A group, Concerned Northern Forum (CNF), has congratulated the President-Elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, over his victory at the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
CNF also congratulated INEC for conducting what it described as a credible poll.
Addressing a news conference on Friday, at the Arewa House in Kaduna, Spokesperson of the forum, Abdulsalam Kazeem, said Tinubu’s victory was well-deserved, having been in the country’s political space for long time.
He stressed that as Northerners, they were pleased with his victory and pledged to work with him when he was eventually sworn in on May 29.
Kazeem explained that the fact that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a northerner, contested with Tinubu and lost, did not mean that they would join “other undemocratic groups and networks to condemn and discredit one of the most credible elections in the history of the country”.
“We are more concerned with the progress of Nigeria, and with Sen. Bola Tinubu, a new Nigeria is possible, we also salute the courage and integrity of the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu.
“He has made history by delivering an impeccable election despite the aggressive work of saboteurs and enemies of democracy in Nigeria,” Kazeem said.
He enjoined members of the opposition and Civil Society Organisations, to note that no election was completely devoid of challenges, and Nigeria, with its diverse nature, must have challenges bordering on logistics and human failures.
According to him, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, has done well by maneuvering through all the hurdles and giving a worthy election, saying that he deserved commendations and not condemnation.
Kazeem noted that in spite of widespread fears of insecurity, kidnappings, and against the judgment of many analysts that the elections would not hold in many parts of the country, INEC delivered in every part of Nigeria, including flashpoints of violent extremism and terrorism.
Speaking further, he said the Naira redesign and fiscal policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, came at a time when INEC had put finishing touches to its preparations.
“One needs not to be told that most of INECs activities, including training and logistics, are money based, still, they went ahead and surmounted the challenges without shifting the date of the elections.
“Insinuating that the just concluded elections is not free and fair is laughable because, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, Lagos state voted against Bola Tinubu and Buhari lost elections in his state.
“Similarly, about seven serving governors lost their senatorial elections. If the elections were not free and fair, then how come all the contesting political parties won in areas that were not their strongholds and even had elected representatives,” he wondered.
The Spokesperson also said that those calling for the cancellation of the election were enemies of the country and must not be given a listening ear.
According to him, calling for the cancellation of an election that has been conducted in the most peaceful and orderly manner across the country, was a call for the abortion of democracy.
“This election is the best Nigeria ever had and cannot be compared to the 1993 or even 1999 elections. Even in developed democracies, elections are never completely without challenges.
“The American elections of 2015 that produced President Donald Trump were rumoured to have been tampered with by the Russians, but that did not lead to the cancellation of the result.
“The election that produced late President Umaru Yar’Adua was equally challenging, but was not cancelled. In fact, Yar’Adua admitted the irregularities, but worked towards electoral reforms,” he said.
He called on those who lost elections to, in the spirit of sportsmanship, reach out and congratulate Tinubu, and work with him for a better Nigeria.
He said that is was not the first time candidates would lose in elections.
Kazeem called on those who feel aggrieved to approach the law courts and seek redress.
“Sponsoring protests and making inflammatory comments is unacceptable and a direct call for anarchy,”
SDP Calls For Review Of Kogi Governorship Election Results
The National Leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), has demanded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), review the results of the Kogi governorship election held on the 11th of November and declare the party’s candidate Murtala Ajaka as the fully elected governor of the state.
The national chairman of the SDP, Shehu Gabam made the demands on behalf of the party at a press conference at the party’s national Secretariat in Abuja on over the weekend.
Addressing newsmen Shehu Gabam said, they were amazed how the umpire who issued two separate press releases later turned around and admitted results over voting, prefilled, and mutilated results.
He noted that INEC must redeem itself by being above board in the Kogi governorship election.
“We therefore seek, the cancelation of polling units affected by overvoting, reverse the observed irregularities, rescind the result declared by the returning officer and declare the proper result, rescind the erroneous and unlawful return of Ahmed Ododo and declare Murtala Ajaka dully elected as the governor of Kogi State.” He said
To back his demands, he said, “We humbly request the INEC to exercise its rights and obligations under the constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act, 2022 to review the earlier result.
“In view of the above, we humbly request the Independent National Electoral Commission to exercise its rights and obligations under the Constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act, 2022 to review the earlier incorrect declaration and cancel the results where there had been irregularities and processes contrary to the provisions of the law, regulations, and guidelines, and manual for the election. He demanded
Speaking further he said, “We wish to report even more infractions and infringements in the Kogi State election and therefore wish to request the Chairman to review, in accordance with Section 65(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the declaration by Professor Johnson Urama, acting on behalf of INEC.
“We wish to bring the attention of the Honourable Chairman, the following complaints on actions which marred the Kogi election management and were in contravention of Section 51(2) of the Act, 2022 and hence formally request the Commission to make urgent reviews. They are: a. That significantly substantial registered voters with irregular or multiple registration were returned as lawful voters in Okene LG., A similar instance was observed at Okehl, Adavi and Ogori-Magogo, and Ajaokuta LGs.
“Also, activities of INEC functionaries which contravene Section 51(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 were reported by our Polling Agents who complained strongly at the ways and manners in which Presiding Officers at hundreds of Polling Units carried on; for instance:
Allowing Forms EC8A where total votes cast and rejected votes together were more than the total BVAS accreditation counts physically shown to the Polling Agents. The summation of the Total Valid votes and the Rejected votes written on Form EC8A
exceeded the total votes cast as written on the same Form EC8A Over voting also occurred in some Polling Units where total votes casts exceeded the count of voters in the voters register in the same Polling Unit.”
“That there were areas where voting did not take place at all, and polling agents were chased away and yet the Presiding Officers returned phantom results as lawful vote counts such as in Barilo Ward-1 in Okene LG at Govt. Day Sec. Sch. Irivucheba-l Polling Station 1701-038 where the Presiding Officer scored 400 votes for APC and zero for all the other parties. Even other Parties Polling Agents were not allowed to vote.” He added
He also noted that, Presiding Officers allowed illegal voters who failed accreditation and marked ‘FA on the Voters Register used on the election day to vote contrary to the guidelines and regulations
In nearly all these cases of overvoting and unlawful votes, the records of Forms EC40A, EC408, and EC40C did not match the records or did not correspond with the records put on Forms EC8A as required by the law, regulations, and guidelines. That PVC counts of all those eligible to vote in some Polling Units are less than the Total valid votes cast, even though these PVC counts were actually less than the count of voters registered
“We avow that the irregularities observed in the affected polling units substantially affected the outcome of the election and that but for such irregularities, the outcome would have produced a winner other than Mr Ahmed Usman Ododo of the APC and that
Murtala Ajaka, the candidate of the SDP would have and should have been declared the winner.”
The candidate of the SDP in the Kogi State governorship election, Murtala Ajaka, said he had earlier told the public that he wasn’t going to challenge the declaration of Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress APC by INEC as the elected governor of Kogi State. But had a change of mind from the evidence at hand and pressure from his people.
“Though I already said I wasn’t going to court from pressure from my people we are going to court, we have gathered all the evidence needed to win the case.”
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