Presidential Poll: Reno Omokri, Others Protest Alleged Breach of Electoral Act in London
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
A former presidential spokesman, Mr Reno Omokri, along with other Nigerians, yesterday protested what the author described as the contravention of the electoral act by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the February 25 presidential poll in Nigeria.
Specifically, the demonstration which took place in the United Kingdom between 11 in the morning and about noonday saw the group air their grievances in front of the Nigerian High Commission, located on Northumberland Avenue, London, SW1.
The crowd expressed disappointment over the conduct of the election by the electoral umpire, stressing that INEC erred by failing to adhere strictly to the letters of the electoral guidelines and the law.
Speaking at the event, Omokri alleged that from the INEC’s IREV portal, over-voting was observed in almost 14,000 polling units, which affected 4.3 million votes.
According to him, manual accreditation was carried out in those areas and other polling units, in contravention of Sector 47 (2) and (3) of the electoral act, stating that by virtue of those portions of the act, elections in those areas ought to have been cancelled and held on a latter date.
While calling for a more credible poll, Omokri said that it was obvious that INEC was not ready for the presidential election and yet went ahead with it.
He added that the election held with ‘blind spots’ that allowed the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use underhand practices to rig the election.
He contended that the INEC postponed the gubernatorial election because they were ill-prepared, which was what they ought to have done with the presidential election if they had no hidden agenda.
While addressing the group of protestors, Omokri said the protest was not about any political party but a united cause to demand free and fair election from INEC for all Nigerians.
He explained that Nigeria as the giant of Africa was supposed to lead other smaller African countries with credible polls, stressing that sadly it is the smaller African countries that are conducting credible polls while the polls in Nigeria are always fraught with irregularities.
He listed such issues as rigging, violence, vote-buying, resulting in the emergence of unpopular candidates as winners against the will of the people.
“African countries that are smaller vote and then their votes go well. And then we have our own vote and then we have all of these issues. Not one single country or one single institution outside Nigeria has said that those polls were good.
“Chatham House a few days ago said the polls did not meet the required standards. The American ambassador said the polls did not meet the expectations of Nigerians. So, what we are saying here today is that we want credible polls,” he noted.
Omokri declared that the rally was not for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), even though he supports the party, explaining that the demonstration was to demand credible polls.
“Some of you, you’re Obidients…we are united! We are not united for PDP, we are not united for Labour Party (LP), but we are united for Nigeria,” he noted.
Some of the many placards carried by the protesters read: “Election without BIVAS is digital rigging”, “results without transmission is election rigging” and “INEC gave us selection, not election”, among others.