Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has stated that the final report for the 2019 general election presented by the European Union has vindicated the position held by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not generate results for the general election from server.
Speaking to journalists in Enugu yesterday, Okechukwu said it was satisfying to hear the EU Mission in Nigeria state that it was unaware of an INEC server by which results were transmitted during the election.
He said that what was most amazing was how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) canvassed that in one breath , INEC conducted elections transparently in Adamawa, Bauchi, Imo, Oyo, Zamfara states, where they won and in another breadth manipulated the results in the axis where it lost.
According to him, “We had maintained that its trite in law that one cannot build something out of nothing; Accordingly, we agree with EU Election Observer Mission denial of knowledge of the existence of the so-called server used by INEC to conduct 2019 general election.”
He maintained that it was completely wrong to gloss over the truism that President Muhammadu Buhari has a 12 million vote-bank, which had been on display in 2003, 2007, 20011, 2015 and 2019 presidential elections”.
“The hard fact is that President Buhari has cult followership, which is only comparable to that of Malam Aminu Kano or Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sarduna of Sokoto, both of blessed memory, in the North. Nobody can erase this hard fact,”he said.
On the report where the EU Election Observer Mission pointed out systemic failings witnessed in the elections and the relatively low levels of voter participation, he said the president will work with all Nigerian citizens, state institutions, civil society, the media and other experts to make sure that there will be proper electoral reforms
He called on INEC to commence the introduction of e-Voting in the off-cycle state elections, as preparatory ground for full implementation of Electronic Voting.
“We must remind ourselves that there was a time when one eminent citizen said that telephone is not for the poor, but today the groundnut hawker in his village has smart phone. We must commence e-Voting as a matter of urgent national importance,” he said.