The African Democratic Congress has said that the Saturday February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections were not free, fair and credible.
The AAC through its National Publicity Secretary, Femi Adeyeye, in a statement on Monday stated that the elections “failed the basic tests of integrity and transparency as the Independent National Electoral Commission together with the so-called major parties engaged in large scale vote-buying, voter intimidation, vote suppression and result manipulation as evidenced by various reports from polling units and collation centres.”
The AAC added that the lack of planning and logistical ineptitude displayed by INEC have produced the poisoned chalice the INEC chairman was serving Nigerians on national TV as election results.
The AAC while reminding Nigerians that it had warned during meetings of party leaders with the chairman of INEC, Mahmoud Yakubu, about the looming danger of not crying out for help before the elections, said they saw the contrived cash crunch crisis and fuel scarcity as clogs that would mar logistical and personnel competence of the electoral umpire.
Adeyeye further remarked that, “The non-upload of the result sheets at the (polling) unit level after voting is a breach of the Electoral Act and the INEC Guidelines made pursuant to the Act.
“Section 60 (5) of the 2022 Electoral Act empowers INEC to prescribe guidelines for the transmission of election results. Pursuant to that subsection, INEC clearly stipulated in clause 38 of its Regulations and Guidelines that election results must be transmitted electronically via the BVAS after announcement at the polling units”, he said.
Continuing, the spokesperson noted that the guidelines criminalised failure to comply with this provision.
“Section 64 (4a&b) of the Electoral Act, 2022 lends further credence to the transmission to the iRev before they are announced to Nigerians. Why is the rule being bent at this time? Our National Secretary who is also our national election collation agent has consistently raised this breach of the Electoral Act and INEC Guidelines at the National Collation Centre but the INEC chairman keeps dodging addressing these concerns.”
He noted that their party could no longer continue to sit and watch INEC continue in the illegality and perpetrate electoral injustice against the Nigerian people.
He said, “This is why we have decided to withdraw our collation agent from the charade and illegality going on at the National Collation Centre since our probing questions to the Commission have remained unanswered till this minute.”
The AAC maintained that it be put on record that as a party, it would not support any illegality, even when it’s done against the party’s contenders, and we shall also resist any form of extra-normal activity as a ruling class “solution” to the crisis at hand.
While calling on the ruling class to shelve their plans to constitute an interim government, as that would be their gain in this imbroglio, the party strongly opposed the constitution of an interim government, adding that it shall mobilise Nigerians to resist such plan.
“We call on INEC to follow the law and its own guidelines and also calling for the cancellation of results not uploaded, collated and read from the server, in accordance with the Electoral Act and Guidelines. Elections should be reconducted in areas ridded with vote buying, intimidation, violence, technical issues with BVAS and other malpractices stated by parties and independent monitoring bodies,” it stated.