he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has received criticism from the Labour Party for the manner in which it tallied the results of the presidential and national assembly elections held on Saturday. The Labour Party has threatened to sue to overturn the results.
The Labour Party claimed that while its supporters were more discerning in its strongholds, the majority of its members had been purposefully denied their rights through a variety of ways nationwide.
In a statement released by the party’s national secretary, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim, on Sunday, the party claimed that Labour Party members had been purposefully barred from voting, violently ejected from polling places, or had ballot papers and boxes demolished and burned in other areas, despite the party having gained ground with high vote totals in most of Northern Nigeria.
He named a number of states, including Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe, and Edo, where such crimes were frequently committed in violation of the modified Electoral Act of 2022.
Umar claimed that in some locations, INEC personnel and election supplies were either not deployed to locales known to be Labour Party strongholds or were deployed after the polls had already closed in order to aggravate party supporters who were weary of waiting, were forced to leave the polling locations out of fear of the unknown.
“The delay by INEC to upload and announce results, especially where Labour Party, is already known to have taken lead, is also worrisome and we feel it is deliberate to anger our party and our supporters” he said.
Umar also claimed that information gathered from the field showed that in the Northern states, voters who had been identified as Labour Party supporters had been strategically denied access to their polling places by some officials who collaborated with others to trick the voters by telling them their polling places were different and sending them to the incorrect ones. He claimed that this angered the electorate and decreased the votes received by the Labour Party, which would have more than doubled if the proper actions had been taken.
The LP urged INEC to take a stand, summon its poll workers to order, and enforce disciplinary actions in accordance with the updated Electoral Act of 2022.
According to the national secretary of the Labour Party, the party will unquestionably file a legal challenge to the decision and result.
While the party works to make up for the injustice done to it in the Saturday presidential and National Assembly Elections, he urged the party’s members and supporters to maintain composure, adhere to the law, and be encouraged by their progress in organizing for the next round of voting.