2023 Elections: Let’s Dwell On Positives – Bayelsa REC

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BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has challenged Nigerians to draw positive inspiration and strength from the 2023 general elections outcome as the country is still going through the democratic learning curve.

This call is coming from the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Bayelsa State, Barrister Obo Effanga who noted that the positive aspects of the 2023 general election include the fact that for the first time in Nigeria’s democratic experience, jumbo figures did not find space in the final results announced by INEC.

Effanga who spoke with journalists in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, said rather than dwelling on past mistakes, these positives should act both as consolation and inspiration that the country is making progress towards actualizing a sustainable democratic process going forward.

He also said a situation where elective office seekers rush to condemn the “results of every electoral process should not be interpreted to mean that we are not making progress toward deepening our democratic dispensation”, adding that “the outcome of every election is a reflection of the general attitude of the people and as such the electoral body should not be crucified simply because our expectations were not met”.

The Bayelsa REC, while serving several analogies to buttress his position, insisted that even the democratic giants of the world whom many always draw inferences had at certain stages of their democratic experiment passed through and witnessed numerous challenges in their respective systems.

According to him, every student who goes into the examination hall at the end of the semester expects to come out with flying colours, but when the results of the examination are released, certain expectations may not generally be consoling,

He urged Nigerians to think more about ways to deepen the country’s democratic experiment, rather than maligning the electoral umpire and demanding the head of those who conducted the elections, without first of all giving a thought to the level of preparedness of those who sought the people’s mandate

Effanga said it is most disturbing that most elective office seekers are always looking to the courts as an institution that would avail them of victory based on technicalities, without giving a thought about the feelings of those they are seeking to represent, adding; “In such circumstances, is it justifiable to have candidates represent constituencies and the electorate, after losing woefully at the polls but approach the courts based purely on technical grounds to secure electoral victories knowing very well that such court-procured victories are far off with the realities at the polls?”.

He said a time has now come for those seeking elective positions to align themselves with what their people desire instead of the attitude of grabbing power by all means just to foster their selfish interest to the detriment of society at large

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