LP, PDP Agitated Over INEC’s Failure to Upload Presidential Results to Server

The failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to transmit results of the presidential elections held on Saturday into its portal is unsettling the camp of opposition political parties. The Labour Party, LP, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP are calling on the election umpire to upload the results immediately, warning of the consequences of not doing so.
Akin Osuntokun, director general of the Labour Party Campaign Council, cautioned that “INEC should know what it is playing with”. Speaking Saturday night on Arise TV, Osuntokun said INEC was “playing with fire” positing that “this is a make or mar year for Nigeria. You can make Nigeria with this election, and you can mar it irretrievably”.
PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on his part, advised INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to instruct the election collation officers to upload the results from the polling units to INEC server immediately.
Osuntokun, former political aide to President Olusegun Obasanjo said though he had no reason to believe that INEC had a vested interest in the credibility of the election, “I have more than confirmed my own suspicion today. Suddenly, INEC developed cold feet at upholding results that have been clearly delivered by Nigerian electorate.
“The presidential election and the down ballot candidates; both elections took place at the same time. Now, they were able to upload the senatorial and House of Representatives election to their server. Then they started playing with our intelligence. After doing that, it became difficult; something happened now with the server and they are unable to upload the results of the presidential elections which are in the public domain already anyways. That exercise is bigger than anybody”.
Miffed that the people came out in their large numbers to vote, majority of them objectively, and detached from issue of ethnicity, and the verdict was clear, Osuntokun sounded a note of warning to INEC that “If you do something about that kind of thing, I would be powerless to restrain them, whatever it is, because it would have been too blatant and glaring… It’s a decisive moment; it’s only the enemy of Nigeria that can toy with”.
Asked if he had reached out to INEC about their concern, the former presidential aide answered in the affirmative, retorting that “But you don’t take chances with somebody who has proven to you that look, you need to watch your back. If he says to you today, this is white, it may actually be black. But this kind of suspicious behavior started a few days ago when the names of our down ballot candidates for the senate and House of Representatives candidates got missing in the ballot paper.
“And of course when we got in touch with them, they accepted the mistake and apologised. And today, I was listening to the chairman of the INEC saying okay, it wasn’t a mistake; they knew what happened; that when the appeal court gave a judgement, that was why the names were not reinstated. But then the Supreme Court gave its judgement, they didn’t have time. He believed that the two weeks between the Supreme Court verdict and the election was enough for INEC to do the right thing but they did not.
This has been demonstrated this time around. Nigeria is at an inflation (inflammation) point and I have made the point clear before that this is a make or mar year for Nigeria. You can make Nigeria with this election, and you can mar it irretrievably. We have as many chances that God has given this country, to retrieve itself from failure; from doldrums. We are working to be alive. What God has given to Nigeria and the same thing is happening now, that through a peaceful conduct a teachable moment in the history of Nigeria, they are smarter than you think. It’s a decisive moment it’s only the enemy of Nigeria can toy with.
The Obi-Datti Media Office had also in a statement on Saturday by Diran Onifade, warned INEC against manipulating the electoral process as the party would not accept any presidential election result that is not in tandem with the results issued at the polling units.
Onifade, head of the media office, said “It is curious, unacceptable, and smacks of fraud that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BIVAS, device could nobly transmit the Senate and House of Representatives results, but cannot do that of the Presidential election….Certainly, this smacks of a serious fraud aimed to torpedo the wishes of the Nigerian electorate who have already decided that things can no longer continue to go wrong in Nigeria, using the ballot box to do so”.
He said INEC should be held responsible “for this flagrant anomaly that defies logic, as the Obi-Datti Media Office finds what is developing as a recipe to manipulate the process and truncate the electoral wishes of the Nigerian masses. We call on all relevant bodies to do the needful and prevent a South-South Governor from meddling in the electoral process”.
Onifade called the attention of local and international observers and other stakeholders, to what he described as “this unfortunate and orchestrated anomaly” and urged them to “Please call INEC to order”.
Abubakar, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said the call became necessary to checkmate some governors trying to compromise the results at the local government collation level.
According to him, “It will be a disservice to Nigerians and a negation to democracy for anyone to subvert the will of the people as freely expressed in their votes of yesterday”. He however called on Nigerians to be calm but vigilant to ensure that anti-democratic elements who were masquerading as progressives do not steal their mandate.
Daniel Bwala, a lawyer and spokesman of the PDP campaign council who spoke on Arise TV on Sunday, described the development as a “disturbing trend”. Wondering the big deal about uploading the results, Bwala said “We are not prepared to hear this is the result, go to court. We want a transparent process”.
Anthony Kila, a lawyer and professor of Strategy and Development, described INEC’s failure to upload presidential results almost 24 hours after the election as “a breach of contract”. He was unequivocal that “what INEC is doing is wrong”. Speaking on Arise TV on Sunday, Prof. Kila noted that “the whole essence of digitalizing the system is that you want it instantly…and INEC needs to catch up”. According to him, they promised; they say we’re going to upload. You’re not uploading; that’s a breach of contract there and there should be consequences for it. Somebody somewhere needs to pay”. He explained that part of the reason it’s important to upload immediately is that “if you are a regulator, if you are an arbitrator or if you are a judge, one of the things you need to do is to act in a way that will not allow the parties to suspect you of being partisan”, positing that INEC needed be proactive rather than being reactive.

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