Our March edition was delayed to accommodate the Nigerian presidential election, which took place on
February 25, 2023. As of press time, Ahmed Bola Tinubu of the ruling APC had been declared the winner of
the presidential election for 2023. Rather than celebration across the nation, the mood is one of disappointment and dismay at the performance of the electoral body charged with conducting the biggest election on the continent for the most populous black nation on earth, Nigeria. The preparations for the elections were highly charged, but the outcome was highly disputed by the main opposition parties, including the PDP, the newly reformed Labour Party, and the African Democratic Congress.
These three political parties claim the election was rigged in favor of Bola Tinubu despite the popularity of Peter Obi, who has suddenly become a rallying point for millions of Nigerian youth hoping for a new Nigeria. That wish and dream may have to wait longer after this election, which would probably be finally decided via the courtroom. The body charged with organizing a free and fair election in Nigeria, INEC, is entangled in corruption allegations leveled at the head of the commission, Professor Yakubu, whom they accuse of deliberately fouling the same guidelines to have the electronic results transmitted immediately after polls finish, figures tallied and approved by party agents for it to be uploaded to the website where every Nigerian with access to the internet could see the results. That has not been the case and different figures have been circulated, therefore increasing tension across the country. Some have called for the whole process to be cancelled.
Our findings and assessment of the February 25th, 2023, presidential and National Assembly elections conducted by INEC fall short of any international acceptable conduct of a credible election practice in developed countries. There are too many irregularities, some of which INEC had already been warned about but did not yield to the advice of observers. While INEC distributed materials and opened polls in a more timely fashion for the elections, many serious irregularities occurred, including vote buying, intimidation of voters and election officials, and election related violence by the armed forces, who were supposed to…continued in page 8 of the magazine