In a scathing critique of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), former Minister of Aviation and prominent People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Osita Chidoka, has labeled the electoral body a “monumental disgrace” for its inability to electronically transmit election results in real-time during the 2023 general elections.
Chidoka voiced his disapproval during a recent appearance on Channels TV Politics Today, where he expressed his disappointment with INEC’s performance, particularly in the Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun gubernatorial elections, where the commission had promised to implement real-time electronic transmission of results but ultimately failed “on a large scale.”
The former minister remarked, “INEC is a monumental disgrace; it is an organization that I am ashamed to associate with as a Nigerian. They made promises with the Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun elections.”
Chidoka had previously called for third-party verification of the INEC system before the elections to ensure the integrity of the process, but his concerns appeared justified when INEC encountered problems on election day. He emphasized, “Before the elections, I called for third-party verification of the INEC system so that we are sure that on election day, what is going to happen that day would not lead to a glitch. On election day, INEC said there was a glitch.”
Furthermore, Chidoka criticized INEC’s decision to contest in court that non-compliance with its regulations should not be grounds for canceling an election, even when the system had not been adequately tested. He argued that if INEC had effectively transmitted results in real-time, there would have been no need for political parties to resort to the courts to resolve election disputes.
“If the results we saw from the polling unit were the same as what we saw at the collation centres, there would be no reason to be in court,” Chidoka asserted, highlighting the potential implications for the 2023 general elections.
He concluded by suggesting that had INEC done “the right thing,” there was a possibility that President Tinubu could have emerged as the winner of the election, underscoring the critical role of transparent and credible electoral processes in shaping Nigeria’s political landscape.