The elders under the auspices of Igbo Patriotic Forum (IPF) has regretted that the participation and zeal displayed by Nigerian youths and people during the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly election was distorted. Chairman of the forum, Chief Simon Okeke, at a press conference yesterday, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to live up to its own expectations, despite repeated assurances by the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. Okeke stated that the essence of the Electoral Act, 2022, is to electronically transmit the result of votes obtained from polling units direct to INEC central server, using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS). “We were informed that the humongous budget demanded by the INEC to procure the BVAS to make this election absolutely free and fair was provided by the Federal Government, if only to avoid any excuses.
“At the end of the day that same machine could not work at the critical time it was supposed to work,” he regretted. He described as unfortunate that Nigerians have to wait for the courts to determine the actual winner of the election. The former Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), however, called on youths not to be discouraged, but to come out en masse on Saturday to vote in the governorship and states’ Assembly elections.
“In spite of this monumental fraud, we should not lose hope since we are on the road to seek justice in the courts. We pray that God will give our judiciary the courage to uphold justice and truth in deciding this case,” he said. Igbo elders also called for the re-opening of all police stations in the South East region, which they said, have been closed down for over three years. “This has led to increased insecurity in that zone, leading to people obeying a senseless sitat- home order out of sheer fear,” the stated.