The Vice Presidential candidates of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, have added their voices to the growing demand for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pause the collation and announcements of results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections held last Saturday.
According to them the demand had become necessary because the election process had been compromised hence the INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu and his management team had to halt further actions in the collation of the Presidential election results because of the noticeable lapses in the conduct of the election and disputed results therein.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, Okowa called on the Chairman to take the window of opportunity provided him by the Provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, the INEC Guidelines and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to remedy the situation the Commission had found itself at the moment.
According to the incumbent Governor of Delta state, “INEC Chairman fought fiercely for the introduction of technology to conduct elections in Nigeria and people like us, when we were in the National Assembly, supported him by passing the necessary legislation.
“Now he has both moral and constitutional rights to remedy what has gone wrong with the election”.
Okowa said he believed the INEC Chairman was protected under the law to review the election process and procedures and advised him to listen to the calls by the political parties and eminent Nigerians to save the country from political crisis.
“INEC Chairman is aware that Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022; the INEC Guidelines and Nigerian Constitution empower him to review the process and procedures of this election. This is what our parties are demanding.“
Also speaking at the event, Baba-Ahmed berated the Commission for boasting that they were capable of delivering of a free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria using the the technological devices like Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Results Viewing Portals (iREV) but failed the nation when it mattered most.
Said he: “INEC was busy praising itself that it has perfected the use of BVAS to conduct elections, but it turned that they are using what they don’t know how to operate it. They us that we will view the results realtime and the results of the election uploaded from the Polling Units but it was not to be as till today INEC is unable to upload the Presidential election held four days ago”.
The Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate accused the Commission of compromise, saying that the era of impunity is gone in Nigeria, pointing out that “”there are those who believe that they can buy Nigeria with their stupendous wealth hence they can seat in Eagle Square to disgrace the nation’s Number One, Number Two and Number Three citizens by buying over state Governors during their primary elections.”