Ijeoma Tagbo

Legal practitioners and public affairs analysts that feature on “Today On STV) have divergent views on the conduct of INEC before and after Ondo State governorship election.

For Biodun Showunmi, the Outcome of Rotimi Akeredolu emerging as the winner shows that the conduct in the election has improved from the previous years. There was no problem of logistics. The conduct of the election was free and fair on that day.

However depriving a candidate an opportunity to campaign and canvas for vote actually enact the fair process of that day. Both the internal which consist of the INEC and PDP. INEC obeyed the court order, they got the logistics right. But for me that it was unfair that INEC did not postpone the election. What they should have done, even after all that happened was to postpone the election in order to create a level playing field.

INEC had up to January to have that election, and the law clearly states that the election must be held by January so there is no reason not to postpone it particularly, when campaigns stops 48hours to election and court gave verdict 72hoursto the election. It means basically one candidate had only 24 hours to campaign for an election which is quite unfortunate and unfair.”

I advised that for future election we need to watch out for this, otherwise what we end up having is a new tactic of rigging an election, that is creating an uneven frame-up and legal logjam until the last minute and that is what we need to avoid. Overall the judiciary did very well.

To Mr. Emeka Onohwakpor, the problem they found themselves in is probably caused by the party, PDP because they did not put their house in order and INEC was put in the middle after making a decision to obey the court order. INEC wasn’t contesting the earlier judgment though it was an absurd judgment. It was done to cause confusion, the Supreme Court has reprimanded that Federal High Court for it.

There is need for parties to plan their primaries early enough and should also anticipate that people may go to court because if this legal logjam had happened earlier they would have solved the problem before now. The candidate for PDP never had enough time to campaign though it’s a learning process and in terms of the conduct of the election we have done very well.  Generally it was peaceful and in the right atmosphere.

For Messrs.  Jide Ojo and Ezenwa Nwagu, all the stakeholders and actors in the process did fairly well to enable Ondo State experience a credible and conclusive election, what the electoral law states is of substantial compliance and to the best of my knowledge there was substantial compliance to the electoral laws in the country to the conduct of an election.

We need to commend the electorate, the security agents where very professional and there was concern on the attitude of the political class because they have not learnt their lesson, why will some politicians be sponsoring hijacking of ballot box and murdering of opponent, as we witness in Ondo state even if it was a life that was lost it means a lot.

At this point in time, we have to start seeing election as a civic responsibility without any act of violence on the run. My scorecard, is that the observers, media coverage electorate and election management did very well, they were quite civil but of course that the evil attack from some political gladiators to disrupt the process is condemnable.