By Progress Godfrey, Abuja
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to review results emerging from Saturday’s General Election.
Executive Director, Centre for Accountability and Inclusive Development (CAAID), Ms Aanu’ Rotimi, who spoke for the coalition of 20 CSOs made this call in Abuja on Thursday, explaining that the commission did not adhere to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
Ms Rotimi said findings from 321 observers deployed by CAAID and its partners, revealed that in majority of the polling units observed in 22 states (including Nigeria’s capital city Abuja), the election process commenced late, which INEC Team attributed to “difficulty in sorting and transportation of sensitive materials.” This, she said, caused many voters to go home, “and did not return.”
She, however, expressed worries that INEC’s failure in following the electoral guidelines dampens the credibility of the outcome of the general election.
She, therefore, urged Nigerians to remain calm and channel their grievances to the court of law, to avert social unrest.
She said, “The inability of INEC to strictly adhere to the Electoral Act and Election Guidelines is an anti-climax and has cast a shade of doubt on the credibility of the outcome of the Presidential results. This has created an atmosphere of uncertainty and tension across the Country. As of (1st March. 2023), the IReV showed only 149,897 out of the expected 176,606 results had been uploaded. The failure of INEC to convincingly communicate the cause of the glitches that led to its inability to upload results immediately after the elections at PUs has further raised the suspicion of Stakeholders.
“All aggrieved Nigerians should remain calm and channel their dissatisfaction through the legal process and avoid actions that will ignite social unrest.
“INEC, in line with the Electoral Act, should ensure that all polling unit results are immediately uploaded on the IReV portal.”
“The Commission should initiate the review of the results to verify the allegations of compromise of the integrity of the process.”
Ms Rotimi urged INEC to fix its recurring logistics problems.
Furthermore, she commended Nigerians for coming out to exercise their franchise.
Meanwhile, the coalition congratulated the President-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on his victory at the polls and presentation of certificate of return to him, by INEC, on the 1st of March, 2023.
Lending her voice, the Executive Director, Initiative for Africa Society Inclusion and Diversity for Development, Ms Okayinka Akeredolu-Martins, called on INEC to douse the tension among citizens by explaining what went wrong; why results were uploaded late.
She also called on the commission to get it right during the Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly Elections on March 11.