LP Reacts To Gov’ship Election Postponement, Failure To Inspect BVAS
The Labour Party (LP) has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the postponement of the governorship and state assembly elections.
Naija News reported that the electoral umpire had announced in a statement on Wednesday night that the elections would not hold on March 11th as earlier scheduled.
According to INEC, the gubernatorial elections would now take place on the 18th of March, 2023 following the court ruling on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
The electoral body also disclosed that governorship campaigns would continue until midnight Thursday, 16th March 2023.
But in a chat with reporters in Abuja on Thursday, LP National Chairman, Julius Abure, said Nigerians can no longer trust and have confidence in INEC following the conduct of the February u25 presidential poll.
The LP chairman stressed that INEC failed to keep by its promise to deliver a free, fair, and credible election and ts subsequent actions showed that it cannot be trusted.
Abure added said he was one of those who had implicit confidence in the ability of the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to deliver based on his repeated assurances that the commission would adhere strictly to its guidelines.
The LP chairman also expressed misgivings about the court’s rejection of the party’s request to inspect the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) used for the presidential election.
He said: “Our major concern is that aspect (of the Appeal Court ruling) which granted INEC the opportunity not to allow us to inspect the BVAS. Our concern really stems from the fact that INEC these days is not to be trusted. INEC will make a promise from one side of the mouth and then swallow their vomit from the other.
“Recall that in 2019, INEC promised that it had a server only for those servers not to be available when litigants wanted to inspect the server that they claimed they had.
“INEC had gone out of their way to assure and reassure Nigerians again and again that election results will be uploaded from polling units to their server and that people are going to view these results from their server but you could see that when it was time for people to start uploading the results, INEC said it had a technical glitch even when they had explained to Nigerians that they had backup that will roll off into work immediately when the main server had a technical issue.
“All of these bring us to the point that even though INEC had assured us and the courts in their counter affidavits that the records in the BVAS will be saved in their backend server we have our doubts because this is not the first time INEC will be telling us that they have a server, they will upload to their server and so on and so forth.
“But the Court in their wisdom has given them privilege and you can see, immediately they got that judgment, they shifted the elections.”
Abure said INEC should not have sought relief at the court or filed various applications if the Commission knew it was going to postpone the governorship and state assembly polls.
He added: “If they knew they were going to postpone the governorship election for a week why did they go to court to vary the order given to us to inspect materials?
“There was absolutely no need for it because one of the reasons they gave to the court was that if they allowed us to inspect the BVAS it would affect the timeline for the election but surprisingly, after getting the court to grant them the request to reconfigure the BVAS they immediately shifted the election.
“One had a lot of doubts about the patriotism, commitment, truthfulness and integrity of this INEC to do what is right.
“The way and manner they conducted the last election has completely destroyed the confidence which I had in INEC. Let’s see what stories they will come up with tomorrow.
“Tomorrow is here it’s not far. Since the court gave the order for INEC to allow us inspect materials, INEC has not allowed us.
“We have not been able to inspect, our lawyers have been going there every day, our technical experts have been going there on daily basis and we have not been allowed access.
“At times you begin to wonder whether this INEC is working for Nigerians or some persons somewhere.
“I will be sincere with you, if INEC says they are going to Lagos, I will go and look for them in Sokoto.”