Dalung criticizes INEC’s handling of the election and asserts that Nigeria is in trouble

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Solomon Dalung, a former minister of youth and sports development, criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the scandals that followed the recently completed presidential and national assembly elections and added that all was not well in Nigeria.

Speaking about the state of the country, particularly post-presidential Nigeria, Dalung observed that there has never been such a pronounced division along the lines of fundamental sentiments.

“The polls, so far, have hugely been an unsuccessful attempt at legitimacy because there have been series of controversies revolving around the conduct of the elections,” he noted.

He claimed that “using earlier elections in Ekiti and Osun States, INEC had mobilized Nigerians to trust the electoral process and to believe in the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS). What transpired on February 25th appears to be a negation of the perception Nigerians had of the BVAS following initial experiments.

According to Dalung, complaints have been made since the elections were held a fortnight ago “about the deployment and performance of the BVAS and the violence that characterised the conduct of the elections in some parts of the country.”

He explained that the general dissatisfaction with the exercise explains why “there have also been calls from major political actors advising caution, some withdrawing from the process, and some calling for the resignation of the umpire and even outright cancellation of the entire process.

“We might dismiss some of these as political rants, as is typically the case. But every cloud of smoke conceals some fire-related components.

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“I ran for the House of Representatives in the federal district of Langtang North/South. The vote went against me. “Again, if you take the provision of the Electoral Act, as it relates to downloading or uploading of results, if you go now to the INEC portal to look for the results of the election that have been declared for my Constituency, you can only find that only five wards, representing about 30% of the polling units in the Constituency, have been up for download or upload,” he claimed, adding that “the circumstances surrounding my loss of the election remain what I will test judicially.”

He claimed that when everything was considered, “it is clear that the law, which states that the results must be uploaded at the polling place, has not been followed.

The majority of the results as announced by the INEC are in stark contrast to and disagreement with the results our agents have and are holding, he continued. It might not have been possible for anyone to tamper with the results if the Electoral Act was followed and these results were uploaded right away to the INEC server.

Thus, he issued a warning that it would be extremely dangerous to ignore the complaints about the results not being uploaded to the INEC server. He urged the INEC to use the one-week window of the postponement to organize and conduct the remaining exercise better.

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