The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has described the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections as poor, and tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the March 11 governorship and state assembly elections to restore the trust of Nigerians in its ability to conduct elections.
TMG, in its report on the election signed by its Chairman, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), the group also urged voters not to be dispirited but to turn out in large numbers to elect their governors and lawmakers peacefully.
The Group wondered why INEC failed to deliver in spite of all the logistical support it required from the Nigerian and foreign governments to execute an improved and digitized electoral process.
According to the report, “the 2023 general elections were expected to usher in a much more improved and digitized electoral process in Nigeria. It is in this regard that INEC received an unprecedented whooping sum of 355 billion Naira to conduct a credible election.
TMG stated that the conduct of the “Presidential and National Assembly elections were poor, especially the insistence of the commission to jettison immediate result transmission from polling units across the country.
“Despite this humongous financial commitment, and the incredible support received from the international community and civil society organisations, INEC failed to deliver on a straightforward mandate of meeting the expectations of Nigerians.”
“This singular act has given room for suspicion of human interference and manipulation of results and could truncate the will of the people as freely expressed at the poll.”
Explaining further its position, the group observed what it called “the disparity in the credibility level of the National Assembly elections where incumbent governors and serving members of parliament contested and lost across political parties from that of the presidential election.”
According to TMG, which tags itself a foremost election observation group in Nigeria, “this to be a direct manipulation of outcome of the presidential election than that of the legislative election.”
The Group tasked INEC on strict adherence to the Electoral Act 2022, electoral credibility in Nigeria while it called for the prosecution of electoral offenders to dissuade others.
TMG lamented the faulty processes in the political parties and noted that “where the political parties fail to get it right, it is absolutely impossible for Nigeria to get its general election right.”
The report further fingered the impact of the political party processes that produced the candidates as having a direct bearing on the conduct of the election.
“For instance, the procurement of party candidacy at the primaries through vote-buying resurfaced in the general election. Secondly, the violence that accompanied the campaign periods in some parts of the country transcended into electoral violence in a number of places during the presidential election,” it noted.