Snippets of Sorrow: An Election or a War? By Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.


This is muse on the goose of House of Assembly Elections that took place in Nigeria, on Saturday the 18th of March, 2023. It was like the movie Wild Wild West, starring Penelope Cruz and Will Smith.

In Benin City, Edo State of Nigeria, it was a deluge of snatching of one ballot box to another.From the Polling Unit by Ekpenede Junction by ICC Junction, Oredo Ward 11, Benin City , to the Polling Unit behind prime Petrol Station , to Iguodala Primary School in Oredo Ward 1, Benin City, Ogbe Quarters, Oredo Ward, Benin City , Garrick Memorial School, Oredo Ward , Benin City on Ekenwan Road , just to mention. But a few. It was scenario of armed boys driving in buses and cars ,invading Polling Units and opening the ballot boxes and sorting out votes of two parties and carting them away and leaving votes of a particular party behind.

The Pattern was similar to wit: to reduce the votes of two parties and increase the votes of one party , if the results were announced or to cancel it out right .They achieved both in multiple Polling Units in Oredo , Benin City .

There were cases of vote buying in the Benin Metropolis , Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, and else where .Some Security Vans were seen patrolling around the Benin Metropolis, but some did respond to distress calls .Popular Activist -Chief Patrick Eholor -Ultimate Equal , was assaulted at one of the Collation Centres at Urokpota Hall Benin and according to reports the Police stationed there , were just watching.There were also reports of the Invasion of collation centres in the Benin Metropolis and the carting away of collation materials to truncate the process. An investigation needs to be conducted into these incidences to apprehend the culprits to serve as a deterrence to others .

The DC OPS, Edo State Police Command-DC Miller Datawanye, and his team did well in responding personally to distress calls .It would have been far worse without his intervention.

There were, however, cases of security breaches as the security corridor was violated severally .

I think we need a post-mortem. We need to find out what went wrong .

Those of you calling for State Police, Perish the Thought. We even had some measure of sanity because we had a federal Police .

In Lagos, reports show that the election was characterised by violence with the security corridor seen to be feeble and malleable. There were cases of intimidation and harassment. There was even a bizarre case of Oro Festival alleged to have been held on election day , which violates our laws and guidelines .

In Delta State ,it was terror incorporated akin to a gangsters’ paradise .It was a case of the proverbial survival of the fittest. There was widespread electoral violence and carting away of election materials.

Just a snippet of the do or die election. Forgive the Cliche.

▪︎ DouglasOgbankwa writes via [email protected]

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