Your Conduct Of 2023 Presidential Election Unacceptable – PANDEF Tells INEC

Your Conduct Of 2023 Presidential Election Unacceptable – PANDEF Tells INEC

The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Making a reference to how different international and local observers spoke ill of the polls, the group stated that the INEC Chairman should be held responsible for the hitches encountered at the presidential election after the huge sum of money spent on the process.

PANDEF called on dissatisfied parties to take a legal action against the results announced by the electoral body.

The Niger Delta organization, further blasted the electoral agency for postponing the state level elections 72 hours to the polls, and immediately after being granted request it was seeking to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, by the presidential election tribunal.

The electoral body had insisted that reconfiguration of the BIVAS was necessary for conduct of the state level elections slated for 11 March 2023, a request which many Nigerians have opposed, alleging that INEC intended to destroy evidence of fraud at the presidential polls contained in the machines.

But immediately after being granted the reconfiguration request, the electoral umpire postponed the state level elections to March 18.

PANDEF, in reaction, said INEC’s behavior was very suspicious.

According to the group: “PANDEF notes that it was less than 72 hours to the scheduled governorship and State Assembly elections before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, granted INEC the relief they sought, on the grounds that if not given they will not be able to hold the elections.

“They gave the impression the elections would hold as was scheduled, but after the judgment, they suddenly shifted the elections; this has created room for more misgiving.

“PANDEF recalls that various reputable organizations, both local and international, had scored the performance of the INEC in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly election as ‘far below expectations’.

“PANDEF cites that reports of BVAS defects, INEC’s failure to promptly upload results to its portal from the various polling units across the country, with excuses of technical glitches, undermined the outcome of the electoral process.

“PANDEF insists that these occurrences are totally unacceptable, particularly, given the repeated assurances of President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC of free, fair and credible elections.

“Though the same election has resulted in a National Assembly that somewhat reflects the new political outlook of the country.

“Accordingly, with the huge amount of tax payers’ money that was disposed to the process, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, should be personally held responsible for the observed lapses and inconsistencies.

‘PANDEF further notes that Forum’s preferred candidate in the presidential election, His Excellency, Peter Obi, of the Labour Party (LP) has also expressed dissatisfaction with the results declared by the INEC, and is already in court.

“We shall, therefore, withhold further comments on the subject matter, until a final decision is made by the courts.

“Meanwhile, PANDEF urges all who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the February 25 election to seek judicial redress, and not take laws into their hands, in order not to exacerbate tension in the country.

“PANDEF hopes that the courts would dispense justice without fear or favour. Nigeria is greater than any individual or group.

“Finally, it is pertinent to demand that the INEC should reassure Nigerians of its readiness to ensure that the lapses and inconsistencies observed during the February 25 election will not reoccur in the Governorship and State Assembly elections, now shifted to Saturday, March 18.”