The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which was tasked with compiling the results of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections held on Saturday, has come under fire from the Labour Party (LP), which has threatened to sue the electoral body.
Most Labour Party supporters, according to the party, were allegedly purposefully disenfranchised using a variety of tactics around the nation but were more discerning in its strongholds.
In a statement released by the party’s national secretary, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim, on Sunday, the party claimed that LP members had been purposefully barred from voting, violently ejected from polling places, or had ballot papers and boxes demolished and burned in other areas, despite the party having gained ground with high vote totals in most of Northern Nigeria.
He mentioned several states where such offenses were frequently committed in contravention of the Election Act of 2022, as Amended, which are: Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe, and Edo.
Umar claims that in some places, INEC staff and election supplies were either not deployed to areas known to be strongholds for the Labour Party or were deployed too late to annoy party supporters who, psychologically weary of waiting, were forced to leave the polling units out of fear of the unknown.
“The delay by INEC to upload and announce results, especially where Labour Party, is already known to have taken lead, is also worrisome and we feel it is deliberate to anger our party and our supporters,” he said.
He asserted that this incensed the populace and reduced the number of votes cast for the Labour Party, which would have more than doubled if the right things had been done.
The Labour Party’s national secretary reiterated that the party would surely bring a lawsuit challenging the outcome of the election.
The party is taking steps to make up for the injustice done to her in the Saturday presidential and National Assembly Elections, but he urged the party’s members and supporters to remain composed, uphold the law, and be encouraged by their efforts thus far. He also urged them to mobilize even more for the next round of elections.