The Labour Party, LP, is faulting the process of collating results, asserting that it will challenge the outcome of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections in court.
National Secretary of the Labour Party, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim, in a statement on Sunday, explained that most of its members were deliberately disenfranchised through varied means across the country, saying that they were more discerning in their strongholds.
According to him, while the party made inroads with high votes in most parts of northern Nigeria, her members were deliberately prevented from voting, chased away violently from polling units, or had ballot papers and boxes destroyed and burnt in others.
He said, “Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe and Edo states are among places where such acts were rampantly perpetrated in violation of the electoral act 2022 as amended.”
He added that in some places, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, staff and electoral materials were not deployed to areas that are known to be strongholds of the Labour Party, or deployed late to frustrate the party supporters who, psychologically, got tired of waiting and had to leave the polling units for fear of the unknown.
He observed that the delay by INEC to upload and announce results, especially where Labour Party, is already known to have taken the lead, is also worrisome, stressing that the party feels it is a deliberate act to anger the party and their supporters.
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Umar alleged that intelligence reports from the fields revealed that in the northern states, electorates identified as Labour Party supporters were tactically denied access to their polling units by some INEC ad-hoc staff who connived with others to confuse the electorates by insisting their polling units were different and sending them to the wrongs ones, alleging that it frustrated the electorates, and reduced the votes polled by Labour Party, which would have more than doubled if the right things were done.
He called on INEC to checkmate and call its polling staff to order and also ensure punitive measures in line with the Electoral Act 2022 as amended and assured that the party would challenge the outcome and final result in court.
Umar Farouk also called on the party members and supporters to be calm, and remain law-abiding, but be encouraged by their efforts so far and mobilise even more for the next round of elections, as the party takes steps to right the wrong meted out to her in the Saturday presidential and National Assembly elections.