Why Are You Trying To Fix Something That Is Not Broken? Atiku Knocks INEC

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for planning to collate the results of the 2023 election manually.

According to the former Vice President, the electoral commission is laying the foundation for the rigging of next year’s election.

Naija News recalls that INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in an interview with the Punch on Saturday, had disclosed that results from the 2023 general elections would be collated manually.

He stated that INEC would transmit results from polling units to its result-viewing portal, IReV.

Okoye further stated that the Electoral Act clarified how collation should be done.

Okoye was quoted to have said, “Section 60(5) of the Act makes it mandatory that the presiding officer shall transfer the results, including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot in a manner prescribed by the commission. Thereafter, the presiding officer shall, after recording and announcing the results, deliver the same along with election materials under security and accompanied by the candidates or their polling agents, where available to such person as may be prescribed by the commission.

“The implication of this is that the collation process of results is still essentially manual, but the collation officer must collate subject to his verification and confirmation that the number of accredited voters stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units.”

Reacting through his campaign spokesman, Daniel Bwala, Atiku stated that “Section 60 is clear. At the close of voting at the polling unit, the voting results will be uploaded, meaning that by the time the officer from the unit goes to the ward, he cannot present a result different from the one that was uploaded, which every voter can have access to it.”

According to him, what Okoye said means they are creating the room and possibility for somebody to manipulate the result without prejudice to the counting and the result as announced at the unit.

He warned the electoral umpire that Nigerians are not interested in litigation but in a free, fair, credible election where their votes will count.

Atiku noted that if INEC relies on manual collation, they will be going around the provisions of the Electoral Act to take the country’s electoral system backward.

While stating that the 2023 election must be free and transparent, the PDP candidate said INEC must not change the procedure that has worked.

Atiku said, “Sadly, they are trying to find a solution where there is no problem because this same electronic upload and transmission has been done in Anambra, Ekiti, Edo, and Osun, and they were successful, that procedure has not been challenged.

“If you go to court, all the challenges in court were around certificates of individual and whether that individual is qualified or not. But that procedure has worked.

“So why are you trying to fix something that is not broken? It means something is fishy, we smell coffee. And that’s why we’re calling all well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy in Nigeria and beyond to raise their voices and speak with one voice.

“There must be strict compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act with respect to electronic upload and transmission of result, without prejudice to what INEC is thinking about bringing.”

This article was originally published on Naija News

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