13 March 2019
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State was reelected last Saturday by a landslide. He got 449,935 “votes”, while his closest rival from the All Progressives Congress (APC) received 10,423 “votes”. Ayogu Eze, of the APC called the results “phantom”.
However, apart from the questionable results that secured a second term for Ugwuanyi, he didn’t take any chances relying on his record in office to sway votes in his favour. The governor distributed bags of rice to state employees, with junior staff getting smaller bags than their seniors.
This sharing of foodstuff aka “stomach infrastructure” before (s)elections has become customary in Nigeria. But Section 124(1)(b) of Nigeria’s electoral act prohibits inducements to voters for their vote. Politicians like Ugwuanyi carry on in flagrant disregard for the law.
There are billboards all over Enugu with Ugwuanyi’s face plastered on them proclaiming that the state is “in the hands of God”. What God makes of bags of rice to the multitudes is anyone’s guess.