• There is a possibility that elections were never rigged but a divided opposition helped Tinubu to sail
  • Elections are a game of numbers, the more the opposition parties, the higher chances of a ruling party to retain power
  • Opposition parties need to be smart not to blame rigging always

Harare- Voters from Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy, Nigeria cast their votes on the 25th of February 2023 to elect lawmakers (parliamentarians) and Head of State (President), in a tight race that saw the ruling party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu being declared as the winner early Wednesday. 

Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC) outclassed his main rivals from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party’s Peter Obi.

Data from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows that of the 24,025,940 casted valid votes, Tinubu garnered 8,794,726 votes (37%), defeating his main rival Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition who secured 6,984,520 votes (29%), and Peter Obi who received 6,101,533 votes (25%).

The main opposition parties have, however, denied ratifying the elections as free and fair.

However, the election result was indicative of 3 key points, firstly, the election might not have been rigged as the opposition claims as a divided opposition helped Tinubu to claim the country’s highest office, (ii) Nigerians are fade up of the ruling party, they no longer like it and are hungry to see change (iii) Opposition parties are more of power-hungry than the need to reform and bring change and serve people. 

Firstly, the main opposition votes combined (PDP and Labour Party) at 54% were far more ahead of Tinubu’s 37%. If the opposition parties have formed an alliance and went for elections as a united-single party, the current ruling could have not won the election. This means despite allegations of election fixing and rigging, a divided opposition is the one that helmed Tinubu to the throne. The only undisputed way for the opposition to win is through having a united front against the common enemy. 

Also, a 54% vote (people who voted for the two main opposition parties in Nigeria) speaks that Nigerians are fade up with the ruling APC's failures. Nigeria is currently infested with corruption, an imminent economic meltdown exacerbated by a fast-depreciating local currency, high inflation and shortages of cash, both Naira and US dollars. People need change but the opposition members are not smart enough to deal with the ruling party. They are highly divided, a merit the ruling party will ride on for years. 

The last lesson that can be drawn from the election is that the main oppositions therefore, are not mainly there to effect change and serve but are power hungry. Their desire and thirst for power have overridden the desire to effect reforms and unite. This is why they failed to form a united front against their common enemy. They all want to rule, they are power-hungry against what they articulate in the media that they want to serve. Therefore, if the opposition is opposing itself, is it worth trusting them with people’s vote?

 From the Zimbabwean side, a divided oppostion despite allegations of rigging is also the greatest merit ZANU PF is going to ride on come 2023 general elections. 

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