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Young professionals query INEC over conduct of polls

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The Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) has expressed reservations with the conduct of the 2023 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It queried the commission over what it alleged to be rampant cases of result manipulation across the country, a bid, it said, meant to subvert the will of the people of Nigeria who trooped out to vote massively in the presidential and National of Assembly elections on Saturday.

The NYPF said that the performance of INEC so far has been nothing short of abysmal, noting that the hope and confidence in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines has proven to be a wasted investment of people’s emotions in a system that has not been fully integrated and dependable.

While decrying incidences of thuggery, ballot box snatching, voters intimidation and suppression witnessed in some states like Lagos, Rivers and others, the NYPF said it was unbecoming of politicians to intimidate the people who have chosen to exercise their democratic rights.

In a statement, NYPF chairman, who is a former governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Moses Siloko Siasia said that the group noted that it was disappointing at this time to have the unwarranted hiccup from INEC technology with the BVAS and INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal performing below what INEC has promised to deliver.

Siasia cautioned against any attempt to sabotage the will of Nigerians to rewrite their political history, warning that any failure to deliver the minimally acceptable level of results that reflects the will of the people will be met with strong resistance.

“We are calling on INEC to redeem itself. Reports of INEC officials conniving with party agents and others to bypass the BVAS or to thump print and produce fake results must be halted and those found culpable punished immediately.

“INEC cannot afford to erode people’s trust and confidence in our electoral system with this poor performance which can be described as sabotage and an attempt to subvert the wishes and will of Nigerians.

“INEC must stop any further delay regarding uploading and announcing all election results across the country. This unwarranted delay is creating doubts and calling to question the integrity of this very election.

“We stand resolute that our election of 2023 must not only be free and fair but must be seen as being so without any doubts. Hence, we are calling on INEC to quickly do the needful”, Siasia said.

The NYPF is one of several other groups, organisations and political parties, including the Nigeria Labour Congress that have questioned the integrity and sanctity of the 2023 election which has attracted many criticisms with the collation and announcement of results currently ongoing.

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