.You’re a mischievous hypocrite, Tinubu blasts former President
.Stop further announcement of manipulated results –PDP, Labour Party
.INEC official shot dead, Corps member injured in Delta
.’Don’t hold us responsible if Nigerians take to the street’
.Party agents stage walk out, accuse INEC of compromise
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has raised the alarm that danger is lurking around the country over the alleged compromise of the ongoing election process.
Obasanjo appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to prevail on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, to stop the process and rectify the allegations raised against it from many quarters.
The presidential and National Assembly elections were held on Saturday and the collation of results was being done at the National Collation Centre in Abuja.
The Peoples Democratic Party and Labour Party have kicked against the process, describing it as compromised.
A former senator from Kogi West, Dino Melaye, and other party representatives walked out of the centre after raising issues bordering on irregularities in the process of the election.
Obasanjo in a personally signed letter titled, “An appeal for caution and rectification,” released on Monday, said some politicians had compromised some electoral officials to make the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines not to work.
He said, “I am constrained to speak at this point. I crave the indulgence of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency General Muhammadu Buhari, to make this statement because I have had opportunity to keep him aware of what I know is happening and the danger looming ahead.
“On many occasions in the past, I have not hesitated to point out lacuna in the action of the President and his government. But as far as the election issues are concerned, the President has proved beyond
reasonable doubt that he will want to leave a legacy of free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
“Until last Saturday night, February 25, 2023, the good and noble plan and preparation for the elections seemed to be going well. For the Independent National Electoral Commission, a lot of money was spent to introduce Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), and the server for immediate transmission of results from polling units. It is no secret that INEC officials, at operational levels, have been allegedly compromised to make what should have worked not to work and to revert to manual transmission of results which is manipulated and the results doctored.
“The Chairman of INEC may claim ignorance but he cannot fold his hands and do nothing when he knows that election process has been corrupted and most of the results that are brought outside BVAS and server are not a true reflection of the will of Nigerians who have made their individual choice. At this stage, we do not need wittingly or unwittingly to set this country on fire with the greed, irresponsibility and unpatriotic act of those who allegedly gave money to INEC officials for perversion and those who collected the blood money.
“Let me appeal to the Chairman of INEC, if his hands are clean, to save Nigeria from the looming danger and disaster which is just waiting to happen. If the Chairman can postpone elections four days to the election, he can do everything to rectify the errors of the last two days – no BVAS, no result to be acceptable; and no uploading through Server, no result to be acceptable.
“Whereas, BVAS and Servers have been manipulated or rendered inactive, such results must be declared void and inadmissible for election declaration. Chairman INEC, I have thought that you would use this wonderful opportunity to mend your reputation and character for posterity.
“Your Excellency, President Buhari Muhammadu, tension is building up and please let all elections that do not pass the credibility and transparency test be cancelled and be brought back with areas where elections were disrupted for next Saturday, March 4, 2023, and BVAS and Server officials be changed. To know which stations or polling units were manipulated, let a committee of INEC staff and representatives of the four major political parties with the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association look into what must be done to have hitch-free elections next Saturday.
“Mr. President, may your plan and hope for leaving a legacy of free, fair, transparent and credible election be realised. Mr. President, please don’t let anybody say to you that it does not matter or it is the problem of INEC. On no account should you be seen as part of the collusion or compromise. When the die is cast, it will be your problem as the Chief Executive of the nation. The Chairman of INEC may sneak out of the country or go back to his Ivory Tower. Your Excellency, thank you for hearing me out.
“Compatriot Nigerians, please exercise patience until the wrong is righted. I strongly believe that nobody will toy with the future and fortune of Nigeria at this juncture.”
However, the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) has reacted to the call by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s call for cancellation of the ongoing presidential elections, calling him mischievous and a hypocrite.
In a statement signed by Dele Alake, Special Advised(Media) APC Presidential Campaign Committee, the ruling party said Obasanjo’s statement is based on rumours, rather than any credible evidence.
The statement reads:OBASANJO’s MISCHIEF AND HYPOCRISY ON DISPLAY AGAIN
Our attention has been drawn to a press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he was virtually calling for a truncation of the ongoing electoral process and a cancellation of already conducted elections on the basis of frivolous, unfounded and baseless allegations by politicians who are sore losers and have no respect for democratic values.
Obasanjo repeated without the slightest iota of evidence rumours he had picked up that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System had been compromised and that the results of elections being announced are fraudulent.
It is tragic that a former President who ought to be a statesman in comportment and speech will recklessly seek to endanger and derail our democratic process for utterly selfish, egoistic and malicious reasons. He offers not a single credible piece of evidence to prove his laughable and ridiculous allegations against INEC and the credibility of the ongoing process.
Of course, we are all aware that Obasanjo is not an impartial and disinterested party as far as this election is concerned.
On January 1, 2023, he had issued a characteristically lengthy epistle to Nigerians endorsing the candidacy of Mr Peter Obi and asking Nigerian youths to vote en masse for him. Of course our reaction was that the former President was entitled to his view and that the outcome of the elections would demonstrate if he had any electoral value.
As fate would have it, Peter Obi was defeated even in Obasanjo’s own polling unit in Abeokuta in Ogun State. But it is now obvious that the only election Obasanjo will agree to being free, fair and credible is one that produces Obi as winner which is ridiculous.
Is Obasanjo also querying the outcome of the presidential elections in Lagos or Delta where Obi won? If the outcome in Lagos won by Obi is free and credible, on what basis is he querying the outcome of the elections in other places?
This is pure mischief and sheer hypocrisy. Obasanjo wants President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in an undemocratic manner to truncate the ongoing political process just the way he did most shamelessness in the 2003 and 2007 elections widely described as the worst in our political history. Luckily, President Buhari is made of finer and more principled democratic stuff. He will not allow Obasanjo to lure him into tainting his democratic credentials in this regard.
We recall that in his last trip to the United States, President Joe Biden praised Buhari ‘s commitment to democratic values and principles. Obasanjo has no such record to be applauded. The world has not forgotten his fraudulent and undemocratic attempt at a third term agenda in violation of the letter and spirit of the Nigerian constitution.
This is an election in which ASIWAJU Tinubu, for instance, has lost in Lagos state in his South West region while Atiku and Obi have also won elections outside their own regional bases.
No true democrat must seek an abortion of the process just because he believes the elections are not going his way. What Obasanjo is subtly calling for in his nefarious statement is a coup against democracy and the constitution.
He should be roundly condemned and severely ignored. The constitution has stipulated processes for seeking redress against electoral malpractices in the past and these have been tested several times and used to redress electoral injustice where such has been proven. Nigerians must reject Obasanjo’s dubious and hypocritical advice and stay strictly and firmly on the path of constitutionalism and democratic due process.
.Stop further announcement of manipulated results –PDP, Labour Party
However, both the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and the Labour Party has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt further announcement of the manipulated results of last Saturday’s presidential election.
The party also warned the electoral commission not to push Nigerians to the war.
Addressing the media Monday in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP,
Gentlemen of the Press, we have called you to update you on our observations and concerns on the ongoing collation of results of the February 25, 2023 Presidential election by Debo Ologunagba said, “It is very clear from the votes as cast at the Polling Units across the country, that the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar substantially defeated the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in line with the expressed aspiration and Will of Nigerians.
“However, it is alarming that INEC is aiding and abetting the rigging and manipulation of the election results in favour of the APC by flagrant and provocative violation of the express provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 by refusing and neglecting to transmit directly the results of the elections from the Polling Unit to the INEC Server/Website as required by law.
“For clarity, Section 64 (4) (b) of the Electoral Act, 2022 specifically provide thus:
“A collation officer or returning officer at an election shall collate and announce the result of an election subject to his or her verification and confirmation that the –
(b) “votes stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the votes or results recorded and transmitted directly from Polling Units under Section (60) (4) of this Act”.
“Consequent on the above Section 60 (4) of the Electoral Act 2022, any result announced by INEC is ultra vires, illegal, and of no consequence unless they are results already transmitted DIRECTLY from the Polling Units. So procedurally, INEC cannot continue to announce results that are yet to be transmitted as expressly stated in the relevant Sections of the Electoral Act.
“The integrity of this election has been compromised and vitiated by the admission of INEC officials that there was a technical glitch in the midst of the election which affected the effective functioning of the BVAS machines.
“Furthermore, the Integrity of the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is at stake having regard to his multiple representation and assurances to Nigerians and the International Community that the Electoral Act 2022, is a game changer that will guarantee a free, fair and transparent electoral process especially as it relates to the direct transmission of election results from Polling Units at all elections.
“It is therefore curious that the INEC Chairman will insist on proceeding with the announcement of election results which are not transmitted directly from the Polling Units to the INEC Server/Website as required by the Electoral Act.
“Information at our disposal indicates that INEC deliberately refused to commence the process of announcement of results more than 48 hours after the close of election and collation of results from the various Polling Units, which result by law was expected to be transmitted directly into INEC Server/Website as provided for under Section 68 of the Electoral Act 2022.
“This deliberate delay and criminal connivance by INEC provided the opportunity for the reported compromise, alteration, falsification and switching of election results in favour of the APC in Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Ondo, Ekiti, Kebbi, Ogun and other States where our candidate was in clear lead.
“The PDP therefore rejects the manipulated election results as announced by INEC.”
The Party however cautions that INEC is pushing Nigerians to the wall by announcing manipulated results.
“We are aware that INEC embarked on extensive and illegal cancellation of election results in many States of the country. For instance, in Sokoto State over 200 Polling Units results where the PDP is in clear lead have also been canceled thereby disenfranchising over 200,000 registered voters.
“The PDP on behalf of Nigerians and in the interest of national peace, demands that INEC halts further announcement of manipulated results and immediately transit the authentic elections results from the Polling Units directly its Server/Website as required by law before continuation of announcement of results.
“INEC should know that our Party, majority of informed Nigerians as well as International Election Observers already have the results of votes as cast at the Polling Units across the country. Our agents have been at alert and we have all the results in our data base.
“The PDP will not hesitate to make public the election results as cast at the Polling Units if that becomes necessary.”
Similarly the Labour Party has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to suspend further announcement of the results emanating from last Saturday presidential election.
Labour party said it has lost confidence in the results being collated and being announced and that it is convinced that the processes leading to the results have been severely compromised.
In a briefing in Abuja, the Director General of the ObiDatti Campaign Organisation, Prof. Akin Osuntokun that though President Buhari promised Nigerians free and fair elections with the passage of the new Electoral Act and indeed has repeated this promise multiple times, yet, none of the promises, including that of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu were kept.
He said, “What has become glaring is that none of these promises have been kept. All the promises made about deploying a fail-safe system anchored on BVAS were broken.
“The internet and social media is awash with videos and photographic evidences of the pervasive violence and attacks that were visited on Nigerians with some attacks still on-going across the country as we speak.
“The evidence of collusion between INEC and the security forces to subvert the will of the people are too numerous to be detailed here.
“The INEC guidelines on the conduct of the elections were extensively breached and INEC has evidently been very reluctant to make the necessary adjustment to remedy the situation.
“Contrary to the publicly advertised guidelines for the conduct of the elections, we are convinced that the
processes leading to the results have been severely compromised. Consequently, we regret to state that we
have lost confidence in the results being collated and being announced.
“Nigerians have inundated us with calls and protests over INEC’s non-compliance with provisions of the electoral guidelines and the obvious manipulations of the election results.
“We hereby call on INEC to suspend further announcement of the results, and follow its own guidelines or completely cancel the entire election and make plans for another election with strict compliance with the stipulated laws and guidelines.
“We ask the international community to walk their talk in Nigeria, and cease to condone the multiple evils being perpetrated in our country by the rulers of Nigeria. There cannot be one standard for Nigeria, and another for the rest of the world.
“We thank Nigerians for their support for our candidates, and we assure you all that your mandate shall not be surrendered to a desperate gaggle of failed rulers, who have brought nothing but ruination on our dear country.”
Earlier, the Director Media, Obidatti Campaign Organisation, Diran Onifade warned that in the likelihood that Nigerians take to the street in protest of the election robbery, no one should the party responsible.
He said that Nigerians have been taken for granted for long and it was not the task of the party to assuage peoples feelings.
He said, “From all across the country, millions of Nigerians eager for a new order, trooped out to the polling booths, hopeful in the promise of INEC and the Federal Government, that a responsible and credible process, will be ensured, through a level playing field.
“After careful consideration of field reports from locations around the country, we have on record, hard video, documentary and first hand evidences of criminal conspiracies, tricks and irregularities by some INEC and security officials on one side, and also vicious attacks by political thugs, as well as clear evidence of inducement by politicians, one of whom was caught with half a million dollars in cash.
“In the light of the above, the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council is of the firm conviction, that the processes and practices as carried on by INEC, and as permitted by some security agencies, do not in the most reasonable minimum, meet the required standards of credibility and were not fundamentally, free and fair.
“On the basis of these anomalies, the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation hereby states that the conduct of the elections of 25th February 2023, including the ongoing charade of declaration of ‘results’ in the states and in Abuja are unacceptable, and we hereby demand unequivocally, for the suspension of all processes, until these recorded cases of compromise, illegality and criminality are justifiably resolved.”
INEC Official Shot Dead, Corps Member Injured In Delta
An official of the Independent Electoral Commission INEC has reportedly been shot dead while some corps members sustained degrees of injuries in Delta State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Delta State, Mr. Monday Tom, confirmed this to journalists on Monday shortly after the result of Ukwani Local Government Area was taken.
He said, “There were incidents of attack in Ukwani Local Government Area where one of us died on their way coming after the election.
“The gunmen opened fire at their bus and unfortunately killed one and injured the corps members.
“The corpers are now receiving treatment but we are planning how to move the corps members who were injured to a hospital in Asaba”
Meanwhile, 14 local governments have so far been officially announced by the INEC with LP winning in 10 while the PDP won in four.
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