Many football supporters in Nigeria took to social media on Sunday and Monday to share funny posts and memes about Manchester United’s match loss to Liverpool, using outcomes from the country’s February 25 presidential elections that produced results that many disagree with.
The posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ridiculed the country’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission or INEC, asking it to announce Manchester United as match winners over Liverpool.
This is because several people in the country believe INEC rigged and compromised the results of the recently held presidential elections and can do the same for Manchester United if given an opportunity.
The English Premier League match, in which Liverpool won seven goals to nil, had the original scores altered in the posts. Manchester United was credited with more ahead of Liverpool in the posts. People who made the posts also asked those who disagreed with the new scores, including Liverpool, to go to court and challenge the results.
Nigeria’s presidential election in February produced a former governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress or APC, as the winner in a process many argue was rigged and lacked transparency.
Tinubu contested against 17 candidates from other political parties. His main opponents were former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party or PDP, and Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State, from the Labour Party or LP.
Before the election, INEC gave Nigerians assurances that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, or BVAS, would be used to electronically transmit results on election day from polling units to the commission’s result viewing portal or iREV to prevent multiple voting or the manipulation of results that comes with manual transmission.
But the electoral body failed to keep to its word. Hundreds of thousands of people could not be accredited to vote due to BVAS malfunctions, and only 45,739 out of 176,848 polling units’ results had been uploaded on IReV by 7:50 pm on Sunday, February 26.
Even after some of the results were uploaded, voters complained that the results from their polling units differed from what was uploaded on the portal by INEC. Some of the results had alterations, and in some cases, the figures on the result sheets did not add up correctly.
When Nigerians and party officials from the PDP and LP expressed dissatisfaction with the process and results, INEC, through its chairman, Mahmood Yabuku, urged them to contest the outcomes in court.
And without addressing the discrepancies, the body announced the APC’s Tinubu as the presidential election winner.
Four days after Tinubu was declared the winner and more than a week after the poll, Nigerians have not stopped making fun of the electoral process and INEC.
When Liverpool defeated Manchester United, some altered the scores to reflect greater scores for Manchester United and referred to the revised numbers as “INEC’s results.”
Goals from Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino, secured three points on Saturday for Liverpool, who are currently in fifth position on the EPL table.
The sarcasm from citizens should tell INEC that Nigerians have lost confidence in the commission. The commission must, therefore, redeem its image with subsequent elections, beginning with the March 11 gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections.