Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has demanded an immediate audit of the 2023 general elections with a view to looking at what went wrong and punishing officials responsible for such infractions.
National Vice Chairman, Northwest, of the party, Salihu Moh. Lukman gave the charge at a news conference Friday in Abuja.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has to do the audit before the conduct of the supplementary and all outstanding elections slated for April 15.
Noting that the general election was one of the best in Nigeria’s history, Lukman however said; “I want to use this opportunity to call on INEC, we must as a matter of urgency initiate the process of internal review of how the 2023 elections was managed. And as part of that review, they must address issues of ethical conduct of their own staff, including the returning officers.
“I am a critic of the choice of using academic staff as Returning Officers. I don’t believe being an Academic is equivalent to competence in managing public service, such as a Returning Officer in an election. There are many cases of Returning Officers compromising themselves to politicians and this is largely responsible for why there were varying standards. Just take the results of all the 36 states, you would find out that different standards were applied. You would find out that different standards were applied.
“There are cases that have been declared inconclusive, which ordinarily if the same standard had been applied, results would have been declared. One of those cases is Kebbi state for instance. Not because I am APC and I think being APC, we have a right to complain about that.
“There is also the case of Kano, which should be declared (inconclusive), if the standard of Kebbi had been applied to Kano. But these are general issues which for me, I thought I should call on INEC to do an internal audit of the management process of the last election and begin to fix things.
“That way, if it is possible, some of the infractions that have happened could be corrected before the rerun election”, he added.
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