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Cancel elections and announce date for fresh polls, NNPP tells INEC

The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has called for the immediate cancellation of the general election.

Rufa’i Alkali, the national chairperson of the NNPP, is currently addressing a press conference in Abuja.

He said the elections were characterised by voter suppression, intimidation, and vote buying.

Alkali also asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce a new date for fresh elections.

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“We are deeply concerned that going by what had happened on election day, the election umpire has taken our country back to pre-2015 era of elections where everything goes, where voters were deliberately and systematically disenfranchised, where ballot box snatching and ballot box stuffing was the norm, where voter suppression was widespread, where violence and vote-buying were the main deciding factors of the outcome of elections, where security agents openly take side with the ruling party and participate actively in rigging elections, and where people who have not participated in an election are declared winners of the election,” he said.

“For instance, in Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau who formally resigned from the NNPP, withdrew from the race, registered with the PDP, conveyed same to the party and to the INEC, is now declared by INEC as the winner of an election under the NNPP. This is the era that Nigeria’s election umpire, INEC, has unfortunately, returned our country to.

“At the NNPP, we wish to draw attention to seven fundamental observations that we believed were deliberately planned between INEC and the ruling party to compromise the election in favour of the ruling party.

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“From the beginning of the 2023 electioneering process, INEC as a commission has been displaying incomprehensible hostility towards the NNPP. From the conduct of our congresses and conventions to the conduct of our primary elections, we suffered unnecessary and unexplainable resistance and outright sabotage from INEC both at the state and national levels.

“The most disturbing one was when INEC shut our party from submitting our candidates onto their server days before the deadline. We had to go to court and secure judgment to compel INEC to accept our candidates. As if that was not enough, even after the court judgment, INEC went ahead to appeal some of the judgments. And to the best of our knowledge, we are the only political party that INEC has been appealing pre-election cases that we have won in courts.

“The most shameful of all is the refusal of INEC to use the correct and legible logo of our party on the ballot papers. The deliberate use of the illegible logo of our party on the ballot papers of the 2023 general election by INEC is very unfortunate.

“We were shocked on the election day to discover that INEC has decided to make use of the most blurred image to represent the logo of NNPP. It is even more shocking that the blurred image that INEC has put on the ballot did not include the name of our party.

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“Majority of our supporters found it difficult to identify NNPP on the ballot paper. The key representation of the NNPP logo is the basket of fruits. But on the INEC ballot papers, neither the basket nor the fruits can be identified. This did not only confuse our supporters but deliberately disenfranchised them.”

Alkali added that in the interest of fairness, INEC should suspend the collation of results and schedule another date for the polls.

“We must be aware that, no matter the situation in our country all leaders must consider the stability and security of the country as paramount. Our country is bigger than any individual and is certainly more important than any vested interest,” he said.

“To save our democracy and our country, the present election results must not be accepted by Nigerians and by all friends of Nigeria.

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“We are, therefore, calling for the immediate suspension of the announcement of results and the cancellation of the 2023 presidential election across the country. A new election should be conducted as soon as possible.”

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