Mixed reactions have trailed the
position of 60 political parties on the raging controversy on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) server.
While the Presidency, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, welcomed the endorsement of the February 23 presidential elections as free, fair and credible by the presidential candidates and chairman of the 60 parties, the opposition PDP in a statement by its spokes man Kola Ologbodiyan, accused the INEC of raising the parties to cover its track.
The Presidency urged the opposition to accept the loss with grace and maturity, adding that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch would look into the Electoral Act as advised by the parties at their joint news conference.
The statement by Shehu reads: “We are encouraged by the patriotism of the presidential candidates expressed in clear and matured language. We are convinced that, regardless of our different political persuasions we can work together to improve electoral integrity in Nigeria.”
Towing the line of the parties, the Presidency said: “Despite the temporary setbacks experienced at the beginning, INEC managed to produce an election in which the voice of the ordinary people counted. Democracy is founded on the will of the people and INEC did well to ensure this outcome was achieved in the 2019 elections.
“The success of democracy does not only depend on electoral laws, but also on behaviour, character and attitude of politicians.
“Do-or-die politics is a threat to the success of electoral laws and democracy. And you don’t need to kill in order to serve the people.”
The Presidency assured members of the joint forum of the 60 political parties and chairmen of parties that the President will not spare any effort in signing the Electoral Act into law after looking into it.
The PDP accuses INEC of allegedly sponsoring an “amorphous” group to support the denial by the Commission of existence of a central server.
Ologbondiyan said PDP’s investigation revealed that the group was hurriedly “conjured” by the leadership of INEC and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to Ologbondiyan, the main objective of the group was to assist INEC in distorting facts and making misrepresentations on a matter that are already subjudice.
He said: “This was an attempt to help clean up INEC’s blunders on the existence of the server, sway judicial pronouncements and influence public opinion on extant matters in court.