As the Nation awaits the collation and declaration of results by the Electoral Commission, Lagos like the rest of the country rumbles into full activity.
After a weekend of political activity, bread and butter concerns took centre stage early Monday morning throughout the entire Federation. Lagos, the economic hub of Nigeria with an estimated population of over twenty-five million hit the ground running since yesterday morning. The Murtala Mohammed Airport, main entry point into Nigeria swung into full gear after two days of slumber. Although the Nigerian airspace was open over the weekend, no domestic flights operated on Saturday. Many international passengers could not get connecting domestic flights. At the numerous road transport parks, Monday signaled a resumption of full activities. Local shops, eateries and production outfits went operational with the usual traffic at the multiple inlets into Victoria Island and Ikoyi. In the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, the famous Jaba park swung into full gear with passengers heading to various destinations in the thirty-six States of the Federation. As the election result colla tion progresses, Nigerians resume their penchant for industry. The characteristic trust deficit in politics and politicians is reflected in their dedication to economic activities, seen as the only constant in a catalogue of fluctuating variables.
In a press briefing last Sunday, INEC Chieftain Professor Mahmood Yakubu confirmed the death of one staff in Rivers State. He admitted technical glitches experienced in some localities which were successfully rectified. Due to these failures and inadequate materials, INEC rescheduled elections in some areas on Sunday. These included, Abia, Bayelsa, Benue, Plateau, Zamfara and one polling station in Sokoto and Abuja. As the result collation continues at the INEC Situation Room in Abuja, the two main contenders, PDP and APC have been hitting each other under the belt over yet to be announced Presidential results. In a statement through his Special Assistant for Public Communication, Atiku Abubakar commended Ni gerians for turning out in large numbers to vote for him. He added that ‘’ the people of Nigeria can take solace that very soon the living nightmare of the last four years will come to an end’’. In another press statement signed by PDP Presidential Campaign Media Director Kola Ologbondiyan called on INEC to declare Atiku Abubakar the winner of the elections. President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC National Publicity Secretary Mallam Lanre Issa – Onilu fired back, describing the PDP call as ‘’ shameful, alarming and provocative insult to democracy and Nigeria’’. He added that, ‘’ PDP is seeking a shortcut by false and premature claims of victory’’.
In the face of the claims and counter claims even when result collation is ongoing, the West African Economic Community is urging front runners Buhari and Atiku to pledge to accept results. Former Liberian President and Head of ECOWAS observer mission, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, urged the leading Presidential candidates to accept the verdict of the polls in good faith. Most observers of the ongoing electoral process admit minor technical, logistic and security challengers but stress that so far the elections are free, fair and largely credible. Given the massive human and material resource involved, INEC deserves some applause. The prompt actions taken by the Electoral Commission to provide solutions each time challenges reared their ugly head is a source of satisfaction. Rescheduling elections the next day in areas of dispute is a sterling reminder of the sanctity of the ballot paper of each citizen. As Nigerians wait patiently for the final verdict, it is expected that the political class will provide the world’s most populous black nation with her finest hour.