Everything worked during 2023 election except INEC — Farotimi

A former spokesperson for the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council for the 2023 election, Dele Farotimi says everything worked during the February 25 poll except the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


“All the evidences are very clear and it showed very clearly that everything that should work on that day worked except INEC,” he said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday. “The integrity of INEC as an institution went on exile.”


INEC’s spokesman, Festus Okoye, had attributed the failure of the Bimodal Voter Registration Systems (BVAS) to transmit results of the presidential election in real-time to the commission’s Result Viewing Portal (IReV) to a “technical glitch.”


Okoye, in his defence, had said the IReV portal worked for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly polls.


The IReV and the BVAS are new technologies introduced by the electoral body for the accreditation and electronic transmission of votes for this year’s polls but Nigerians couldn’t view the results of the presidential poll in real-time before the electoral umpire declared former Lagos State governor and then flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu as winner of the keenly contested poll.


On Wednesday, Farotimi, an ally of Labour Party’s Peter Obi, who came third in the poll, said INEC said Okoye should have offered an apology to Nigerians for the failure of the electoral umpire to fulfill its promise to transmit election results electronically to all through the polls.


He said, “INEC is a public body established by law and bound to work according to the law. It advertised its guidelines…the advertisement of BVAS and IReV and everything. INEC was quite vociferous in explaining to Nigerians and assuring us of what would happen with the system.”


“In a sane environment where people are still governed by reason, the likes of Mr Festus Okoye should either have resigned or be somewhere writing a statement explaining to Nigerians what happened. Glitch? Is it a glitch in the human brain? A glitch in the technical system or a glitch occasioned by the complete shutdown of human conscience?” the Labour Party chieftain queried.


Farotimi said Okoye’s explanation of the technical glitch that characterised the February 25 presidential poll was at variance with common sense.


He said INEC “deliberately sabotaged” the process.


Obi and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are presently in court to challenge Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the poll by INEC.


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