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Nigeria Crisis: Time for System Change

Socialist Democracy

Newspaper of the DSM

Trade Unions

February 20, 2006

National Conscience Party (NCP)

Lagos State Chapter





The ongoing accusations and counter-accusations of rigging the 2003 Lagos State gubernatorial elections between Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have only succeeded to further confirm the open secret of massive frauds and manipulation that characterised the entire 2003 elections.


President Obasanjo fired the first salvo accusing AD of rigging 2003 elections. The accusation was corroborated by Rafiu Tinubu, a former Head of Service of Lagos State and now a member of PDP, who confessed to be among the hatchet men that rigged election in favour of AD and also shed light on how the exercise was carried out. He was quoted in the Punch of February 5, 2006 to have said, "The governor himself sent election emissaries at the eve of the election to all local governments. Due to the power of incumbency, he used all the powers and all the paraphernalia at his disposal, including local government personnel to influence the election."


The National Conscience Party (NCP) actively participated in 2003 elections and thus had first hand experience of the daylight robbery. Truly, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the AD flagrantly rigged the gubernatorial election. In fact, what Raifu Tinubu refused to state categorically is that on the eve of the election all the local government chairmen at the behest of the governor withdrew specific amount from the coffers to bankroll the rigging.


However, in the reality it was not only AD that was deeply involved in the manipulation, PDP was also a major culprit. The truth of the matter is that in Lagos PDP was simply "outrigged" by AD. When asked by the media why AD was able to win in Lagos contrary to the claim that the PDP victory in other South West States was procured through riggings, Yinka Odumankin, the administrative secretary of Afenifere unwittingly let the cat out of the bag when he stated inter alia, "the governor of Lagos State and the leadership of the party in the state were a step ahead of them" i.e. The AD was "a step ahead" of PDP in the rigging bazaar. Olabode George, the PDP Deputy National Chairman (South) alluded to this when he lamented, immediately after the inability of the party to "capture" Lagos, that the PDP lost because some moles or traitors within the party exposed their "electoral strategy" to AD. From the recent confession of Dariye that a huge sum of N100 million was diverted from the Plateau State Ecology Fund to South West PDP special fund meant to "capture" the Zone, it was clear that the PDP’s strategy was to buy votes. But in Lagos they met a higher bidder in the shape of the AD. Outside Lagos was however a different matter as the PDP outbid the AD.


More importantly, besides the numerous tribunal verdicts and a court appeal judgement which attest to the rigging spree of PDP in the 2003 elections, Obasanjo himself has confessed to be an accessory after the fact of tumultuous electoral frauds perpetuated by PDP in Anambra State. Also, in Ogun, the President’s home state, 612,874 additional votes were added to Obasanjo’s total over and above the number of ballot papers given to the voters to use in the presidential and gubernatorial elections. The point should be stressed that this kind of despicable and deplorable trend dominated the features of the elections in most states, among all the ruling parties, across the country.


INEC was so embarrassed about the absurdity and incurable contradiction of its own declared results that it rapidly removed all the 2003 election results from its website and has never reinstated them. For instance, in Oka, Ondo town, the NCP presidential candidate, Chief Gani Fawehinmi was awarded zero in his own ward despite the fact there were about 20 eligible voters including his mother in his own household alone!


However, in Lagos, the NCP’s support was such that the riggers could not afford to completely hide our support, officially NCP candidates received over 77,000 votes (9%) in the Lagos West Senatorial District and 11,000 votes (14%) in Lagos’s Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency. This was however partly due to the relatively strong political and organisational presence of NCP activists in parts of Lagos that enabled them to prevent absolute rigging of the elections by the AD and PDP. It also clearly shows the possibility that the working people can checkmate the capitalist politician habitual rigging if massively mobilized and organised to protect voting and prevent rigging.


We of the National Conscience Party Lagos Chapter call on the working people not to pitch tent with either of the two sets of riggers and looters. They are both united in all the anti-poor neo-liberal policies implemented by the ruling elites at all levels that make well over 70 per cent of Nigerians to wallow in abject poverty in the midst of inexhaustible abundance. All the big political parties (AD, PDP, ANPP, APGA, etc) supported the incessant increase in the fuel prices at a period Nigeria, the seventh world largest oil producing country, is making stupendous wealth from the sales of crude oil. They all share excess crude oil revenue on monthly basis without appropriation, in addition to the statutory allocations, with nothing to show for it.


The NCP, therefore, calls on the working people, youths and students, urban and rural poor to chase out all the pro-rich political parties out of power in the 2007 elections. However, the working masses have already demonstrated the burning desire to end the rule of the professional looters and riggers at all levels through the several general strikes and massive protests against the regime. The missing link is the formidable political alternative platform through which the poor working masses could realize their desire. We therefore call on the all the genuine pro-working masses’ parties and organisations like NLC, LASCO, PRONACO, UAD, PRP, DA, Labour Party, DSM, etc to support the call of the NCP for united action, built on class struggle, to intervene in daily struggle of the working masses and contest for power on the basis of programme that guarantees basic needs for the working people.


We of the NCP are rest assured that with such a formidable political alternative built on an activated solid support base of the working people, youth and students, urban and rural poor, 2007 elections will be nightmarish for the habitual riggers and open the way to establishing a government of working people and the poor that can break the chains of imperialist and capitalist enslavement.


We call on all those who agree with us to join us in the struggle to realize this alternative.

Segun Sango


Chairperson, Lagos NCP