A coalition of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, in the South East under the aegis of South East Network for Democracy and Accountability, SENDA, has added its voice to the call for the cancellation of the Presidential election outcome.
The coalition made the demand at a Press Conference in Enugu on Monday.
It alleged that the election fell short of international standards and was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act.
The group said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, failed the nation.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of SENDA, leader of the Coalition, Comrade Emmanuel Acha said that the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections which took place on February 25, 2023, a day that commemorate exactly one year after the signing of the Electoral Act, 2022 as amended by President Muhammadu Buhari has left many with questions begging for answers.
“This is why we are here today to grant this press conference and our demand is that the election should be cancelled and a fresh one conducted,” he said.
Acha said the INEC was unable to fulfil its promises to Nigerians and failed to adhere to the dictates of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.
“The Commission has been specifically blamed by stakeholders on issues of logistics; late arrival of poll officials at their voting centres across the country, particularly in the Southern part of Nigeria; failure to transmit polling unit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (iRev); and voter intimidation and suppression among others.
“We hereby agree with various national and international stakeholders that the just concluded elections lacked transparency and failed to achieve minimum standards of electoral credibility,” he said.
He said that Nigerian democracy can no longer be described as nascent, “hence no excuse can be justifiably adduced for the very obvious lapses witnessed so far in our elections since 1999 till date.”
He expressed displeasure that in spite the series of assurances and reassurances by INEC as it relates to the deployment and use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) as well as the INEC Result Viewing Portal in the general elections, INEC could not conduct a credible poll.
The group urged Nigerians not to be deterred by what happened during the elections, urging them to come out en masse to exercise their franchise during the forthcoming governorship and House of Assembly elections.
They equally called on the INEC to improve on its performance, while urging the security agencies to ensure adequate security for the remaining polls.
“The IReV is one of the innovations introduced by the Commission to ensure the integrity and credibility of election results in Nigeria.
“It is therefore inconceivable that the Commission will turn-around and undermine its own innovations,” they lamented.