Nigeria Decides: CSOs Charge INEC on Fresh Election Result

The Democracy Protection Coalition (DPC), a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs), has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh collation of results of Presidential election polling units nationwide.

The group made this call at the press briefing in Lagos tagged, “Observations and Recommendations on the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Presidential and National Assembly Elections held on February 25, 2023”.

Speaking, the convener and Executive Director of PADDI Foundation, Eze Eluchie, noted that INEC defaulted its guidelines and provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) in the execution of the disputed contest.

Eluchie insisted that “As citizens and members of diverse CSOs, devote our individual and institutional resources towards uplifting and bettering the affairs of Nigeria in diverse sectors, we have over the years realised the importance of the democratisation process and democracy towards attaining the much-desired advancement of Nigeria”.

He added that the passage of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) and the repeated assurances from INEC, through its Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and other officials to use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines and machine-readable Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), encouraged the various CSOs to undertake extensive grassroots outreach campaigns.

Their campaign was to ensure that Nigerians, in their millions, become involved in the political process by registering to vote, belonging to political parties and aspiring to political offices at various strata of governance.

The convener emphasised: “The campaign resulted in an unprecedented increase of over 11 million additional Nigerians, who registered to vote in the 2023 elections, bringing the total number of registered voters to over 93 million. About 40 per cent of the registered voters are youths, most of whom are voting for the very first time.

“Buoyed on by the several and repeated assurances of INEC’s leadership for free, fair and transparent elections with the promise of real-time transmission of votes from the polling Units to a national database/repository of votes and INEC Results Viewing (IReV) portal, CSOs across Nigeria swung into action to ensure maximum grassroots buy-in into the democratic project and space.”

Owing to this dissatisfaction, the coalition called for the immediate resignation of Yakubu over alleged incompetence.

While the DPC said the outcome of the polling units should be computed for a clear winner to emerge, they clarified their non-association with any presidential candidate.

DPC is a group of CSOs who devote their individual and institutional resources towards uplifting and bettering the affairs of Nigeria in diverse sectors, ranging from public health, gender and youth empowerment, culture and climate change, good governance, public sector accountability and grassroots engagement in public affairs.

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