By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, yesterday, asked contestants in Saturday’s governorship and State Assembly elections to accept all results officially declared by it.
This was even as it urged those not satisfied with the outcome of the polls to seek redress at the tribunal.
It, however, promised to launch a full-scale investigations into cases of violent incidents in most states of the federation during the conduct of the polls.
The Commission’s chairman,Professor Attahiru Jega, in a statement, through his Chief Press Secretary,Mr. Kayode Idowu, tasked every citizen to maintain peace as the results of the elections were being processed.
“The Commission calls on every citizen to maintain the peace as the results of the governorship and state Assembly elections are being processed, and to accept the official outcomes, INEC stated.
It emphasised that winners could only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the legal framework.
INEC reminded aggrieved politicians that the constitutionally recognised way of channeling grievances arising from election conduct in Nigeria was the election petition tribunals
It said:”Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the tribunals.”
The Commission, which noted that overall, many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections,regretted that the polls were marred by violent incidents in most states,promising to carry out thorough investigations.
“Some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents, the most affected being Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo.
“INEC’s records show that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the Commission’s officials, voters and election materials.
“These were in Rivers State (16 incidents), Ondo (8), Cross River and Ebonyi (6 each), Akwa Ibom (5) Bayelsa (4), Lagos and Kaduna (3 each), Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun (2 each), Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun (one each).
“The Commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within in its powers to bring culprits to justice.”
INEC said its general assessment showed that the elections went very wel.
“According to preliminary reports, 88.9 per cent of polling units opened for accreditation between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. across the country. Only 5.2 per cent were yet to open as of 1 p.m. Also, 73 per cent of the polling units had commenced voting by 2.30 p.m.
“The process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was also successful in a majority of the polling units. Initial challenges were recorded in Edo and Abia states, but the technical teams deployed to support the states were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner,”it added.