Protesters storm INEC collation centre in Abuja to demand the president they voted for

Protesters march at Alausa Secretariat in Ikeja, Lagos State, in October 2020. Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The premises of the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, serving as the National Collation Centre (NCC) for last Saturday’s presidential election, were invaded on Tuesday morning by angry protesters demanding the electronic transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The protesters who camped at Emeka Anyaoku street, very close to the ICC, while expressing their dissatisfaction over the failure of the commission to upload election results on its portal since Saturday, despite its promise that the procedure would form a critical part of the electoral process, insisted the process had been compromised.

Ilemona Onoja, one of the protesters, told reporters: “We came out on the 25th of February to cast our votes for our preferred candidates. We were told that a process was going to be followed. This process involves accreditation, voting, and our ballots will be counted.

“After it has been counted, it will be transmitted directly to a central server. And that on the day of the election, at the national collation centre, that central server will be displayed, and we will be able to follow the results.

“Now, all we are saying is, we don’t mind if our preferred candidate loses, just give us a transparent and open process. Let us be able to see the results. INEC promised us they will follow a certain procedure, we are asking them to follow it.”

Lillian Kozau, another protester, who called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow his image and legacy to be destroyed by INEC, said: “INEC assured us that it would be a transparent process. They assured us of a transparent process and that the BVAS would be used, which is supposed to be an electronic process.

“Yet, after three days, 23 states still need to be uploaded. Why? Does this mean we will be doing this for one week?

“Why will a result be deleted from a platform after it has been uploaded? What are they up to? All we asked for was a transparent process. We just wanted whoever we voted for to emerge as the President of this country. We just wanted hope; we just wanted things to work. We are not asking for too much.

“We are not violent. Nobody is holding any weapon. We are just trying to make our voices heard. Please, our president should call INEC chairman to order. Eight years have passed, and we don’t care what happened. We are looking to the future. Buhari should not let his legacy be tarnished. Let them follow due process. Whosoever we have voted for should be announced as the President of the country. Let things be done rightly.” (Whirlwindnews)

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