Election: Labour Party faults INEC for Disenfranchising Voters
Ahead of the Independent National Electoral Commission collation and announcement of result of saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections, one of the four leading and contending Parties, the Labour Party (LP) is faulting the process and collation of results, asserting that it will challenge the outcome in court.
The party said most of its members were deliberately disenfrachised through varied means across the country, but were more discerning in its strongholds.
National Secretary of Labour Party, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim in a statement issued on Sunday, said while the party made inroads with high votes in most parts of northern Nigeria, her members were deliberatelly prevented from voting, chased away violently from polling units, or had ballot papers and boxes destroyed and burnt in others.
He cited Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe and Edo states among places where such acts were rampantly perpetrated in violation of the electoral act 2022 as amended.
Umar said in some places, INEC staff and electoral materials were not deployed to areas that are known to be strongholds of Labour Party, or deployed late to frustrate the party supporters who, psychologically got tired of waiting and had to leave the polling units for the fear of the unknown.
“The delay by INEC to upload and announce results, esecially where Labour Party, is already known to have taken lead, is also worrysome and we feel it is deliberate to anger our party and our supporters” he stressed.
Umar also revealed that intelligence from the fields revealed that across the northern states, electorates identified as Labour Party supporters were tactically denied access to their polling units by some INEC adhoc staff who conived with others to confuse the electorates by insisting their polling units are different and sending them to the wrongs ones. He said this fustrated the electorates, and reduced the votes polled by Labour Party, which would have more than doubled if the right things were done.
While calling on INEC to checkmate and call its polling staff to order and also ensure punitive measures in line with the electoral act 2022 as amended, the Labour Party National Secretary assured that the party would definitely challenge the outcome and final result in court.
Umar Farouk however called on the party members and supporters to be calm, remain law abiding, but be encouraged with their efforts so far, and mobilise even more for the next round of elections, as the party takes steps to right the wrong metted out to her in the saturday presidential and National Assembly Elections.