The Independent National Electoral Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, has been quoted as saying that the 2015 general elections will not be staggered. In apparent reference to the problems the commission encountered with the Anambra governorship election, he said the flawed poll did not mean INEC lacked capacity to conduct elections in the whole country.
Ogunmola was right. Experience has shown that the question of bad elections in Nigeria is more of a problem of willful sabotage – with the partial or complete involvement of the election management body – than it is of lack of technical capacity on the part of the electoral umpire. The last governorship election in Anambra State simply proved that arranging voting for separate times in different parts of the country cannot be the bulwark against the menace of flawed election. Just as the success of the Option A4 system in 1993 proved that the volume of balloting or technical ability is not problem of elections in the country.
INEC must make conscious effort to tackle the issue of sabotage, which is the bane of credible elections in Nigeria.