ABUJA (Sundiata Post) Ignorance has invaded the airwaves. The constitution is being bandied about drunkenly.
We are now being told that the constitution insists on a winner being declared even if the number of qualified and eager voters denied opportunity to partake of the process is more than the winning margin.
They wont think now. So we can leave out a few states during the presidential elections and declare someone president even if registered voters in those states could change the outcome?
Folly folly folly.
The constitution isn’t that stupid.
There is a difference between votes cancelled for indeterminacy, and cancelled voting . where voting is cancelled perhaps because the card reader malfunctioned or the presiding officer absconded, the voters are not culpable. Voters must therefore get another chance if their votes would still matter.
Where a voter thumbprints between two logos, he bears responsibility for his recklessness. He cannot get another chance. He has voted, but his vote is cancelled.
Political parties ought to know the difference and educate their supporters. When INEC talks about cancelled votes and cancelled voting, it is not talking about the same thing. There is a fundamental difference.
In 2015 Audu had a massive lead. But the total number of registered voters in units where voting was cancelled outstripped that lead. So the election was declared inconclusive. If voting doesn’t take place or ballot box is snatched it is the duty of presiding officer to declare the true state of affairs.
But it is the returning officer who must make the final determination of inconclusiveness, based on the reports of presiding officers and INEC guidelines.
And those guidelines make commonsense
In the recent house of reps election in Kogi, the election was declared conclusive because the total number of registered voters in units where voting was cancelled was less than the margin of victory. It didnt matter that there was a huge number of cancelled votes.
I cringe sometimes when I watch Nigerian Television.
On Channels Tv today it was a feast of ignorance.
There is no conflict between the INEC guidelines and the constitution. There is simply no majority winner yet in a situation where the margin of victory is less than number of registered voters in units where voting was cancelled.
It’s shocking that INEC which deserves total praise is now being tarnished even by the senate president.
If you buy this their logic then imagine that INEC decided to mess up things in EDE. And no cancelled voting there for a multitude of seemingly good reasons. Would the PDP have insisted that the election was conclusive and a winner be declared???