Supporters rides in a campaign bus of Nigeria's leading opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Mohammadu Buhari and his unning mate Yemi Osinbajo in Lagos on January 24, 2015. Unknown gunmen stormed and bombed the site of a ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Lagos - Some political scientists on
Wednesday urged other African countries to emulate Nigeria’s electoral process
put in place for the 2015 general elections, which was widely commended by the
Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was on
Wednesday returned by the nation’s electoral body as the winner of the March 28
The Independent National Electoral
Commission had deployed smart card readers to read Permanent Voter Card for the
first time during the election.
Prof. Solomon Akingboye, Head, Political Science Department,
University of Lagos, told NAN that the results of the presidential election
had shown that the country's democracy was on course.
Akingboye said that INEC had proven to the world that
Nigeria could get it right, given the right playing field and an enabling
"I want to call on other African countries to take a cue
from Nigeria's electoral process that set a platform for our Presidential,
House of Representatives and Senatorial elections, which held on March 28.
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"It simply means that if we are determined, we can do it
and right; because I know we all have the capacity to achieve great things for
ourselves and for the continent.
"Let me also seize this opportunity to congratulate
Nigerians and Nigeria on the outcome of the elections.
"I am particularly highly elated over the outcome of the
election and the process put in place by the head of the commission, Prof.
"I want to say that the election has been adjudged by both
the local and international observers as being highly transparent, credible,
free and fair, which is what we all have been clamouring for,'' he said.
The don also hailed the electorate, especially their roles
before and during the elections, describing it as superb.
According to him, the electorate showed high level of
decorum during the elections and must be applauded for exhibiting such trait.
On his expectations from the President-elect, Akingboye said
he must be able to get down to work as soon as possible, to rectify what he
described as the dilapidated system.
"I am sure that I am speaking the minds of all Nigerians in
"He must ensure that the entire system is fundamentally
restructured, with special emphasis on the socio-economic and political
"As a man with proven integrity, we expect him to bring the
desired change Nigeria has been yearning for,'' he said.
According to him, looking at Buhari's antecedents, it is a
known fact that he is a man of discipline.
Akingboye said that with Buhari, it was expected that the
high rate of corruption in the country would reduce drastically and it
would be put on the right pedestal for socio-economic growth.
Dr Samuel Ugo, a Senior Lecturer, also of the Department of
Political Science, University of Lagos, commended the electorate over their
ability to play by the rules of the game.
Ugo noted that for any election to be adjudged
successful, the role of the electorate, before, during and after must be
taken into consideration.
He, however, said that the outcome of the presidential
election especially, did not come as a surprise to many Nigerians.
According to him, the commission too must be lauded for the
manner it went about the entire process, which ensured the wishes of the
electorate were accomplished through their votes.
"However, having said all these, I want to state that the
motto of the party that produced the new president-in-the-waiting is 'Change'.
"We expect to taste and experience that change, come
another four years,'' he said.
Dr Olubunmi Ajibade, a Senior Lecturer, Mass Communication
Department, University of Lagos, said the country now has a system
that would be producing true leaders.
Ajibade said with what happened during the election, any
leader that assumed office must perform or run the risk of being voted out.
"The process put in place has empowered the masses and
makes their votes count,'' he said.
Some politicians in Lagos also spoke on the conduct of the
election, describing it as a turning point in the country's democracy.
Mr Kola Ajayi, the Chairman of Alliance for Democracy (AD)
in Lagos, said that he was happy with the way the election was conducted.
Ajayi said that he hoped that the conduct of free and fair
elections would be sustained in the country.
"This is a free and fair election, and I believe that
it will mark a positive change for the development of the country," he
Mr Oladele Idowu, Chairman, Mega Progressive People's Party
(MPPP), said that the election was devoid of rigging as a result of the use of
the Permanent Voter Card (PVC).
"The election was very good and it was free and fair. I
pray that subsequent ones will be peaceful and follow suit," Idowu said.
Mr Olumide Oguntoyinbo, Chairman, Progressive People's
Alliance (PPA) also said the use of the PVC helped the system.
According to Oguntoyinbo, it is the use of the PVC that
guaranteed accuracy in the number of voters that came out to vote.
"This is the best election that has ever held in the
country and this was made possible by the current government.
"It marks a positive turning point in our democratic
dispensation which shows good leadership by the present government," he
The Chairman of Action Alliance (AA), Mr Sola Omolola, said,
"to a large extent, the election was free and fair, and I think that INEC
should be commended.
"I assume that they should work on their logistics but
on a broader level, they have done a good job.