The Igbo Patriotic Forum (IPF), a body comprising Igbo elders have said it was unfortunate that Nigerians have to wait for the courts to determine the actual winner of the election instead of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to follow the Electoral Act and guidelines it set for itself.
The group regretted that the participation and zeal displayed by the citizens and Nigerian youth during the February 25 presidential election did not reflect in the outcome.
Chairman of the forum Chief Simon Okeke, a former Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), at a press conference on Wednesday, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of failure to live up to its own expectations despite repeated assurances by the Chairman of the commission Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
Okeke stated that the essence of the Electoral Act, 2022 is to electronically transmit the result of votes obtained from polling units direct to INEC central server using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
“We were informed that the humongous budget demanded by the INEC to procure the BVAS to make this election absolutely free and fair was provided by the Federal Government, if only to avoid any excuses.
“At the end of the day that same machine could not work at the critical time it was supposed to work!” he regretted.
The former Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), however called on the youths not to be discouraged but to come out en masse on Saturday to vote in the governorship and state Assembly elections.
“In spite of this monumental fraud, we should not lose hope since we are on the road to seek justice in the courts.
“We pray that God will give our judiciary the courage to uphold justice and truth in deciding this case,” he said.
Igbo elders also called for the re-opening of all police stations in the South East region, which they said, have been closed down for over three years.
“This has led to increased insecurity in that zone, leading to people obeying a senseless sit-at-home out of sheer fear,” the stated.