Senior Research Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) has said that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will rig Saturday’s tightly contested elections.
Dr Vladmir Antwi – Danso is of the view that Jonathan – being an incumbent candidate, will manipulate the votes in his favour due to the advantage he has over his challenger Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, the Research Fellow said it will be almost impossible for Goodluck Jonathan to lose the elections.
Already 27 out of the 36 governors have declared their support for Goodluck Jonathan and this in Dr Antwi-Danso’s view is already a winning ticket.
President Goodluck Jonathan (R) and Gen Muhammadu Buhari.
Although the country’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Nigerian military dictator, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida have declared their support for leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) party, Dr Antwi-Danso said he doubts if Gen. Buhari will win the polls – and even he will, it will be a difficult task.
He however predicts that some confusion may arise if Jonathan wins because Buhari is also quite keen on winning and might not let go easily.
Gen Buhari has already lost the last three elections.
The Boko Haram Factor
For the past six years, Nigeria has been battling a Boko Haram insurgency that has caused a lot of havoc, abducted women and children and killed several people in the north-eastern part of the country.
The rise of Islamist group Boko Haram in that side of the country has put security at the centre of the election campaigns, but the candidates are at odds over how to handle the insurgency in Africa’s biggest oil producing country.
Boko Haram has recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
The elections were postponed for six weeks, just a week before they were originally due to be held in mid-February.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said this was because the military had advised it would be unable to provide security as its soldiers were committed to the fight against Boko Haram.
Dr Antwi-Danso said the main problem Nigeria will face during the elections will be how to monitor the activities of Boko Haram due to their unpredictable activities and also because they are widely spread across the country.
He advised that security apparatus in the country should not only pay attention to the north-eastern part of the country where the group has a strong hold but should not lose sight of the fact that the group can strike anywhere, at anytime.
Unexpected places like Abuja and other big cities should be closely monitored, he added.
President Mahama’s Message
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, who is also Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), was in the country to pledge the country and ECOWAS’ support as it goes through this challenging phase of its democracy.
He said this when he paid a courtesy call on President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria.
ECOWAS will monitor the events before, during and after the elections to ensure that Nigeria is able to conduct a problem-free election.
“All of us are stakeholders in this election just that we don’t have the votes, so we will sit in the gallery and ensure that they do what is right”, he added.
He charged the National Peace Council to engage all the political stakeholders to ensure that they commit to a violence free election.
Barack Obama’s message
President of the United States of America Barack Obama said the election is a historic opportunity for the people of Nigeria to help chart a new path for Nigeria’s progress.
He called on Nigerians to peacefully express their views and reject people who call for violence and that violence has no place in a democracy the
The elections can be credible if only they are free and fair, Obama added.
He tasked leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has not place in democratic elections and that they will not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence before, during and after the elections.
He said it is the responsibility of all citizens to ensure peace in the country no matter who wins and that they should not give Boko Haram the opportunity to destroy all they have built over the years.
They should come together and keep Nigeria as one.
Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | [email protected]
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