A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Osita Chidoka has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its conduct of the 2023 presidential election.
The PDP and Peter Obi’s Labour Party (LP) had challenged the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February poll, praying the court to nullify his win on the basis – among others – that INEC did not do a real-time transmission of results to the election portal.
But the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) ruled that INEC is at liberty to transmit results in whichever way it deemed fit. Though the court had struck out the petition and affirmed Tinubu’s win, Chidoka blamed the electoral body for reneging on its pre-election assurance that it would transmit the election results in real time.
“INEC is a monumental disgrace. INEC is an organisation I am ashamed to be associated with as a Nigerian,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, faulting the electoral umpire’s inability to electronically transmit election results in real-time.
He said this is because of “the promises INEC made with the Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun [governorship] elections”.
“I came on this programme and called for third-party verification of the INEC system so that we are sure that on election day what is going to happen that day would not lead to a glitch. On election day, INEC said there was a glitch,” the former Aviation minister said.
According to him, despite INEC’s inability to test the election results portal on a large scale, the electoral body’s defence is a “shame”.
“Despite not testing the system, it is a shame that INEC went to court to argue that not complying with its regulation does not make it a ground to cancel an election,” he noted.
As far as he is concerned, INEC’s struggle with such an issue paints the country badly in the comity of nations and wonders why Nigeria cannot emulate countries like India and Indonesia which have large populations but conduct better polls.