The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been urged by the Transition Monitoring Group to salvage its reputation by ensuring free and fair elections at the state levels next week in response to the concerns surrounding the 2023 presidential election.
In a statement released and signed by its chairman, Auwal Ibrahim Musa “Rafsanjani” on Friday, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) noted that irregularities marred the presidential elections last week, in which the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was declared the victor. These irregularities raised suspicions of “human interference and result manipulation.”
The group stated that the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections were poor, especially the insistence of the commission to jettison immediate result transmission from polling units across the country.
“This singular act has given room for suspicion of human interference and manipulation of results and could truncate the will of the people as freely expressed at the poll.
“The 2023 general elections were expected to usher in a much more improved and digitized electoral process in Nigeria. It is in this regard that INEC received an unprecedented whooping sum of N355 billion to conduct a credible election. Despite this humongous financial commitment, and the incredible support received from the international community and civil society organisations, INEC failed to deliver on a straightforward mandate of meeting the expectations of Nigerians,” it said.
While noting that voting took place without the use of violence in most areas of the country, TMG in the statement referred to the president’s disregard for the secrecy of the ballot as scandalous. The president held up his ballot paper on live television so that everyone could see the party he voted for.
The group emphasized its support for Nigeria’s electoral process digitization and asked for its continuation and advancement.
This widespread report of polling unit results not being sent to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal “contravenes Section 50 of the Electoral Act 2022, which seeks to minimize human interference and manipulation of polls,” the group claims.
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