Abuja—The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum(SMBLF) has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to tamper with the results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
SMBLF, led by former Federal Commissioner for Information, Pa Edwin Clark , in a statement, expressed concern over the non-transmission of results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections to INEC portal, after collation of the results at the various polling units across the country.
The group said it was disturbed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to Nigerians and the international community of holding free, fair and credible elections may have been undermined by the actions and inactions of INEC.
Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, President, Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, and Secretary General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, are among the leaders that endorsed the SMBLF statement.
The statement read in part: “Suffice to say that INEC failed to adhere to critical provisions of the amended Electoral Act, with several reports of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, challenges, the delay in upholding the results and excuses of server hitches.”
“There were also cases of outright voter intimidation in parts of the country, particularly, in Lagos, where people were allegedly prevented from voting, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has been silent on the occurrences.
“Most worrisome are the suggestions that the delay in uploading results to the INEC Portal was deliberate; to provide certain persons opportunities to alter the election results, with Lagos and Delta states repeatedly cited.
“These situations are unacceptable and should not be allowed. We warn INEC not to tamper with the results; the will of Nigerians as expressed through the votes cast on Saturday, across the country, must be upheld. Let the choice of the people stand, in the interest of peace and stability.
“There were high hopes that INEC would do a good job, unfortunately, it appears that the electoral body was not prepared to conduct credible elections.”
The group cautioned INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu not to pour scorn on his hard earned reputation, due to pressure from desperate politicians, adding that Nigeria is greater than any individual or group.