Guber Poll: Charles Ogbu tells INEC never to endanger Corps members if you won’t transmit results

Electoral commission officers count votes at Shagari Health Unit polling station in Yola, Adamawa State on February 23, 2019 after the polls were closed during the day of the General elections. - Nigeria began counting votes in presidential elections, even as many people had yet to even cast their ballot because of delays in the opening of polling units and problems with staffing and technology. Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week announced a one-week delay to the election, just hours before it was due to get under way. The presidential contest will see incumbent Muhammadu Buhari (APC) seek to win a second four-year term against former vice president Atiku Abubakar (PDP). (Photo by Luis TATO / AFP) / “The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [byline LUIS TATO] instead of [byline CRISTINA ALDEHUELA]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.”

Ahead of the March 18 election, a social justice activist and critic, Charles Ogbu, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to expose innocent members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, to the danger of mob action if it is not ready to give Nigerians credible elections by transmitting results in real time.

He also urged INEC not to switch off the result uploading equipment as it did on February 25, insisting that the election had been adjudged by local and international observers as “deeply flawed”.

Ogbu, who gave the warning in a statement via his verified Facebook page on Friday, lamented that it broke his heart to see the innocent ad-hoc staff of the commission held hostage during the presidential election because voters insisted results must be uploaded into the servers before they leave.

He lamented that INEC had all the time to prepare and got all the money it asked for but could not provide voting pads and ink in some polling units in Lagos during the last election.

While noting that some Nigerians are currently seething with rage over what he described as “institutionalized fraud” by INEC, Ogbu urged the commission not to make Nigerians start viewing it as their worst enemies.

Part of the statement read: “Please, if you know you are not going to give Nigerians a CREDIBLE, FREE, FAIR & TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS tomorrow, complete with REAL TIME ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF RESULTS as required by law and as you yourself repeatedly promised, please don’t bother exposing innocent youth corpers to the danger of mob action. I carry God beg you. Don’t go and switch off the result uploading equipment as you and your IT guys did on February 25, which ended up giving us an election that has been adjudged by both local and international observers, the press as well as the international community as “deeply flawed”.

“During the presidential poll, it broke my heart to see the innocent ad-hoc staff of your commission held hostage into the night by voters who were insisting that the results must be uploaded into the servers before they would leave. Unknown to both the voters and your staff that you, the chairman, had arranged with your crooked IT guys to switch off the machine for the uploading of the results.

“On February 25, you guys came to some voting centres without a voting pad and ink. In Okota, Lagos, it was the voters who went to buy ink and pad for your staff. And no, that wasn’t because you couldn’t afford one, it was you deliberately trying to disenfranchise voters in opposition strongholds.

“If tomorrow’s elections are rigged either by INEC refusing to upload the untainted results from the polling unit or allowing their fraudulent Professors to re-write results as we saw in rivers, Imo and other places, the consequences may be far-reaching.”

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