About 24 hours after the presidential and national assembly polls were called in, there is a palpable sense of tension throughout the nation as Nigerians wait for the results.
But despite INEC’s explanation that the difficulties the commission was having with the transmission of results were not the result of system sabotage, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), assured the Nigerian people that the process of collation and announcement would be transparent.
Nevertheless, the presidential and national assembly elections were delayed, and INEC conducted an election in the final 141 polling places in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, just as more and more results in the presidential and legislative elections had begun to enter.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), meantime, has commented on the controversies surrounding the presidential and national assembly elections held over the weekend in various states, warning the INEC and security services against collaborating to thwart the will of the people. At one of his briefings yesterday, Yakubu allayed concerns about manipulation by stating that everything related to the results collation and announcement would take place in the open at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Festus Okoye, the Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee and National Commissioner of INEC, however, stated in a statement that the Commission was aware of issues with the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV).
The commission remarked that the portal has been significantly slower and less responsive than it was during the off-season elections. IReV is crucial to the Commission’s results management process, thus it is difficult to overstate how sorry it was for the setback.
“The IReV scaling up issues from a platform for managing off-season state elections to one for handling the nationwide general election are the sole cause of the issue. In such circumstances, bugs do occasionally appear and need to be fixed.
The IReV remains well-secured, and the Commission wants to reassure Nigerians that the difficulties are not the result of any hacking or system sabotage, he said. He stated that IReV users would have noticed improvements since last night while reassuring them that the technical team was diligently working to resolve all outstanding issues.
“We also wish to inform Nigerians that the results from the Polling Units, copies of which were distributed to political parties, are secure on both the BVAS and the IReV portal,” he said.
It’s crucial to refrain from saying or doing anything that could inflame the political climate right now or increase public skepticism of the Commission.
So, the commission fully acknowledged responsibility for the issues and expressed regret for any harm they may have done to the candidates, political parties, and the public.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in the meantime, has commented on the scandals surrounding the presidential and National Assembly elections in several states and has forewarned INEC and security services against working together to thwart the will of the people.
NLC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to summon INEC’s leadership right now in response to allegations that they colluded to rig the election and incite violence.
The labor movement requested INEC to invalidate the results of the presidential election in Lagos State after the Resident Electoral Officer in charge refused to send the BVAS reports to the official INEC Servers, according to a statement by NLC President Comrade Joe Ajaero.
According to NLC, the commission should reject the outcome and make sure that those accounts are brought to justice.
We want INEC to make sure that any manipulated results from any REC are not only rejected but also that offenders are forced to bear the full force of the law because this is totally unacceptable.
INEC needs to comprehend that delaying the results planned to upload to its server leads to a preventable crisis of confidence and jeopardizes the entire process. We insist that the true results as recorded by the BVAS be posted without fail and continue to convey our profound concerns regarding the apparent manipulation of results in Lagos and Rivers States, according to Labor.
The NLC warned INEC and the Security agencies of the risks of undermining the sovereign will in a statement headed, “Is INEC subverting Nigeria? We issue a warning to INEC and others not to permit a national security crisis to develop out of this election. This is avoidable, and the only way we can ensure national peace is by letting the sovereign will prevail. The conviction that it is going to be business as usual should be discounted since anyone intending a vote theft should already be alerted by the tension created when the votes were cast, it said.
According to NLC, the commission must be seen as being ethical and following the rules set down by the law.