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Professor Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman

Probe INEC’s over N400bn expenditure for 2023 polls, Labour Party Democracy Day speakers task NASS

…. 1993, 2023 share similar fate on annulment

The 10th National Assembly has been urged to urgently commence the probe of the role played by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in the 2023 general election.

It should also look into why the outcome failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians and the international community as well as how it expended over four hundred billion Naira (N400bn) tax payers money on the election.

Citing South Africa which used less than 20 percent of the total money spent by INEC to conduct a successful election only last week, the speakers also compared the June 12,1993 presidential election and February 14, 2023 election, insisting that both suffered annulment fate.

The Guest lecturer, Prof. Sam Amadi, explained that the National Assembly probing INEC should be part of its oversight functions and obligations to Nigerians, stressing that it should be able to explain to Nigerians why its results were not collated and declared electronically as provided in the INEC Electoral Act as amended.

“Nigerians and indeed the National Assembly should be courageous enough to probe INEC expenditure during the 2023 general elections. The failure of the INEC server during the Presidential election with all the money given to them.

“It is appalling that no one spoke about the huge amount of money given Mahmood Yakubu and all the INEC commissioners to prosecute a failed election, failed because the Supreme Court has to step in to determine the result of elections”.

Furthermore, Dr Amadi, insisted that the ongoing electoral reform must reject the inconsistency of allowing the Presidency to appoint an INEC Chairman, stressing that such gives room for election rigging before the votes are cast.

“What is imminent here is that they have already positioned party members as INEC commissioners against 2027 where they would work and declare the results in favour of the Presidency that appointed them.

“To this end, opposition parties should work together to win the war on electoral reform. It is time for you to decide whether to be the vanguard of change or not and set up a system that can win elections, this is because politics is not a game of possible’, ‘ if we are determined, we will win”.

Further admonishing the Labour Party members, during Democracy Day, he said that in preparation for 2027, the Labour Party should reminiscence the Nigerian political terrain to determine how to go about it next election.

“I think it is an error for any political party to go into any election without strengthening its process. You must take a review of your past, your mistakes and opportunities and weigh options with training of staff and support for the electoral reform, things will positively work out”, he said.

While welcoming members during the occasion, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure, reminded the similarity between the military regime of 1993 that annulled the general elections and 2023 election which was mismanaged by INEC.

Abure said that one of the cardinal strong points to prepare the Labour Party again for the 2027 general elections, is to ensure a holistic approach to electoral reform, to ensure that the party followers are well-educated.

Labour Party National Assembly members who spoke at the occasion, appealed to members to shun internal crises and to eschew division in the party.

Hon. Victor Adam Oghene, leader of the Labour Party Reps caucus, while speaking promised that electoral reform which has passed the second reading at the lower Chamber would ensure that the reform is passed into law and early enough against the 2027 general elections.

Also, the Chairman of the Political Commission of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Mr. Martins Egbanubi corroborated that there is no division in the Labour Party as rumoured. “We don’t have two factional leadership and there can never be so the Labour Party remains united and strong”.

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