The Labour Party has criticised the process and collation of results from Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections across the country, stating that the outcome will be challenged in court.
According to the party, most of its members were deliberately disenfranchised through varied means across the country but were more discerning in its strongholds.
The National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, in a statement in Kaduna on Sunday, said while the party made inroads with high votes in most parts of the North, its members were deliberately prevented from voting, chased away violently from polling units, or had ballot papers and boxes destroyed in some and burnt in others.
He cited Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe, and Edo states as examples of places where such acts were rampantly perpetrated.
Ibrahim said in some places, the Independent National Electoral Commission staff and electoral materials were not deployed to areas that are known to be strongholds of the Labour Party or were deployed late to frustrate the party supporters who, psychologically, got tired of waiting and had to leave the polling units for fear of the unknown.
“The delay by INEC to upload and announce results, especially where the Labour Party, is already known to have taken the lead, is also worrisome, and we feel it is deliberate to anger our party and our supporters,” he said.
Ibrahim said intelligence from the field available to Labour Party from across the northern states, revealed that voters identified as supporters of the Labour Party were tactically denied access to their polling units by some INEC ad hoc staff who connived with others to confuse the electorates by insisting their polling units were different and sending them to the wrong ones.
This, he said, frustrated the electorate and reduced the votes polled by the party, which would have more than doubled if the right things were done.
The Labour Party’s scribe vowed that the party would challenge the outcome and final result of the polls in court.
He, however, called on the party members and supporters to be calm and to remain law-abiding.
But the Chief Spokesman for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, in a statement on Sunday, warned the Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party against heating up the polity with unflattering comments.
Keyamo in a statement on Sunday said, “Our attention has been drawn to some incendiary comments by the spokespersons for the opposition parties, notably the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party regarding the yet-to-be-announced results of the elections that held yesterday (Saturday). Some of them have threatened fire and brimstone if their own version of some concocted results are not announced in a bid to be the judge, jury and executioner in this elections.
“On our part, we have decided to be calm to await the official announcement of the results and to pursue any grievance (if any) in a lawful manner. But we shall not sit back and allow such unguided comments to gain grounds in order to foist a particular narrative on our citizens and the international community.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command has said it would investigate allegation that some voters were forced to vote for candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, at a certain polling unit in Fehintola Giwa Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos State.
A Twitter user, @omoelerinjare, had posted a video of a polling unit in Surulere, showing an unidentified man saying in Pidgin English, “If you no fit vote APC for here, go your house, nobody force you come here. I go come look am, if I see you vote another party, you go enter wahala.”
Reacting via his Twitter handle, the police spokesperson in Lagos, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said, “This is totally criminal and against the Electoral Act, 2022. Investigation and prosecution will commence.”