Monday, March 20, 2023



The newspaper stand: Re-run election tales and Obi’s political structure

The newspaper stand: Re-run election tales and Obi’s political structure
January 29
13:30 2023

Despite the fuel scarcity and the rush for the new naira notes, some “political analysts” still found time to gather at a newspaper stand in Agege LGA in Lagos state to dissect the issues around the forthcoming presidential election and other sundry matters.

You’d wonder: with the happenings across the country and everyone seems to be panicky, how have these set of people been able to find rays of hope in the early morning of Friday to pontificate on what many have considered a watershed in the political circle of the most populous black nation on earth?

Whether it is as a result of patriotism, nationalism, unemployment or sheer culture, it is hard to say. But the bone of contention that dominated the discussions at this newspaper stand was the possibility of a rerun in the next election, factors that may lead to it and the percentage of votes that the top candidates will able to pull.

In the heat of the rancorous debate, a fair-skinned long-legged man with trembling but passionate eyes caught everyone’s attention with his presentation.


He said: “Look at me, Tinubu will never see 25 percent in every state. For south-east and south-west, he will struggle for 25 percent but he won’t see it. Obi will get 25 percent in the south-east and south-west. For north, that is where the problem lies.” He spoke boldly almost losing his breath, yet he couldn’t stop himself.

“But Abubakar Atiku, there is no state he won’t get 25 percent,” the fair-skinned man almost concluded before he was asked a question from another engrossed listener. “What about the five governors that left the party? Without them, will he be able to get the 25 percent?” the man asked.

“Atiku will win the 25 percent without them,” the fair-skinned man retorted. “Someone like Ortom, what influence do you think he has in Benue?”


Another man with a high-pitched voice, who was almost standing on his toes to contribute to the discussion said, “Out of 11 states, Tinubu will most likely get 25 percent in three states. How do you expect him to win the election?” he asked rhetorically to second the tall speaker.

For clarity, by 11 states, we assume the high-pitched man was referring to the six states in the south-south and the five states in the south-east. With mesmerising assurance, the man told the engrossed crowd that “Tinubu cannot get the needed 25 percent in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo or Enugu or Anambra”. He stopped abruptly as if wanting the effect of his eloquence to drown the crowd.

For context, the crucial issue of numbers or percentages in the February 25 election as dissected by our ever-conscious comrades is relevant to the eventual emergence of a winner, whether at the first ballot or second, when you consider the position of the constitution in section 134 (2).

“A candidate for an election to the office of president shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election, he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and he has not less than one-quarter (25 percent) of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds (18) of all the states in the federation and the federal capital territory, Abuja,” the constitution states. 


Section 134 (3) simply says: “….there shall be a second election”; that is if a candidate fails to meet the provision highlighted in the section above. 

Just so you know, there has never been a conclusion to political arguments or discussions at any of these newspaper stands.



So, away from the rerun permutations, another group quickly became the darling of our itching ear, when they started discussing the importance of structure in a national election and how it is Peter Obi’s “stumbling block.”

“Obi is a movement but he will not win because we are talking of structure. And the structure is a very important thing,” Chris, a well-dressed man, probably in his late forties, said. He was dressed in a blue polo shirt, faded deep-blue jeans and leather sneakers with white soles. 


Chris’ analysis soon gained momentum and magnetised more people. One of the persons is Taiwo, a roughly dressed man, with a multicoloured head warmer almost covering his askew face. Taiwo was swift to jump into the conversation with his idea of whom he thinks will win the election.

“People are supporting Atiku very well and I think he will win,” he said, but rapidly continued, “Obi is a movement, the way Atiku is a movement but the structure. PDP and Atiku have structure, and APC has structure. Come to Lagos here, Obi’s Labour, where are they? Is it the local governments that can vouch for you here?” he asked.


“We are not talking about the social media structure. Not that Obi is not the right person but the structure that can fight for him is not there. Do you have followers? It is not even Obi alone, even Kwankwaso, those are the things that won’t make them win,” Chris added his thought, and it appeared as though there was some sort of preconceived agreement between the two strangers.



No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment