This year is running fast. And our politicians dare not take things for granted. They are not leaving anything to chance either. This is Nigeria in election year.

The astute among these politicians are busy, wisely counting their votes. They are the fast thinkers in our midst. They are doing the counting with all the shrewdness in them.

To this absurd species, voting ended long ago, unknown to the rest of us lesser mortals. For the time the strange voting lasted, it never suffered any hitch.

Unlike previous exercises, no voting machine broke down. There was no ballot box snatching; no shooting at the polling booths. Things just moved smoothly to the greatest delight of the creative masterminds of this new voting system. 

Soon they will be heading to the INEC collating centre, headed by Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari. They cast the votes themselves and that makes it extremely easy for them to count. They do it without hassle. And they enjoy every bit of it.

Strange? Surprised? A quick but brief recap of the 1983 general election will bring back your flitting memory. As it was then, so it is now. Only the characters changed. But they share a lot of huge similarities.

Alhaji Umaru Dikko, still remember him, even in death? Let us refresh our forgetfulness. He was the director-general of the then ruling National Party of Nigeria’s Presidential Campaign Organisation in 1983.

He was many things to ex-President Shehu Shagari. As his powerful and influential Minister of Transport, he was also the chairman of that notorious Presidential Rice Committee. That was where Shagari’s re-election was largely and heavily funded.

The NPN campaign organisation was ignominious to be the largest and most flamboyant at that time. Dikko boastfully promised us a landslide victory for NPN, long before the elections. And he “delivered” with striking precision.

We knew very well, he did not rely on the votes cast at the elections. No. He got the victory from the votes cast long before the actual polls.

He was arrogant and uncouth in his actions and inactions, before, during and after the election. He even told us then that there was no poverty and hunger in the land. His reason: He had no seen any Nigerian eating from the dustbin.

He was everywhere, more visible than Shagari. He was in a world of his own fantasies. After the elections, he saw the future and vowed that NPN would record a  “moonslide” victory in 1987. He was never allowed to redeem that vow.

The Buhari/Idiagbon military junta kicked them out on December 31, 1983. Dikko fled to London, UK. To show how disgusting he was to the “khaki boys,” they attempted smuggling him back home in a crate. The rest is now history.

As it was in 1983, so it is now in 2019. It is happening with great frequency right at our doorstep. We cannot pretend not to know and/or care. The evidence is too glaring. We insist, they are counting their votes. This is the unarguable proof.

Samplers: The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) started its vote-counting for the presidential election on October 7, 2018. Four clear months before we are to vote on February 16, 2019.

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It boasted that President Muhammadu Buhari polled 14.8 million votes at its convention that day in Abuja. That gave him the re-election ticket. That was a convention that only 7,000 delegates attended.

Since that vote-counting kicked off, there has been no stopping APC. Its do-gooders, sycophants, hobnobbers, cohorts, boothlickers, idolaters, parasites, et al, are taking it to the next level from there. They are falling over themselves, scrambling for attention. They are doing it with gross ignominy and disrepute.

Miyeti Allah, a Fulani cattle herders’ association, instantly fell for it. It bought into the vote-counting exercise. It promised on December 28, 2018, to “mobilise” 20 million votes for Buhari. Lest I forget, months before the APC officially did the kick-off, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State flew the kite. He swore to deliver five million votes to Buhari. That was in May 2018.

Shortly after, video of under-age voting in Kano during the 2016 council elections went viral. All attempts to erase that from our memory met a brickwall.

Oyo State was also caught up in the web. Hausa and Fulani resident in the Oke-Ogun area of the state brought their own 700,000 votes to the APC counting centre. Their votes were delivered by one Amina Abdullahi in Iseyin.

The biggest haul came from Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd), former governor of Lagos State. Presently, he holds two key positions in trust for Buhari, namely: Chairman, Central Working Committee of the Women/Youth Presidential Campaign of the APC; and Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA). Whatever that means.

Marwa generously dropped 60 millions votes in the kitty for Buhari. He argued: “Women and youths form appropriately 80 per cent of our voting population. Our aim is to target this group.”

Perhaps, that gave the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, the audacity to do what Dikko did to us in 1983. He was uncanny in his haughty pronouncement the other day in Kaltungo, Gombe State.

He was sure of what he was vomiting. He believed that APC has already won the 2019 elections, and he said so in clear terms: “We are only waiting for the announcement of the results.”

Gbam! The deed is done, signed and sealed. That perhaps made chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to raise the alarm. He merely cried over spoilt milk. It was belated, all the same graphical: “We have received credible information that some partisan actors are now going round buying up PVCs from voters or financially inducing them to collect the VINs on their PVCs. In some instances, telephone numbers and details of bank accounts of voters have been collected.”

That did not stop the counting. These politicians do not care a hoot. They are not done yet. They are still counting their votes unabated.

Add up all these votes already in safekeeping, you get a staggering 99.7 million votes for Buhari. Isn’t that amazing? This victory before election is not “moonslide.” It can’t be earthquake. It is certainly more than all these combined. Only a tsunami can come near it.

Where do we go from here? We are confused. We are lost. We cannot reconcile this figure with INEC’s. The commission innocently told us it has “only 84.2 million voters on its register.

But the APC and its legion of cronies have put a big lie to that. Their figure of 99.7 million votes is at loggerheads with INEC’s. They have turned our thinking and thoughts upside down.

The beginning of rigging is the fear of wisdom. All corrupt (correct) sir!