Scores of angry demonstrators on Tuesday stormed the National Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre in Abuja to demand that the Independent National Electoral Commission keep to its promise to deploy electronic transmission of results.
The development is coming barely 24 hours after a similar group gathered near the National Defence College, a few metres away from the centre, chanting “INEC, keep your promises”, “No IREV, no collation,” among others.
Tuesday’s demonstration saw the angry youths expressing dissatisfaction over the electoral umpire’s refusal to deploy live feed to transmit election results electronically.
Addressing journalists to cover the protest at Emeka Anyaoku street (about kilometre to the collation centre), one of the protest coordinators, Ilemona Onoja, explained that their major demand was for the INEC chairman, Prof Mamood Yakubu, to fulfill his pledge of a free, transparent and open process.
Onoja noted that in place of the due process that was promised, they were shocked to see INEC officials writing out the results contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
He said, “We came out on the 25th of February to cast our votes for our preferred candidates. We were told that a process was going to be followed. This process involves accreditation, voting and our ballots will be counted. After it has been counted, it will be transmitted directly to a central server. And that on the day of the election, at the national collation centre, that central server will be displayed and we will be able to follow the results.
“Now, all we are saying is, we don’t mind if our preferred candidate loses, just give us a transparent and open process. Let us be able to see the results. INEC promised us they will follow a certain procedure, we are asking them to follow it.”
Another demonstrator, who identified herself as Barrister Lillian Kozau, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), not to have his legacy destroyed by the action of INEC.
According to her, Nigerians deserve a transparent and well coordinated electoral process where the results of winners are seen at a glance.
She said: “INEC assured us that it would be a transparent process. They assured us of a transparent process and that the BVAS would be used, which is supposed to be an electronic process. Yet, after three days, 23 states still need to be uploaded. Why? Does this mean we will be doing this for one week?
“Why will a result be deleted from a platform after it has been uploaded? What are they up to? All we asked for was a transparent process. We just wanted whoever we voted for to emerge as the president of this country. We just wanted hope; we just wanted things to work. We are not asking for too much.
“We are not violent. Nobody is holding any weapon; we are just trying to make our voices heard. Please, our president should call INEC chairman to order. Eight years have passed, and we don’t care what happened. We are looking to the future. Buhari should not let his legacy to be tarnished. Let them follow due due process. Whosoever, we have voted for should be announced as the president of the country. Let things be done rightly.”