accusations and counter accusations by both parties. From the inability to tackle insurgency to altered school certificates, the schemes and plots are endless just as we hereby present titbits of the intrigues as the countdown begins.


Sell Out – Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday alleged that some Yoruba leaders collected money from some politicians, with the aim of persuading their subjects to vote for the financiers. However, Fashola and the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in  Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode urged residents to eschew violence on Saturday, saying; “This election will be historical.”

Intimidation – The deployment of soldiers to Lagos streets ahead of Saturday’s Presidential election is eliciting mixed reactions among residents in the state. While some residents see the deployment as a welcome development, others are lamenting that the road-blocks mounted by the stern-looking soldiers on major roads have resulted to traffic gridlock, adding that their presence is intimidating.

Economic Slide – Presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Owerri reviewed the downward slide of the nation’s economy and called on Nigeria to rise and say bye to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Analog party – Wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan, yesterday in Onitsha described the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the name of an expired drug already rejected by Nigerians. Dame Jonathan said the train service, the analog former President and APC presidential candidate could not repair when he was in power was what her husband has repaired. Describing APC as an unsteady party that was always changing from one name to another, Mrs. Jonathan said the party would die its final death on March 28, 2015, presidential election when Nigerians would vote her husband into office.

No Soldiers – A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, restrained the Federal Government from deploying soldiers for the general elections beginning on Saturday with Presidential and National Assembly polls. The court held that there was no part of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which empowers the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces to deploy military for election purposes.

Oil sector – President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to entrench greater transparency and eradicate corruption in the nation’s oil sector if re-elected. He gave the commitment on Sunday evening in Lagos at a youth event titled “An unimaginable feat in sports” designed to highlight his administration’s achievements in the sports sector.

Mob Attack – The convoy of the wife of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Hajia Aisha Buhari was yesterday attacked by suspected hoodlums in Ilorin, Kwara State Mrs. Buhari was in the company of the wife of the vice-presidential candidate, Mrs Oludolapo Osinbajo; Kwara State First Lady, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed and wife of the immediate past governor of Kwara State, Mrs Oluwatoyin Saraki among others on the way to a women sensitization programme in Ilorin. According to Fulani, “a worrisome development took place today( yesterday) during the visit of Hajia Aisha Buhari, the wife of the APC presidential candidate as her convoy was attacked at the Film House along Emir’s Road, Ilorin. About 10 vehicles were vandalized.”

Rivers Killings- Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has again accused the Police of bias in the state, saying that they are being used to unjustly arrest and harass members of his All Progressives Congress, APC. The governor, who spoke, yesterday, at Government House, Port Harcourt, said the Police are allegedly conducting themselves as a political party contesting elections with the APC. The governor, who said the Police had allegedly failed to arrest anyone in connection with alleged killings of APC members in the state, adding that 30 members of his party have so far been killed.


Bribe Cannot Work – The Elders’ Council (Igbimo Agba) of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun State has described last minute efforts by President Goodluck Jonathan to influence Yoruba to support his re-election efforts through monetary inducement as too little too late. In a statement signed by Chairman of the Council, Sola Akinwumi and made available to newsmen in Osogbo, yesterday, the Elders’ Council maintained that Yoruba people are not articles that could be purchased by the highest bidder. Decrying the last minute visit to palaces of traditional rulers where heaps of United States Dollars allegedly changed hands, the party leaders drawn across the 30 Local Governments said: “The Dollar Rain, if it is true, is a gratuitous insult to the dignity and integrity of Yoruba culture and tradition as it presents our people as purchasable items for any money bag with deep purse.”

Tinubu says its democracy at Gunpoint – The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has described the postponement of the February general elections as democracy at gun point, adding that Nigeria’s democracy is now at the mercy of the gun. The former governor of Lagos State who tweeted this while reacting to the poll shift via his twitter handle @AsiwajuTinubu, added that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega caved in to pressure and blackmail.

USA deeply disappointed by polls delay – The top US diplomat said Saturday he was “deeply disappointed” by Nigeria’s decision to postpone elections and issued a call for calm. The six-week delay was announced after security chiefs said the military needed more time to secure areas under the control of Boko Haram, the Islamist extremists who have seized swathes of territory in northeastern Nigeria. “The United States is deeply disappointed by the decision to postpone Nigeria’s presidential election, which had been scheduled for February 14,” Kerry said in a statement.

Oyegun say polls shift is a setback for democracy – The chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has described the postponement of the February elections till March 28 and 11 April, as a ‘major setback for Nigeria’s democracy”. In a statement after the Independent National Electoral Commission gave the new date, Oyegun said his party would hold an emergency meeting on the issue. But he also appealed to the party supporters to maintain calm.” All Progressives Congress, APC has just heard over the news media that The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decided to postpone the elections by six weeks on the strength of a letter by the security chiefs that they cannot provide security for the elections nationwide because of the commitment of its resources to fight insurgency in the north eastern part of the country.

Amechi says PDP pays N6B to Pastors – Rivers State Governor and Director-General of Buhari Presidential Campaign Organization, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of bribing some Christian religious leaders with N6 billion to campaign against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and it’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. He said the compromised religious leaders are circulating documents to Nigerians alleging that APC and Buhari will islamize the entire country if elected into power during the February general elections.

International Criminal Court warns Jonathan and Buhari – The two leading presidential candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and other political leaders in the country would be held accountable and made to face trial for any violence perpetrated by their supporters during the general elections. The International Criminal Court (ICC) gave the warning on Monday ahead of the presidential poll on 14 February. ICC’s Fatou Bensouda warned in a statement: “Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging crimes within ICC’s jurisdiction is liable to prosecution.”

Jonathan escapes bomb blast – A blast ripped through a car parked outside a stadium where Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan had addressed a re-election campaign rally in the northeastern city of Gombe on Monday, minutes after he left, witnesses said  the explosion happened at 3:10 pm (1410 GMT) some three minutes after Jonathan’s departure. Jonathan had been speaking to supporters of his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as part of his bid for re-election at polls in two weeks’ time.

14,000 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) snatched – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said hoodlums forcibly snatched about 14,000 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) from officials of the commission during the collection exercise in Rivers State. The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Gesila Khan, made the disclosure while speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday.

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Buhari says no proof on Railways – Buhari said: “A lot of noise is being made about Nigerian Railways, but there is nothing on ground. Kabiyesi, these are some of the problems—insecurity, economy imbalance and corruption—identified by the APC.

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Oba Akiolu cautions AIG – Meantime, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, has urged the new Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Mr. Joseph Mbu and other security officials in Lagos state to be above board in their duties during and after the general elections. Reacting to the recent redeployment of Mbu and others police officers in the state, Akiolu said: “Recently, I have heard some comments over the posting of police in the country. Posting of policemen is normal when election is approaching, and should not be made a political issue. “But if anyone comes into Lagos with any sinister motive, by the grace of God, he will have himself to blame. Some people have done it before even to the person who was the IG when I left the job at that time. “Posting comes normally, Lagos is not Port Harcourt. No one should express any fear. And the man they did it to in Port Harcourt is able and capable to do what he should do.” The monarch further warned that if they tried any illegal act, “It is then I will show them who I am. Some people have been saying it is not so. It is that time that I will prove it to them.”

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Tinubu says Country in Crisis -As the February 14th Presidential election draws near, National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, said the party leadership begged the Presidential Candidate of the party, General Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2015 election in order to rescue the country from the present challenges. According to Tinubu while addressing the mammoth party supporters at the Mega presidential rally held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Tinubu, “the choice was meant to rescue the country from the crisis that has bedevilled its development.” He noted that the prayer of everyone before was that the country will get better and “We will not need a man like him to rule the nation. But today, we are in a great crisis. We are facing a lot of challenges.” Tinubu, explaining the strategies adopted by those great nations in the past, said “When South Africa was facing a serious challenge, they called on late Nelson Mandella, and he was 74 years old then. And he used his wisdom to save that country. “When America was in economic depression, they called on 73-year-old Ronald Reagan, to save their economy because he was prudent. “Also, when Britain had problem, they called on 73-years-old Winston Churchill to rescue them and he did.

compiled by Tosan Aduayi –


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