The Chairman, Section of Public Interest and Development (SPIDEL) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Monday Ubani, has said that there was no voter apathy in the Saturday February 25, 2023 Presidential Election that held in Nigeria, but that it was the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that disappointed Nigerians.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Saturday Telegraph on the election, Ubani said that the figure of registered voters given by the INEC was not correct, saying that it was given to justify the amount of money that was reportedly spent on the election. “I doubt the figures of the INEC. All those wrong figures were given to collect more money from the Federal Government.
Those figures that they published should be interrogated. As I said, they were given to collect money from the Federal Government as they collected money per person. “Also, it is not true that people did not go out to vote. That was why I said first and foremost that we need to see and interrogate the number of the voters that INEC gave.
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“We need to ask if they gave the right figure and did they give PVCs to the number of people that registered. “We have people that went for their PVCs and they did not get them. We also saw where people discovered PVCs in the bush. How did they get to the bush from the office of INEC. “These are factors that you must take into consideration.
Remember also that elections were disrupted in many places, where people came out to vote and elections never took place. They thought that if they allowed it their opponents would defeat them,” he said. Ubani stressed that all these would form parts of the people that voted, but that they were not as the votes were cancelled. He stated that if all these were taken into consideration people would not be talking about voter apathy, saying that many young people went out to vote.
He said; “People came out, people travelled down from the United States and the United Kingdom to come and cast their votes in Nigeria. “We need to interrogate the figure of the people that they said registered to vote, we will also have to blame INEC for registering people only for them not to be given PVCs. You also have to blame INEC as there were places, where election ought to take place, but security broke down.
“INEC failed Nigerians big time. They said they would transmit the results electronically, but they never did. If you say you would transmit results and you never did, you now came out to announce the results manually despite the improvement in technology, what have you done? You kept us for almost three days to know who is the president, you have not done well.”
No voter apathy in elections, INEC disappointed Nigerians –Ubani While saying that he did not trust INEC, the activist urged Nigerians not to give up, but to keep on talking, adding that those who have genuine complains should bring them out so that they could be used to seek redress in court, and that there is no other way than going to court if there is any evidence of injustice or wrong.
On the Electoral Act, he said that the one that was used was the 2010 Electoral Act, while noting that all the political parties were affected by the shortcomings noticed in the election. “INEC has a lot to do to really restore the confidence of Nigerians. This process is like go ahead and vote we will do our own and INEC is the one advising people to go to court.
“They have powers to do certain things, yet they are telling people to go to court. “I want to advise Nigerians to go out enmasse to vote in the next election, they should not give up. I also believe that INEC would put its house in order,” he said.