Saturday February 10, 2018 was the Kano state local government elections, the election which has hitherto led to a spate of violent attacks between supporters of the state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his now estranged successor Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso will go down as one of the greatest assault on democracy in Nigeria with the attendant irregularities that marred the “election”.
Simply put, there was no election in Kano state on Saturday, what they had was a joint charade by the security agencies and the Kano state independent electoral commission. According to videos and pictures shared online less than 24hours after the election, there was an allegedly high rate of underage voters that were seeing thumb printing on ballot papers and casting their votes.
There was also a video showing an individual wearing an APC tag voting continuously on a ballot paper booklet, this was different from the ones that were voting inside a room. This is unacceptable in a country that is practicing democracy as such acts have nullified the elections.
The announcement by the state electoral commission that APC won the the 44 local government Chairmanship seats and over 400 councilorship seat is not acceptable as there was no election in the state. If the electoral commission chairman has the opportunity to watch the trending videos and pictures he will be ashamed of himself, all the free and fair comment from him will be withdrawn.
This electoral charade in Kano is sending different messages depending on what you choose to accept. One, it has confirmed the accusations that the 2015 Presidential elections which saw the APC winning about 2 million votes in the state were the result of underage voters. Two, that the 2019 elections might not be free and fair. After all going by the recent comments by President Muhammadu Buhari that he has Kano state in his pocket, could this be the reason?
This is surely not a sign of good things to come.