Following the conduct of Saturday’s election, the national chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ralph Okey Nwosu has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to follow the path of honour by maintaining their policy of continuous improvement of the nation’s electoral system and process.
Nwosu, who made the call in a statement issued to journalists on Sunday cited the efforts of the electoral umpire and commended them for conducting the 2023 general elections under very difficult circumstances.
He however urged the body to finish well so as to help the nation heal and aid the advancement of democracy.
Nwosu, while encouraging INEC to remain neutral and unbiased in its execution of this critical election, he said, “They must not at this time collude with unpatriotic elements and self-serving politicians to compromise the integrity of the commission and our democracy.
“The scandalous flirtation between some of its ad-hoc staff and principal officers is capable of discrediting the effort of the commission, the political parties and Nigeria citizens, especially the youths who have made to ensure that our nation takes its rightful position in the comity of nations.
“It smacks of gross irresponsibility for the commission and its staff to attempt to mess with the much prized BVAS and servers despite the commitment and understanding of all stakeholders and our international friends.
“The voices that spoke so loudly and clearly cannot be allowed to be drowned by the evil machination of a few, that had put Nigeria in darkness since independence.The unfolding incidents around the many regions are simply unfortunate and near despicable,” he lamented.
According to him, the liaison between INEC and governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and some other influential persons in Imo, Edo, Delta and Lagos, almost marred the great preparation and readiness of the Commission to give Nigerians a quality election that is adjudged free, fair and credible.
“The noticeable and embarrassing irregularities appear suspicious to the citizens of Nigeria and to the many international observers who came from as far as the United States of America, EU, South Africa and other countries.
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“The political shenanigans include the stampede, hijack and destruction of electoral materials in Imo State, and crude fifth columnists’ antics of governors of Imo, Rivers, Kaduna and the managers of His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu campaign organisation.
“The youths and majority of our citizens have made so much sacrifice for this day. It behooves INEC and President Buhari to take whatever steps necessary to correct the abnormalities of today in all carry-over elections and uphold the integrity of the nation’s electoral process. After 24 years, our democracy should be making steady progress.
He continued that “residents in Rumuonhwa polling unit in Rivers State, have cried out over claims made by the INEC ad-hoc staff that they forgot the Presidential ballot papers and so they would only proceed with the National Assembly elections.
“A woman who was at the polling unit and recorded a video demanded that INEC do the right thing and not prevent them from casting their votes for their preferred candidates”.
The chairman questioned, how the electoral body can say they forgot the ballot papers when they went to the polling station to conduct the presidential election.
He alleged that “All SPOs in Obio Akpor LGA disappeared with BVAS password for uploading results, only for the CSO to Governor Wike to appear with armed policemen, shot sporadically in the air and then took away all the BVAS machines to Obio Akpor LGA Headquarters. It seemed planned in connivance with the INEC officers and Adhoc team.
“The developing third force is a collective effort and sacrifices of Nigerian youths following the tragedies of the end of SARS and cluelessness of the political elites, executive branch and legislators.
“The Nigeria youths and citizens deserve their victory and no wedge must be placed in their way,” he said.