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Obi Charges Buhari, INEC On Credible 2023 Polls

The Obi-Datti Media Office has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, to deliver credible elections in 2023.

According to a statement issued by the media office on Thursday, it was refreshing and encouraging for the growth of democracy in Nigeria to hear Buhari and Yakubu promise free, fair, and credible elections in 2023.

It recalled President Buhari’s courtesy call last Tuesday at the palace of the Gbong Gwom of Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, when he stated, “No election winner will be denied his mandate, regardless of the party to which they belonged.”

It also noted Yakubu’s open letter on Thursday to Nigerians to mark 100 days to the presidential election on February 25, 2023, where he said, “Once again, another General Election is upon us, the 7th since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999. Over the last 23 years, we have made steady progress in the twin areas of electoral reform and election administration.

“Although a lot of work still lies ahead, it is generally acknowledged that our elections are getting better and citizens’ confidence in the process is increasing.

“As I have said repeatedly, the Commission’s allegiance is to Nigeria. Our loyalty is to Nigerians who want free, fair, credible, and verifiable elections supported by technology, which guarantees transparent accreditation and upload of polling unit results for citizens to view in real-time on election day.

“It is for these reasons that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) were introduced. There is no going back on the deployment of BVAS and IReV for the 2023 General Election.”

Reacting to the comments by the duo, the Obi-Datti Media Office said it “notes these assurances coming from the two most critical characters whose sincere guarantees and commitment will ensure for free, fair and credible elections in 2023.

“Free and fair election in 2023 remains the only path for the growth of democracy in our clime and for the political stability that is needed for development.

“Obi-Datti Media Office in acknowledging this laudable and refreshing verbal commitment urges them to put their words into action by showing in their deeds and actions that they mean what they say by actively doing it.

“In order words, the Obidient Movement is saying loudly that the President and the INEC should put into practice what they are preaching as it’s the only way to take Nigeria out of the woods.

“In 2019 about 28.6m Nigerians voted in the Presidential election out of 82.3m registered voters which are not good enough and part of the seeming voter apathy is due to lack of transparency that puts voters off.

“It’s also due to logistics challenges arising from personnel incompetence, corruption, and abuse of privileges and power by some stakeholders that includes security operatives.

“Given the fresh assurances from these key stakeholders, the Obi-Datti political family wishes to encourage and urge them to perform actions consistent with their claims and pronouncements.

“We need to remind the Electoral body also that it’s their basic responsibility to ensure that what is needed before and on an Election Day is to make adequate arrangements without excuses.

“It’s gratifying to hear the INEC Chairman say repeatedly that the Commission’s allegiance is to Nigeria.

‘Our loyalty is to Nigerians who want free, fair, credible and verifiable elections supported by technology, which guarantees transparent accreditation and upload of polling unit results for citizens to view in’.

“We, therefore, finally urge the President and the INEC boss to walk their talk as it’s the best thing to do for our democracy to endure.”

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