The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) continues to receive poor commendations from most Nigerian electorate, local and international observers and the general public over the perceived shoddy conducts of last Saturday February 25, 2023 Nigeria’s general election, particularly the presidential poll by the electoral commission.
Although as at the time of filing this report, the INEC has not yet officially declared the winner of the 2023 presidential election, controversies continue trailing INEC’s perceived improper conducts of the exercise such as delayed transmission of the election results to the commission’s sever, alleged compromise of the exercise by some INEC’s officials at various polling units across the country, electoral intimidation and violence, underage voting and over voting in some northern states of the country among other electoral malpractices.
Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association (ACIPA) has also expressed concerned over INEC’s conducts of the election, particularly the presidential poll. In its statement titled: ACIPA concerns over the purported manipulations of the election results, released by its chairman, Rev. Luke Shehu, to Christian Benefits magazine, the northern Christian association said it became imperative and compelling to issue a public statement, especially to the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari. The association faulted President Buhari’s flaunting his choice of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the ballot paper in the public glare.
President Muhammadu Buhari displaying his vote on the ballot paper at last Saturday’s general election at his polling unit in Kastina state. (PHOTO COURTESY SAHARA REPORTER)
“Secondly, was the purported use of a private jet on 25th February 2023 belonging to the same A.P.C Presidential candidate by the leading electoral umpire. This does not reflect equity and fairness. This smacks of more than suspicion, especially in view of the reports from Lagos, Kano and other states that confirmed our fears,” the association observed in the statement.
ACIPA warned desperate politicians and the government against testing the will of the youths or take for granted the position of Nigerian Christians and its allies. “This is the only good legacy President Muhammadu Buhari and the electoral umpire can bequeath to Nigerians. Should they choose to trample on it by allowing manipulations in order to impose a candidate, then they should be ready to bear the consequences of their actions or inaction,” the association warns.
The association also expressed concerns over alleged culpability of most of the sitting governors in the purported rigging and manipulations of the presidential election. The statement reads: “Suffice to say that we are aware that most of the sitting governors are culpable in the complicity of (the) rigging and manipulations in order to either install their stooges or cover up their failures and corruption in office. We therefore, strongly advise the President, INEC and security operatives to rise to the occasion as expected of them by Nigerians. Anything short of this will not be acceptable and may have dare consequences,” ACIPA finally warns.