A group of protesters on Tuesday took to the streets in Abuja to demand electronic transmission of the presidential election results from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Contrary to reports, the protesters were never at the National Collation Centre which is domiciled within the International Conference Centre ICC as they were held back by security personnel on the outer cordon, two kilometres away from the ICC.
The protesters in their numbers, who said they were members of different political parties, faulted the late upload of results to the INEC Results Viewing Portal IReV.
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Speaking with journalists during the protest, one of the protesters, Ilemona Onoja, called on the INEC Chairman to fulfil his pledge to ensure a transparent process.
He said the process of electronic transmission was not followed, rather “what we are seeing is a situation where results that were written, that didn’t follow the process, are being announced as the results of the election contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, contrary to the INEC guidelines that they issued, and contrary to the promises of the INEC chairman”.
“We came out on the 25th of February to cast our votes for our preferred candidates. We were told that a process was going to be followed. This process involves accreditation, voting and our ballots will be counted. After it has been counted, it will be transmitted directly to a central server. And that on the day of the election, at the national collation centre, that central server will be displayed and we will be able to follow the results.
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“Now, all we are saying is, we don’t mind if our preferred candidate loses, just give us a transparent and open process. Let us be able to see the results. INEC promised us they will follow a certain procedure, we are asking them to follow it”, he added.
Also speaking, another protester, Barr. Lillian Kozau, called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow is image be tarnished by anyone.
“INEC assured us that it would be a transparent process. They assured us of a transparent process and that the BVAS would be used, which is supposed to be an electronic process. Yet, after three days, 23 states still need to be uploaded. Why? Does this mean we will be doing this for one week?
“Why will a result be deleted from a platform after it has been uploaded? What are they up to? All we asked for was a transparent process. We just wanted whoever we voted for to emerge as the president of this country. We just wanted hope; we just wanted things to work. We are not asking for too much.
“We are not violent. Nobody is holding any weapon; we are just trying to make our voices heard. Please, our president should call INEC chairman to order. Eight years have passed, and we don’t care what happened. We are looking to the future. Buhari should not let his legacy to be tarnished. Let them follow due process. Whosoever, we have voted for should be announced as the president of the country. Let things be done rightly”, she demanded.
Also speaking, another protester, Dr. Lovett Izekor, charged the international community, international observers and all lovers of democracy to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to do the right thing by ensuring that INEC sticks to the promise of electronic transmission of results.
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Photo Credit: Getty