A citizen-led, research-based movement called #FixPolitics Initiative has questioned the outcome of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023, and the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) subsequent declaration of a winner, claiming that the haste and timing had raised several questions.
For allegedly failing to submit the results immediately to its webpage via the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), as promised, the election management body was accused of betraying the faith of Nigerians.
In a statement released yesterday, the Executive Director, Tony Ubani, remembered the numerous assurances given by INEC officials regarding their readiness for the demanding national assignment and full deployment of the BVAS to ensure legitimate elections.
He remembered that INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had guaranteed Nigerians at a news conference in November 2022 that their ballots would be sacred by transmitting results to its webpage from polling places in real time.
Ubani said: “The performance and controversies over the results mean that the electoral reforms and lessons declared to have been learned were not applied and, as an electoral body, it was significantly less prepared than it claimed.”
He said that the commission had pledged to upload the results from the voting units so that the public could view them immediately.
“This innovation, it cannot turn around and undermine itself; as this technology has come to stay. We will upload polling unit results from the polling units. Citizens will have the right to view these results. After all, whom are we serving? The citizens. How can we deprive citizens access to results of the process conducted by them at the polling unit?
“I assure and reassure you that the 2023 general elections will be our best, and we are committed that votes cast by Nigerians will determine the outcome of the elections. Nothing more, nothing less,” the INEC Chairman had said.
According to #FixPolitics, this assurance and others from INEC gave Nigerians the confidence they needed to register and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). However, the expectation of Nigerians were not met.