…..Says INEC’s Reservation On BVAS Despicable
Former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George, has sounded a note of warning to the Independent National Electoral Commission not to throw the country into conflagration.
Speaking at a press conference on the review of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections in Lagos on Monday, Chief George said it’s disheartening that after the huge budget INEC got for the election and the promise to transmit it live on the I-ReV, it bungled it.
He described the excuses that the B-VAS was slow as hogwash.
George called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that nobody makes nonsense of an act he personally sponsored to the National Assemby to clean up our electoral system.
He said; “Iam very disappointed in what the chairman of the INEC, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu and his team stated as excuse.
“In my days, we have analog systems and now digital system. So, what’s he saying? Hogwash. It’s a complete disgrace. Do we have the Will to overcome human self inflicted tragedies in this country?” He asked.
“It’s disheartening to note that the INEC declared that the B-VAS is failing, necessitated manual computation. Who is that director of INEC’s IT? He’s a disgrace to Nigeria. He’s a disgrace to the INEC. He now came back to the old system. The ‘wuruwuru’ system.
“As the popular saying; “Voice populi, voice dei! The voice of the people is the voice of God. Let the Will of the people prevail. We need to liberate Nigerians. And how do we liberate Nigeria? It’s through justice, equity and fairness. They must explain how they expended the budget the national Assemby approved for the INEC.
“We used to monitor the results on INEC servers, but now they said it’s slow. Who gave it drink to slow it down?”
“They did it in Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections. They even had mock accreditation before the election. So, what happened?” He added.
George however called on international community through its observers monitoring the election in Nigeria, to rise and condemn this most self-destructive and annihilating political malfeasance being perpetrated by our INEC.
Below is the full text of the statement.
PRESS STATEMENT ON INEC’S POSITION ON ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF PRESIDENTIAL/NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Gentlemen of the press, in my usual manner I have called you here today to raise an issue of national importance, which borders on the Presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on Saturday, 25th February, 2023.
I want to state unequivocally that it is disheartening to learn that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has expressed the position that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), meant for the seamless transmission of election results electronically into the commission’s server is failing, and thus necessitating the reversal to the manual system.
This is against the standard for the election and it is not acceptable at all, as we are being taken back to the period of misery, when elections results were manipulated between the polling units and the collation centers.
It is the most despicable shameful act, after the certification of the veracity of the BVAS, for the transmission process of results, which was attested to, by the mock process successfully embarked on by INEC before the election, coupled by the successful deployment of the system for the Ekiti, Anambra and Osun governorship elections.
How on earth can INEC turn around at this critical period, to discredit the system? I hope they are not trying to foster the dismal APC government on Nigerians, who have expressed their determination to do away with this retrogressive party through the poll last Saturday.
For instance, Tinubu, was said to have secured 50,000 votes cast in Ikorodu, how can we accept this?
I make bold to say, this is a big embarrassment to Nigerians and the international community , whose hopes were raised that the giant of Africa and the most populated black nation has finally got it right and found a permanent solution to her intractable electoral quagmire of several years.
Alas, we are being drawn back to our disgraceful past, which to me is also dealing a severe blow to the effort of developed countries like the United States (US), who made huge financial and material commitment to our electoral process, expected to chart a new course and place Nigeria in her rightful place among the comity of nations.
How can we accept this uncivilised abuse against an established electoral reform already gazetted and entrenched as Electoral Act in our constitution? This is nothing but a reversal of our political fortunes by several millions of backward steps.
I am concerned that the international community who have invested their several millions of dollars in financial and material resources would be most bemused by this most unthinkable madness, being demonstrated by the Nigerian electoral umpire.
A nation is not about narrow irredentist fixation. It is larger. It is about common goals and shared values. It is about common destinies and common verities. Anything is a conglomeration of indifferent, wobbling and wavering entities. It is deviation from the normative patterns of a nation-state.
This is hardly the path of building an enduring nation. Great nations are built upon accommodating largeness where everyone must have a sense of belonging. The fair society insists on merit, frowns upon nepotism, encourages participatory inclusiveness, creates equal opportunity for everyone to actualize themselves.
I am hereby calling on the international community , who have their observers on ground, monitoring this election, to rise and condemn this most self-destructive and annihilating political malfeasance being perpetrated by our INEC.
In my humble opinion, INEC’s reservation on BVAS, is a despicable act, which is condemnable, most uncivilised, and capable of consigning Nigeria to the permanent stature of a pariah nation among the comity of civilised nations.
As an elder statesman, who has served Nigeria as a Military General and a prominent political office holder, I hereby demand amongst others.
1. That the transmission of the ongoing
collation for the Presidential and
National Assembly election results must
be transmitted electronically as
enunciated by INEC.
2. That INEC, should not succumb to any
pressure, to force to alternate the
results from the polling units, as history
would judge the Chairman of the
electoral body, who swore to oath to
ensure free, fair and credible electoral
3. That in the event of being pressured to
alternate results of the election, the
INEC Chairman should raise his voice for
Nigerians to hear or step down from his
CHIEF OLABODE IBIYINKA GEORGE, CON, GSSRS, FNSE
THE ATONA OODUA OF YORUBALAND