THE forum of presidential candidates in the February 23 presidential polls have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to revisit the Electoral Act with a view to effecting an immediate amendment towards improving the electoral processes.
The Chairman of the Forum of the Presidential Candidates, Mohammed Shittu, chairmen of the parties made the call at a press conference, Tuesday, in Abuja.
Passing a vote of confidence on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the 2019 polls, they called on the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abukakar to discontinue his unnecessary request over INEC’s server as the controversy “was a deliberate ploy to discredit and destroy the integrity of the nation’s electoral process.”
According to Shittu, “The needless controversy over the INEC server would have been lawful as it would have been mandatory for the Commission to deploy the server.
“We are aware that INEC had run pilots on electronic transmission of results. It had informed us that these pilots were deployed in Anambra, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states governorship elections.
“Can the so-called result from the server be referred to as credible where INEC could not have legitimately transmitted results of the presidential or any of the other elections electronically?
Criticizing the report of European Union Election Observer Mission (EU-EOM) for alleging a lack of transparency in the election guidelines, the Forum said, “INEC consulted widely and extensively, and together with stakeholders came up with the guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 elections.”
According to him, INEC adopted nine out of the eleven points the presidential candidates raised under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council and Coalition of United Political Parties.
“Going forward, we would like to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sign the Electoral Act Amendment into law once it is presented to him again by the National Assembly. That amendment will hugely improve our electoral system and its processes,” he added.
Describing the EU-EOM “as bewildering,” Shittu said “it is left to Nigerians to decide how we conducted our 2019 general elections.”