As Nigerians and Bayelsans began preparing for David Lyon, the former governor-elect, to launch his lexical gymnastics on the state immediately after taking an oath, Nigerian courts threw the wet blanket on Thursday, dismissing him the day before. its enthronement. His running mate and deputy governor-elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, according to the courts, had submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and appeared to have infected the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket on 16 December. november, 2019 government election with a fraudulent tone. Democratic People's Party (PDP) candidate Douye Diri, who came in second in the election, set the case as a pre-election issue.
The Federal Supreme Court ruled in favor of Diri, while the Court of Appeal last December reversed the sentence. On Thursday, the Supreme Court finally restored the decision of the Federal Supreme Court and revoked the election of Lyon, which won in six of the eight areas of the local government of the state of Bayelsa. Before writing this article, INEC decided whether interpreting the Supreme Court's verdict meant voiding all APC votes; in that case, Mr. Diri had become the winner, or whether APC votes still counted and Mr. Diri would have to consider whether the 25% of the votes he won in five local governments satisfied the provision to win 25% in two thirds of the local government and if the two thirds of the state LGs are about 5.3 or 6.0
Although Diri's case is not the only trick of fate in Nigeria's recent electoral history, it is exemplary and evocative. Lyon, from the PDP, had just participated in the rehearsal for its inauguration when news of the Supreme Court decision hit him like a ton of bricks. Outgoing governor Seriake Dickson also suffered, a few days ago, the ridicule when the PDP dies, not knowing what the courts reserved for his party, assaulted him, blaming him for harming the party in the state. The PDP maintained its hold on the state for decades, they lamented, and Dickson, a true spoil, even disturbed the application. The outgoing governor was so full of looting at the entrance to the State House that his convoy had trouble getting out. Now that the table has turned, what would the diehards say? Would they apologize?
Unfortunately, Mr. Dickson was not the only one to try a few attempts a few weeks ago. But he is the happiest man in Bayelsa today, if not in Nigeria, with his candidate finally declared a winner and a judge last night. Unfortunately, however, now is the time for former President Goodluck Jonathan to be in tenterhooks. Having sulked when his favorite, Timi Alaibe, missed the PDP government primary, it was believed that he had played angrily, but clandestinely, his lot with the APC candidate in the November poll, although he was and remains a stronghold of the PDP. The support the ex-president gave to the APC candidate, some analysts said, was so undisguised that when Lyon won, Dr. Jonathan & # 39; s Otuoke, the Bayelsa state residence was one of the first places visited by politicians triumphant opposition.
With the Supreme Court turning the tables so unpredictably in favor of Mr. Diri of the PDP, how would Dr. Jonathan behave in the next four years? Would he still be in a bad mood? Would he be despised? Would he stay away? If the PDP's big shots in the state are wise, they will ask Dickson and Diri, in the company of some party leaders, and immediately after the new governor's inauguration on Friday to pay a courtesy visit to the former president and seek genuine and lasting reconciliation with him, incorporating all factions of the PDP into his large family. They must not leave anyone out. If you are wise, you must make the ex-president your father. His flip-flop in the November poll, when he supported the losing horse, is enough punishment, enough poetic justice. But politics is unpredictable, and no one can really say whether revenge is usually not too tempting for politicians to want to demand their pound of meat.
The intertwining of Bayelsa's research with Diri may be the most striking touchstone of electoral or political peculiarities in these parts. But there are many other peculiarities. The Imo research also produced something very close to the Bayelsa anomaly. Former dethroned governor Emeka Ihedioha was declared the winner by INEC last March. But in mid-January, after winning in the electoral petitions court and the Court of Appeal, Ihedioha received the door just eight months after his brief reign. But that was not the peculiarity. The problem was that the Supreme Court declared the winner, who came in fourth in that controversial and heady poll as the winner. The victory, mourned by many confused and worn-out analysts, seemed to come against the grain of the game. How could the fourth place come in first? Since then, the PDP has returned to the same Supreme Court, asking it to reconsider what it had removed from the party not long ago, when the judges declared the winner of Hope Uzodinma. In short, the party returned to the main court asking them, with the benefit of hindsight, to reconsider the complicated arithmetic over which they apparently were inspired to create the legal puzzle that confused and dragged many idealists and patriots into the party divisions.
That same peculiar strangeness of fate also caused tremors in the political firmament of Rivers State in 2007, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo imposed an unusual primary result on the state's PDP, a result so capricious and paradoxical that it begs for belief. This result removed the primary winner, Rotimi Amaechi, and enthroned Celestine Omehia. Honestly, the PDP won the April poll of that year, having built its victory on nothing from a forced and alien party primary. But the courts examined Rivers State's trajectory and, against all expectations, in October restored the normality that the party's constitution envisaged. The votes were cast for the party, the court said impatiently, and when by any means the true and certain candidate for a party primary was identified, even after the vote, justice had to prevail, and Amaechi became governor.
The strangeness was also visible, as he moved tirelessly through the woods and sandy terrains of the State of Zamfara, wresting a tumultuous victory from the APC with more than 500,000 votes, but which were stifled by spiteful party regulations and delivering victory to the candidate for the government of the government. PDP that dragged less votes of less than 200,000. There was no need for legal discomfort or confusion in the courts to overthrow APC's Mukhtar Idris and plant PDP's Bello Matawalle, another electoral peculiarity that will last in Nigeria's political memory. It may also be that a reflection on these peculiarities, particularly the cost that they often impose on political parties, as a result of their arbitrary conduct of primaries, may lead to much healthier policies and much more robust primary elections in the future.
Less than three months after victoriously celebrating victory in the Bayelsa poll, APC lost its position in the Niger Delta again, and the iconoclasm that was read in the election battles suddenly turned into a sombre foreboding of apocalypse. Far beyond losing its position in the Niger Delta, APC must find the courage to reexamine the policies and values that it so inspiringly spoke of and spread at its founding in April 2013. Instead of reflecting on the Bayelsa setback, or walking frantically about an uncertain destination at Imo, it may be time to energize your party's renewal if they can find and give free rein to entrepreneurial leaders who will personify their dreams.