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24 – 12 – 2018

This is Zikoko’s Game of Votes Weekly Dispatch. We share the most important things leading up to the 2019 General Elections, and why they matter. 5pm. Every Monday. Stay woke. 

And T-1 day to Christmas. If you aren’t taking a little break from today’s rocks to read through this, then so xri bou dah.

INEC Is Kind Of, Sort Of, All Set For The 2019 Elections.

INEC – who we are forever indebted to for giving us this classic – is just about ready for the 2019 elections, which are just a month and a couple of extra days away. That is if these guys can get it together and fix up:


The President

Now, while the real issue lies in the ASUU strike causing a potential staff shortage for INEC, Bubs will be getting this heat because his government is yet to find a solution to the union’s grievances.

The INEC chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu on December 21st, spoke on the implications of a drawn-out strike on the elections. Usually, INEC draws ad-hoc staff for elections from serving corps members, students and lecturers in universities.

These lecturers and students also serve as collation and returning officers because they are thought credible and least likely to have fraudulent political interests.
For the 2019 elections, INEC requires about 1 million ad-hoc officers, which will be pretty hard to find when all the students and lecturers are on the streets learning bead making, or whatever other hobbies extended strikes unleash.

The Citizens

That would be us, guys. On December 21st, Prof Yakubu confirmed that INEC has in its bag, PVCs for all registered voters between April 27, 2017 and August 31st, 2018. This includes PVCs that were replaced and those that had to be transferred or relocated to other areas. 
So go pick yours up. Except you’re okay with all the hours you spent getting your card going up in smoke. Literally.

Even Its Staff

It really be your own people. Not exactly known for having the best track record during elections. See here too. INEC’s staff, on Dec 21st, got a bit of the chairman’s tough-talking when he let it be known that the 2019 elections will not tolerate any funny business from its staff colluding with politicians.

Security For The 2019 Elections Was A Hot Topic This Week

US Institutes Think The 2019 Elections Might Still Be Messy For Us  

Two US political institutes — National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute  — pretty much told us that INEC’s 2019 readiness is for their pockets, because their 3rd pre-election assessment report to Nigeria has them a little shook for us.

The lead delegate – Linda Thomas-Greenfield – while speaking at the unveiling of the report in Abuja on December 19th, noted that Nigeria’s persistent insecurity and knack for vote buying could compromise the people’s votes and lead to even worse,  election violence. She’s worried this could compromise trust in our democratic system. But will politicians stop sharing money and rice on these streets? Nope.


Buhari Does Not Have The Herdsmen Crisis On Lock.

While we’re still trying to decide if this is a warning or a threat, the PDP presidential candidate- Atiku Abubakar, on December 19th stated that the herdsmen crisis will continue unless Buhari is voted out of office come 2019.
He was speaking through his Special Assistant, in reaction to Amnesty International’s report on the herdsmen/ farmer’s crisis where the FG was indicted with failing to stop 3641 Nigerian deaths by herdsmen.
It’s probably just campaign tough-talk, but Lauretta doesn’t seem to think so.

If You Want Peaceful Elections, Repeat After Me -Oby Ezekwesili.

You know your country ain’t shit if they’re holding literal forums against violence at elections, but guess what, that’s where we’re at. Oby Ezekwesili, together with 40 other candidates, was in attendance at the summit organised by The Presidential Summit Centre on Friday the 21st.
She listed the absence of military intimidation and a belief in the peace accord as key to peaceful elections. She also shaded the Prez and said an amended electoral bill, which we spoke about here, would be great for the elections. 

Bye Donny, Looks Like Jerry Is In

On December 19th, Donald Duke was probably wrapped up in bed, covers drawn and surrounded by comfort food, because it was finally confirmed that Jerry Gana would be recognised as the presidential candidate of the SDP. His former position.
The deputy national chairman of the SDP- Abdul Isiaq, while receiving Prof Gana in a thinly veiled —‘look, I’m the candidate now’ visit, confirmed that the party would comply with the court’s decisions and approve Gana’s policy documents so he can begin campaigning.

Nobody Puts Yele In A Corner

Proving that hell hath no fury like a Sowore scorned — the presidential candidate of the AAC – Yele Sowore on Wednesday, instituted an action against the NEDC and BON for his party’s exclusion at the presidential debates. He is demanding that the debate slated for January 19th not hold without him, as well as a reason for his initial exclusion, as previous explanations just weren’t good enough. This should be interesting.


Everybody Eats When I’m President

The Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria’s presidential candidate- Davidson Akhimien,who — fun fact is a polyglot! — has revealed ending hunger as a key objective of his government if elected.
He then went on to explain how this would be achieved and it included a plan to transform Sambisa forest, (yes, this same one) into a huge agricultural hub and dairy farm. Well… did we mention he’s a polyglot?

Bonus news: Eunice Atuejide, the presidential candidate of the National Interest Party, thought this was a good idea? 2019s newest meme loading in 3, 2…


“ILY Even Though You Took My Job And I Maybe Outed That You Went To Rehab”

Ambode’s heart was probably touched by a bespectacled angel wearing a customized cap, because those things he said about Sanwo-Olu being a YBNL and attending rehab; they’re all in the past now. On December 17th while speaking at a stakeholder’s meeting, he endorsed Sanwo-Olu’s candidacy.

Raising both Sanwo-olu and Hamzat’s hands, (and probably sneaking in a pinch or two) he declared that they take over from him in good health. Never one to shy away from opportunity, our guy also took the time to appeal to the party’s leadership that aggrieved aspirants, —*cough *Ambo himself*— , be compensated for their wasted effort.


A Governorship Candidate Just Kicked Off His Campaign

Giving an interesting take on Big D Energy — Abiodun Bamigboye — the Oyo state gubernatorial candidate of the Socialist Party of Nigeria on, December 21st, started his campaign towards the governorship seat at his party’s secretariat.  This is in spite of governorship elections being a mere 68 days away.
He also unveiled his running mate and resounded his party’s interest in people development.



Yes, the heat has gone down a little from the Vice-presidential candidates, but we still ought to know what their business is about.
As mentioned last week, the first role we’ll be examining the role of the VP as the Chair of the National Economic Council.

The National Economic Council is provided for in the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution. It is made up of the Governors of the 36 states, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and it is chaired by no other than the VP of the federation.

The primary role played by the council is advising the president on the economic affairs of the state and speaking on the measures the federal government should take to fulfill its economic programmes. 

As chair of the council, the VP is essentially the president’s economic listening ear, and can best advise on the routes to take for the sound economic policies affecting the state.



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