Allocation of votes, intimidation , protests characterised Nigeria’s 2023 post presidential election

By Maureen Ikpeama

It is disheartening when in an election people’s hope of electing a candidate of their choice is dashed as a result of election malpractices.

Election manipulation, voter fraud or vote rigging involves illegal interference with the process of an election, either by increasing the vote share of a favored candidate, depressing the vote share of rival candidates, or both.

These illegality always mar election process with protests, litigations and so on. It is worst when an unpopular candidate rigged his way in to power.

Nigeria on February 25,2023, held it’s presidential and national assembly elections. For the first time in the history of Niigeria’s democracy, people, both old and young troupe out enmasse to vote candidates of their choice.

Eighteen candidates contested for the presidential positions with Peter Obi of Labour Party(LP), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Rabui Kwankwaso of the NNPP , as major contenders.

The elections were marred with challenges of BVAS failure in some polling units, late arrival of INEC officials, late arrival of election materials,, inadequate supply of electrical materials , intimidation of voters, snatching of ballot papers, snatching of result sheets in some places.

That’s not enough, the worst issue was manipulation of the election results in places where votes were cast and manufacturing of fiqures and allocation of fiqures to candidates in places where elections did not hold,as was seen in Awo-Omanma, Imo state and Ekiti State, where results were written and posted in INEC server five days before the presidential election.

LP had 500 votes and was given 20.

In Enugu state, there was a case of a Corps member who manipulated results and allocated Peter Obi’s votes to some candidates. The video went viral on social media.

Reports on various media said that there were issues of manipulation of results, here and there. The case of Ekiti State, was terrible that taking a look at the result sheet on the server, a date, February 20 was written below, when the presidential election was held on 25 February. That was a clear evidence that results were manipulated in favour of the APC candidate.

The photo of the result went viral with a text, ” Nigeria is gone. Check the date on the server beneath the result and you notice the result was prepared before the election”

One would ask what happened to INEC server that results were not uploaded from the polling units as soon as they were announced as contained in the electoral Act.

From information gathered on the media, there was a cyber attack of INEC server. Many said that it was a done deal rigging the election.

Mike Osigwe, a business man said he voted during the presidential election, and was not happy with the results INEC announced in favour of APC. He said strongly, that INEC some staff were compromised .

For Mmukosolo Okeke, the APC and INEC rigged the election.” They robbed Peter Obi of Labour Party of his victory bit God will judge them”.

A civil servant, Chukwudi Aroh-Ene, said that the election was rigged. He wondered why at this present day Nigeria, people will be imposing leaders on the citizens. He said most Nigerians voted for Peter Obi and the results declared at the polling units were not what INEC announced.

There was a case of a polling unit where Peter Obi had 500 votes in Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt. INEC announced 20 votes the photo of the original result which went viral on social media ,is attached here.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) acknowledged that there were glitches in its results viewing platform (IReV), and was unable to quell fears that this could be stemming from cyber attacks or system sabotage.

INEC attributed the problem to “technical hitches attributed to scaling up the IReV from a platform of managing off-season, state elections, to one for managing nationwide general elections.”

This has raised many questions, particularly, why the server was not upscaled to accommodate the uploading and live viewing of federal and state results in an election that had over 93 million registered voters.

Many held the view that the 2023 presidential election was Nigeria’s most highly contested presidential election in the history, of Niigeria., putting Labour Party’s Peter Obi against Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Bola Tinubu of Nigeria’s All Progressives Congress party.

Most Nigerians, did not trust technology to run general elections. A Nigerian twitted that Nigerians had that fear that electronic transmission of presidential results was not going to work. He said that INEC did not address the fact that results that were not uploaded at the polling units may be manipulated before bring uploaded.”

Over 30 hours after voting ended in Nigeria, voters and candidates were frustrated and anxious as the election results portal was not showing results from several states

To be declared president in Nigeria, a candidate has to receive the highest number of votes cast across the country, as well as a quarter of the votes cast . With the problems of manipulation recorded in so many polling units , followed by the final results announced by the INEC Chairman, Prof Mamood Yakubu, that showed the emergency of Bola Tinubu as president-elect, there were series of protedts from INEC headquarters,Abuja to streets in various States.

Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (LP-PCC) accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of massive rigging and falsification of election results across the country against its candidate, Peter Obi.

The LP-PCC spokesman Kenneth Okonkwo made this allegations via his Twitter account on Sunday, February 26.

According to him, the results were rigged in favour of the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC).

He wrote: “There’s massive rigging and falsification of results in collation centres against Labour Party and in favour of the defeated criminal APC led by INEC officials. Please Obidients should pile pressure on this man for allowing the delay of uploading presidential election results to the INEC server.”

He also called on international bodies to put pressure on INEC to upload the results of the presidential election on its server.This is now the official face of electoral fraud in Nigeria. We should not wait for them to announce the stolen results before we act. Everyone should upload the results they have and be cross checking what INEC is uploading. The international community must put pressure on INEC to upload the presidential results now without delay to avoid unnecessary breakdown of law and order.”

“Whoever rigs this election against @PeterObi will die a painful death from the Almighty God and the time starts now. Just watch and see. @PeterObi defeated APC in the National Chairman polling unit, defeated APC in the DG of APC polling unit, defeated APC in Lagos and throughout Nigeria and someone in INEC is telling us nonsense,” Okonkwo said.

National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, in a press conference on Tuesday and spoke on manipulation of results. He noted that in Gombe the results declared were the same with that of Bauchi. Ayu asked how possible it could be that

Speaking at the briefing the national chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, urged President Muhamamdu Buhari to do the right and save Nigerians from imminent doom. .

On Sunday, INEC admitted the slow uploading of polling unit results on its result viewing portal (IRev). The commission said the problem is due to technical hitches.“It is indeed not unusual for glitches to occur and be corrected in such situations,” INEC said in a statement. It, however, assures Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems and that the IReV remains well-secured.Some political parties including the PDP have protested the delay in the uploading of the presidential election results on the election results Viewing portal (IRev), insisting that collation will not continue until that is done.

They also claimed that there are cases of over-voting in the results of Ekiti and Kwara states as presented by their collation officers and Resident Electoral Commissioners.

Other parties like NRM and APC asked INEC to ignore this call.

But the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, insisted that the cases of over-voting should have been flagged at either their polling units during counting, the registration areas, during local government collation or at the state collation centres. The parties have their representatives in all three levels, he said.

He said while the commission has the power to review the electoral process, “it is contingent” after the initial “process is concluded

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *