By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
A week after the announcement of results of both the Presidential and National Assembly elections with the All Progressives Congress candidate and incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari declared winner against his arc rival of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, jubilation trailed the outcome across states amidst calm.
Businesses, movements of both citizens, vehicles and goods were hitherto, being carried out without stress of violence even as civil servants had resumed work in their respective states.
Supporters of the wining party especially in the northwest and other strong holds of President Buhari took to the streets in a peaceful and tension free atmosphere to express their joy for the victory.
In Sokoto, the Gowan Nama area where the residence of Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko is located was a beehive of activities with large crowd of APC youth supporters displaying all sort of aerobics on motorcycles entertaining on lookers and passers by when the results were announced.
The popular Maiduguri road was occupied by youths even as the residence of the Senator witnessed the assembly of party faithful and well wishers singing sai Baba Buhari! sai Alu! Nigeria sai mai gaskiya! Adams Oshiomole ya biya! Tinubu mazan kwarai!
” Nigeria is for Buhari, the truthful, man if integrity. Sokoto is for Alu, Oshiomole has done excellently well and fulfilled his mandate! Tinubu a reliable and dependable politician.”
Political slogans, music and dance rented the air and took over the area all through like the usual sallah festivity or a cultural carnival.
Similar activities were witnessed in various areas across the state capital. U/ Rogo, Kan Wuri area at the Sultan’s palace, G/Igwai, Kasarawa, Old airport area, Gobirawa, More area, T/Wada areaand many others took turn to jubilate the victory of APC which returned the President, 3 senators and 9 representatives.
Our correspondent gathered that, a staunch APC supporter in Mabera area, Sokoto, slaughtered a cow, fried and shared with drinks to people to celebrate President Buhari’s victory and elected National Assembly lawmakers in Sokoto.
It was further learnt that, some members of the opposition PDP were not left out of the show as many were sighted sharing in the gesture that attracted both women, youth, children and men in the area and beyond.
Besides, the polls were adjudged the most peaceful, transparent and credible by both local and international observers who monitored the exercise despite a few challenges.
” We are quite appreciative of the arrangements that led to the success of the polls organised by INEC. So far, there was no tension, fears nor skirmishes as compared to previous experiences of 2011 and 2015 electioneering processes where Nigerians were tensed, apprehensive and put in suspicion and confusion with large scale of them leaving their places of residence to their land of origin for the fear of the unknown.
” We recall that most easterners and alleged minority Nigerians left parts of the north where their business and even birth places were. Similar exodus trailed the decision of northerners in the east who also moved to the north following threats by those in the region”, a member of a domestic observer group during the 2019 polls said under anonymity.
Accordingly, the observer group member added” So far, I have not experienced a free, fair and credible elections devoid of tension and attacks with minimal challenges as the 2019 polls. There has been no after polls chaos, mayhem nor any such negative misgivings from Nigerians. We are forging ahead democratically”, he pointed out.
Hajiya Inno Mai kosai who fries bean cake” akara” at Sabaru area in Sokoto told our correspondent that” I thank God for making it possible for me and my family members to have witness this election peacefully without tension nor attacks. Every where is calm. Even the usual celebration of victory was done without provoking those who lost out unlike previous experiences. I have my people in other parts of the country who called to tell me that they were alright no tension nor fears. No attacks visited on them.
” But to my suprised, when I heard our former Military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar on BBC Hausa service saying there is tension in the country, I began to wonder where and why the remark?”
” I thought he is the chairman, peace accord committee who should be mediating based on reports and outcome of observers and elections monitoring teams as well what Nigerians experienced after the polls. I am shocked “, said the over 65 year old woman.
However, a domestic coalition of observer groups who monitored the polls in Sokoto led by Mrs Grace Okonkwo of the Youth Initiative for Better Nigeria had shortly after the exercise, described it as free, fair and credible without palpable tension as envisaged.
” Except in a few cases where there were little security breaches at some PUs. We are making progress democratically as a nation. INEC has done well. We are happy that at the end of it all, no rancour, no cases of after elections violence nor high tempers both from the winning and loosing parties”, She noted.
Okonkwo further expressed hopes that next lap of elections on 9th March would have taken care of the few challenges ” INEC, security agencies and political actors and their should step up to ensure a peaceful, violent free and successful exercise”, appealed the leader.