By Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere
One time PDP Publicity Secretary in Edo State who was also a member of the Presidential Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Niger-Delta and Chairman, Edo State Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Prince Francis Omo-Osunde Iyasere, has added his voice to the growing philosophical, moral and legal perspectives concerning the Anambra State election where Prof. Soludo of APGA won convincingly.
“The Anambra State election holds many lessons for us, and we must take them seriously. First, let me use this opportunity to congratulate the winner of the election, Prof. Charles Soludo. He was very impactful during his time as the Governor the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and hope he will use his wealth of experience in the economic world to help develop Anambra State.
“From what was experienced in Anambra State election, I am optimistic that we might be nearing the desirable point of free and fair election in spite of associated imperfections, the electronic transmission of results in real time being the game changer. Gone are those days where ballot boxes are snatched and votes are thumb printed in some hollow chamber by hoodlums.
And in my insistent prophesy, I see President Buhari sustaining this tempo until the 2023 presidential election where conducting a free and fair election without the interference of Federal Might would be a lasting legacy he would want to live behind as he departs after 8 years in power.
“In 2020, PDP won the Edo State gubernatorial election where the electronic transmission of results was first officially used amid the fears and hope created by the Edo State APC in the social media that Buhari will use Federal Might to help rig the election in favour of APC. This never happened; people went to the polls to vote their conscience devoid of any interference from the security agents.
Immediately after the election, President Buhari congratulated the winner, Governor Godwin Obaseki. To me, the conduct of the election was a statement of intent by Mr. President even when some analysts opined that his allowing for free and fair elections after 2019 is as a result of self-centeredness and Culture of Abandonment. In as much I won’t discount their relay due to what was witnessed in some elections prior the 2019 presidential election, I however want to commend and appreciate him for turning a new page by advocating and conducting free and fair elections which will further deepen our democratic process. When the people are allowed to freely make their choices without being forcefully aided by state security agents to do a certain bidding, democracy is enhanced. This is so because the ritual rounds of choosing must be done in a certain way that will not suggest coercion.
“And for those governors and members of PDP who had decamped to APC hoping to profit from the notoriety of election malpractices, which is often in time pass aided by security agents, must have sober reflections going forward. It is no longer business as usual. To seek for an election reelection, one must appeal to the voters, not the president to muster the use of Federal Might.
“We must continue to drum support for the INEC and encourage their innovative ideas with the use of machines and gadgets to enhance elections in Nigeria.”