INEC chairman allegedly took blood money to manipulate election — Obasanjo

Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has accused the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC of collecting ‘blood money from unnamed individuals to subvert the popular wishes of the Electorate in Saturday February 23, 2023 Presidential elections where over 18 million Nigerians cast their votes.

He also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC chairman to cancel urgently elections for lack of credibility to save Nigeria’s democracy from looming danger and disaster
by rectifying the errors in the polls.

Obasanjo in a letter to President Buhari and Yakubu on Tuesday, alleged that some INEC officials sabotaged the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the Server for transmission of results from polling units.

Obasanjo’s statement comes after INEC had declared the Candidate of APC, Ahmed Bola Tinubu as the winner of last Saturday presidential elections in 25 States out of 36 States and the FCT.

Obasanjo, in the letter made available to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital, through his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, also accused officials of the Commission of manipulating the election process to favour a particular Candidate.

The letter partly read, “I am constrained to speak at this point. I crave the indulgence of the President to make this statement because I have had opportunity to keep him aware of what I know is happening and the danger looming ahead.

“On many occasions in the past, I have not hesitated to point out lacuna in the action of the President and his government. But as far as the election issues are concerned, the President has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he will want to leave a legacy of free, fair, transparent and credible elections.

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“Until last Saturday night, February 25, the good and noble plan and preparation for the elections seemed to be going well. For INEC, a lot of money was spent to introduce BVAS and the Server for immediate transmission of results from polling units.

“It is no secret that INEC officials, at operational level, have been allegedly compromised to make what should have worked not to work and to revert to manual transmission of results, which is manipulated and the results doctored.

“The chairman of INEC may claim ignorance but he cannot fold his hands and do nothing when he knows that election process has been corrupted and most of the results that are brought outside BVAS and Server are not true reflection of the will of Nigerians who have made their individual choice.

“Let me appeal to the INEC chairman, if his hands are clean, to save Nigeria from the looming danger and disaster, which is just waiting to happen. If the chairman can postpone elections four days to the election, he can do everything to rectify the errors of the last two days – no BVAS, no result to be acceptable; and no uploading through Server, no result to be acceptable.

“Whereas, BVAS and Servers have been manipulated or rendered inactive, such results must be declared void and inadmissible for election declaration. INEC Chairman, I have thought that you would use this wonderful opportunity to mend your reputation and character for posterity.

“Your Excellency, President Muhammadu, tension is building up and please let all elections that do not pass the credibility and transparency test be cancelled and be brought back with areas where elections were disrupted for next Saturday, March 4, and BVAS and Server officials be changed”.

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Similarly, the National Peace Committee, jointly chaired by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has urged INEC to investigate the grievances being expressed by Nigerians against the presidential election.

It appealed to INEC to take all the time it required to ensure delivery of results, which will inspire the confidence of Nigerians in line with international best practices.

Abdulsalami made the recommendations in a statement titled: ‘A call for calm: Please give peace and the process a chance’, in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Committee, reminded Nigerians that the world has invested a lot of goodwill towards the Country in the elections, adding that all citizens deserve to be rewarded by a process that ensures that their votes truly count.

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