Prince Adewole Adebayo, the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) presidential candidate, has offered his opinions on the results of the most recent polls conducted in the states of Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), according to Adebayo, conducted the polls in a blatantly dishonest manner.
He maintained that even Governor Douye Diri, the victor of the Bayelsa election, had voiced his displeasure with the way the polls were conducted.
“We have a problem with all the elections not just Kogi State. Look at a state like Bayelsa where the governor who has been declared winner of the election said that in some parts of the state, BVAS was boycotted or bypassed. If the winner of the election can say that about the process of the election, it should draw the attention of INEC,” he said.
The SDP candidate went on to say that while he has no issue with INEC acting as an election arbiter, his primary grievance is with the method by which the organisation chose to announce the Kogi poll winner.
Adebayo said in an interview with The Sun that they were intimidated and silenced when they attempted to alert the returning officer to certain inconsistencies.
He said, “We are not saying that INEC is hopeless, I don’t think so. I believe that INEC is a human and necessary institution and I have confidence that there are good people working in INEC. I don’t have a problem with INEC, I have a problem with the process INEC used in declaring the result in Kogi State.
“We took every step to warn them about the problem in Kogi State, about the voters register and other things including staff of the commission ab initio and INEC said they will look into it. In the course of the election, we warned them about the problems of over voting and factious numbers but it appeared that the Returning Officer was not interested; he even threatened to have our agent removed. We have written INEC stating what happened and we gave INEC all the options and citing all the laws that require them to do a review but INEC has not replied.
“We are putting fate in the system, we believe that we need INEC, we must have an electoral umpire that people can believe in. Nigeria cannot be so unfortunate that we don’t have 20 people who can run elections in the commission.”
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