The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been warned to be wary of the statement it dishes out to the citizens ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Naija News reports that the advisory was given by the spokesman for the Third Force Coalition of Labour Party, Yunusa Tanko.
He said Nigerians are closely monitoring events unfolding ahead of the polls scheduled for February 2023, hence the nation’s electoral body must select its words wisely while informing the public of its plans.
Tanko made the observation while speaking during a live programme on the Channels TVs Sunrise Daily following the clarification by INEC on Electronic Transmission of Result.
Naija News understands that INEC was quoted to have said that the 2023 election results would be collated manually.
The declaration received a barrage of reactions from many Nigerians on and off social media platforms.
INECs spokesperson, Festus Okoye has, however, clarified the statement.
Okoye asked Nigerians to shun the statement, noting that his comment was misinterpreted.
In his remark about the situation, Tanko said although INEC was quick in making clarifications as regards the processes for the announcement of election results, people were observant and will critically examine any statement coming from the commission.
He said: “To say the fact, people are very observant and critical of any action that will derail the interest that the people have already consummated in their mind.
“So, any faulty statement that is made by the electoral umpire is being critically examined. And so, therefore, it is very important to give precaution to the INEC to be wary of the statement that they need to dish out, because, at any point in time that they made this statement, it can be miscalculated to mean something else and then, it will ignite a lot of fire.
“Now with the way in which the result has been sent recently, it has given hope to the Nigerians. And so, if it seems to be, like I think, being jettisoned by complications of the word of mouth, a lot of people will kick against it. We did kick against it, but when we saw the clarifications, it resonated and gave back the trust we are hoping to have on INEC.”
Tanko stressed that Nigerians were not comforted with the clarifications resulting from the conflicting statements, adding that the huge level of distrust in government will make it even more uncomfortable to digest.
The Labour Party chieftain added: “Well, we cannot say they are comforted. Their eyes will be on the INEC, especially the Nigerian youths who have resonated so well with my own (Labour Party) candidate. They are looking at every position and every action that is being taken, if seen as an anti-people process, they will kick against it.
“We are watching because we cannot say we are hundred per cent sure. To us, we can only be comfortable when we win the election in 2023 and then, we are obediently in office, then we will be comforted.”
Tanko went on to admonish the political class to be mindful of the kind of conservation that they take to the public in order to foster confidence in the voters.
He expressed hope that there will be an advancement in the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Recalling the governorship election conducted in Edo and Ondo State, Tanko said there was no complication as regards the announcement of the result.
He admitted that the development has shown that INEC was able to deploy those machines to perfectly work as they wanted, hence the kind of upsurge of manipulation was not really too seen.
Tanko added: “I think learning from that, INEC can improve on the issue of deployment of BVAS machines and all that. And of course, we have already seen it happening in Osun State. So it has helped to bring trust and I want to say here- those are some of the mechanisms that have made the Nigerian youth especially to believe that their vote will count. And so, therefore, they are hoping to see the advancement of it, and so making sure that whatever INEC puts on the ground seems to be solid. That’s why we have to caution INEC from making statements that will contradict some of the gains they have already made over the years.”