By Orebiyi Temitope
“Nigeria decides 2015” was the team of the presidential election and senatorial elections held on the 28th day of March 2015. The focus of this work is on the presidential elections held in the 36 states of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory. It was a period of anxiety and anticipation as supporters of the two dominant political parties; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with its presidential candidate as the incumbent president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the All Progressive Congress (APC) with its presidential candidate as General Muhamadu Buhari. Nigerians watched with kin interest as the results of the polls in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT were being officially released to the electorates by INEC after the accreditation of the voter’s card and subsequent voting in the early hours of Saturday morning to the evening of same day. The results of the poll started coming in from Saturday evening up to Tuesday evening being the 31 day of March 2015. The APC pulled majority of the votes in the northern part of Nigeria as well as the middle belt, it also got support from western Nigeria with Osun and Oyo state voting for the APC including Lagos state. The PDP pulled the majority of the votes in eastern Nigeria including the Niger Delta and in some parts of Western Nigeria.
The elections were however not without irregularities as the new technology developed to aid the election process which was the card readers were not able to recognize the finger prints of the electorate in some polling units across the country while some of them broke down out rightly. The results in some of the polling centers was also canceled due to irregularities in the electoral process. On the 31 of March 2015 while INEC was still dolling out the results of the presidential elections and one more state (Borno state) was still left to be pronounced, it was gathered that the incumbent president called the opposition to congratulate him on his conceded victory. The presidential candidate of the APC was eventually pronounced winner by the INEC Chairman on the evening of the 31 0f March 2015. The act of the incumbent president in calling to congratulate his main opposition, the eventual president elect was a move in the right direction and symbolic of peace and has been applauded by Nigerians and the international community.
The majority of Nigerians clamored for ‘change’ which was the campaign slogan of the APC and got a change of their president it is now left for the president elect and his campaign group to keep to their campaign promises of a better Nigeria which their slogan ‘change’ really represents. The 2015 presidential elections has come and gone but its aftermaths will remain in the consciousness of Nigerians years to come. I dare to say that by the singular act of the incumbent president in putting a call across to congratulate the president elect on his conceded victory means that he has accepted defeat in good faith and we do not except any forms of election petitions as is the usual trend with elections in Nigeria. I want to congratulate Nigerians on a very peaceful election and transition of power, the winning party should be magnanimous in victory and live up to their campaign promises.
Orebiyi Temitope writes in from the Abuja office of Lawyers Alert.