The off-cycle elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa were another big joke by INEC as expected and INEC’s N305 billion budget and a questionable 2023 Election are more than enough for mass political apathy in Nigeria. 

The excitement over months and weeks of private and public assurances by INEC leadership headed by Professor Yakubu, that INEC to deliver free and fair elections backed by the new electoral law and the use of the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) that mandated real live transmission of election results from the polling units as also outlined by INEC guidelines all came to empty promises even at the off-cycle elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa. 

However, we will continue to stand up to INEC to ensure that our votes are counted. Not doing that is already surrendering whatever says we still have to INEC and their political cabal. 

The Edo State governorship election has been scheduled to be held on 21 September 2024 and another opportunity to join in the democratic and political engineering effort.  For us at ADC Diaspora, the silence of the majority of “third force” political Reps members at NASS is not making them different from the usual mainstream political parties. The coming Edo Guber off-cycle election is another opportunity to re-evaluate some of our voting decisions that were based on political nomenclature only.

The Senate President sent prayers to senators account “to enjoy themselves” amidst unprecedented economic misery and hardship of Nigerians and some of our new political class said nothing. SUVs worth Million of Naira were dished out to them and again they said nothing and some even defended that. This can only demonstrate that consistency in policies and morals leadership quality needed for a sound social re-engineering in Nigeria is not just about Party nomenclature but a combination of charisma and character within a political party with the welfare of Nigerians as its core DNA and ADC stands clearly out. ADC House Members are legendary examples in service delivery. 

Edo State Guber election is another opportunity to demonstrate that we cannot give in to a deliberate effort of disenfranchisement. We need a candidate in Edo State with morals and leadership qualities for a  political fresh breath and social re-engineering in Edo state. A clarion call to Edo’s home and Diasporan. It’s your stage.  

Kenneth Chibuogwu Gbandi  

Deputy National Chairman (Diaspora Engagement) African Democratic Congress (ADC)

2023 Senate candidate for Delta North


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