Tinubu lashes out as Atiku leads protests to INEC.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, were at loggerheads, over the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the protest embarked upon by the opposition party leadership against the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

Atiku, alongside National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu and other party leaders, during a protest at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, described the presidential poll as a charade, adding that the integrity of INEC is on trial because it allegedly failed to fulfil its promises regarding use of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, and electronic transmission of results from the polling units to its result viewing portal real-time.

However, Tinubu disagreed with Atiku on the conduct and result of the election, saying the PDP candidate had no chance of winning the poll and should stop causing traffic snarls in Abuja via protest. Tinubu challenged the former Vice President to go to the court where his grievances would be heard not at INEC headquarters.

The PDP leadership submitted a strongly worded protest letter to the INEC, to register its displeasure over the conduct and outcome of the February 25 Presidential election.

National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who led other party leaders and supporters to the INEC Headquarters, yesterday, submitted the letter which was received by INEC’s Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Information, Dr. Festus Okoye, on behalf of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

In the letter, which was signed by Ayu and the PDP National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu, and addressed to the INEC chairman, the party said its decision to embark on a peaceful march, backed by the protest letter, was taken after several meetings to review the elections.

Meanwhile, INEC has insisted that it had no allegiance to any party just  as the President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, advised Atiku to respect his age, averring that  the PDP’s protest to INEC headquarters was a new low of absurdity.

PDP’s letter

The letter read in part: “After long sessions of meetings to review and deliberate on the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25, 2023 considers it expedient to communicate to you and other critical stakeholders and partners in the advancement of democracy in Nigeria, the position of our great Party (PDP) with regard to the conduct and outcome of that election.It is indeed disheartening to say that the election which raised the hopes of all Nigerians to witness an advancement in our electoral process turned out to be a charade.

“You would recall the outcry of many concerned citizens of this country variously accusing your commission of complicity in a planned manipulation of the electoral process in favour of the ruling party, APC.

“ At each time the issues took the media front burner you were quick in dispelling them as rumors and mere allegations. Today, Nigerians have all seen that those allegations were true.

“In many meetings and briefings your commission held with the political parties and the press ahead of the 2023 general elections, you assured Nigerians that INEC under your leadership would conduct a free, fair, transparent and credible election.

“You also promised the use of the Bimodal Verification and Accreditation System, BVAS, technology in voter accreditation and result management whereby the public would have unhindered access to the results uploaded to your Servers online and in real time (iREV). Contrary to this belief there was an abysmal failure on your part to honour your promises.Alleged complicity of INEC in rigging

“Everyone recalls with disappointment the reported widespread irregularities and manipulations that marred the election. There are ample evidence to show deliberate complicity of your commission in the entire fraud.

“ The falsification of results and deliberate de-activation of the BVAS and your Servers to frustrate the transmission of election results directly from the polling units attest to that. In all these issues brought to your attention you refused to act.

“Nigerians are no more in doubt of your direct involvement in aiding and abetting the monumental rigging and manipulation of the election results in favour of the ruling Party (APC).

“In addition, the refusal and neglect of your electoral officers to transmit the results of the election directly from the Polling Units (PU) to INEC Servers as required by law is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. This action is not acceptable to Nigerians and neither to the Peoples Democratic Party. It therefore stands to be challenged.

By isioma.

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