The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has retracted its earlier claim at the weekend that military personnel took over its premises and hijacked the collation of results.
The commission has apologized to the Nigerian Air Force for wrongfully accusing it of using its personnel to invade its premises in Rivers State and disrupt the collation of results in the protracted governorship and House of Assembly polls.
A statement was issued to this effect on Tuesday, entitled: “Inadvertent Involvement of the Nigerian Air Force in the Disruption of the March 9 2019 Collation Process.”
INEC revealed in the statement which was signed by the Head of Voter Education in Rivers State, Mr. Edwin Enabor for the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga, that it also discovered that the men in military uniforms were not from the NAF.
It will be recalled that the Spokesman for the INEC in Rivers State had accused the NAF and other security agencies of invading its collation centre and disrupting the exercise thereby forcing it to discontinue the declaration of results, a development that is currently generating tension across the country and beyond.
The statement said: “Further to our investigation and clarification from the NAF Command in Rivers State on the invasion of our offices/disruption of collation process by armed men in military uniforms, the commission wishes to state that the persons purported to have worn the Air Force uniforms were neither personnel of the service nor authorized by the service to be at INEC office.
“The commission therefore wishes to express its regret at the embarrassment this might have caused the NAF,” INEC said.
The apology by INEC notwithstanding, has gone viral and attracted global attention, forcing some countries to issue threats against Nigeria.