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PDP, LP demand fresh election, want INEC chair to step down

PDP, LP demand fresh election, want INEC chair to step down
February 28
13:25 2023

The Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have asked Yakubu Mahmood to resign as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The parties also demanded that the presidential election be conducted afresh.

Iyorchia Ayu, Julius Abure, and Ralph Nwosu — national chairpersons of PDP, LP, and Action Democratic Party (ADC) — spoke at a press conference held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

“We monitored with dismay the travesty to democracy that was exhibited at the National Collation Centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It is, to say the least, a rape of democracy,” the parties said.


“The conduct of the February 25, 2023 election has been marred by widespread violence, rigging, intimidation of voters, doctoring of the results, and violation of the laid down electoral process which was communicated by the national electoral body, INEC.

“INEC had announced a process which would require the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for accreditation and voting and that all election results would be electronically transmitted from polling units to INEC Servers.

“The above process, published repeatedly, announced, and agreed with INEC by all political parties was not followed, thereby leaving room for manipulation of the results after Nigerians had voted.


“The results announced by INEC so far show monumental disparities between the actual results reported by Labour Party agents, our party members, and indeed millions of Nigerians, on election day from the polling units.

“We have also listened to the arguments made by collation officers of the different political parties.

“The crux of the matter is the deliberate refusal of the INEC chairman, professor Mahmood Yakubu as the national returning officer for the presidential election to respond to the demand of political parties for the commission to respect the pre-existing regulations that result of this election shall be uploaded on the INEC server through the bio-modal voter accreditation system technology.

“The refusal of INEC to comply with the laid down, published, and agreed process for the conduct of the election has compromised the integrity and credibility of the entire presidential election.


“We also note that on February 25, 2023, the day of the election, millions of Nigerians were left in utter doubt and disappointment at polling units as INEC officials across the country refused to electronically transmit the results to the INEC server as was expected by all stakeholders in this election.

“In cases where they tried to upload the results, INEC officials assigned to polling units could not do so. In some cases, they revealed that they had directives from their superiors to not upload the results. In some cases, they said that the password for them to access the INEC server had been changed.

“We also recall that the initial explanation by INEC for the delay was on account of glitches on the INEC server.

“Neither did INEC explain to the nation what the nature of those glitches was nor did the commission avail the country or even agents at the polling units that it will not be uploading the results generated at the polling units to the server when it resolves those glitches.


“We are, therefore, constrained on this development to state that INEC compromised the integrity of this election even before collation began at the PUs.

The parties said the “election is not free and far from being fair or transparent”.


They said there is ongoing “extensive cancellation of results all over the country, especially in the areas of strength of the opposition parties to shore up the numbers of the ruling APC”.

“We have, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that the presidential election of Saturday, February 25, 2023, conducted by INEC has been irretrievably compromised and, we have totally lost faith in the entire process,” they said.


“The Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party shall not be part of the process currently going on at the national collation centre, and we demand that this sham of an election should be immediately cancelled.

“We also call for a fresh election should be carried out within the window allowed by the Electoral Act and in accordance with the laid down INEC procedure for the conduct of the 2023 Elections.


“We similarly call on the international community to note that the results being declared at the National Collation centre have been heavily doctored and manipulated and do not reflect the wishes of Nigerians expressed at the polls on February 25, 2023.

“We also wish to declare a vote of no confidence on the INEC chairman, professor Yakubu Mahmood. By his conduct and reaction to the complaints of disenfranchised political parties, we believe that he lacks the integrity and moral standing to continue to oversee this process to a conclusion.

“We are, therefore, calling for professor Yakubu to step aside from his role as INEC chairman and for a credible personality from outside the commission to take his place and see this process to a conclusion that would be acceptable to all stakeholders and would restore the confidence of the international community in our democratic process and institutions.”

The parties asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “stand by his promise to Nigerians to bequeath a legacy of free, fair, and transparent elections to the country.”

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