Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CSJET), on Sunday in Abuja scored INEC and its chairman Mahmood Yakubu high on the conduct of the 2023 general elections, urging disgruntled politicians to seek redress via legal and democratic means instead of discrediting INEC.
Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party have described the February 25 presidential election as flawed and accused INEC and its senior officers, including the chair of partisanship. Several other politicians, citizens and election observers also expressed dissatisfaction about election results.
CSJET’s executive secretary, Isaac Ikpa, told a news conference that though the elections had challenges, writing off the whole process as lacking in credibility was not right.
He said INEC deserved commendation for noticeable improvements in the electoral process and its outcomes.
“CSJET commends INEC’s chairman for his display of courage in ensuring the credibility of the electoral process in spite of some challenges. Our position is hinged on the fact that we gathered reports from observers across the country on the electoral process,” the group explained. “The majority of the outcome was positive, indicating that the elections were free, fair, and credible.”
It added, “This much was admitted by some international observer missions that rated the 2023 general elections as credible and arguably one of Nigeria’s most keenly contested elections. The centre commends Prof Yakubu particularly on the technological innovations that were introduced in spite of efforts by saboteurs to discredit the electoral process.”
The group warned disgruntled politicians against blackmailing INEC and its chairman.
“The 2023 general elections were indeed free, fair, and credible. We advise persons and groups threatening INEC and its chairman to face their opponents. The 2023 general elections would go down in history as one of the most keenly contested elections as well as one of the freest, fairest, and most credible elections in the country’s annals,’’ noted CSJET.
It urged those displeased with the electoral process and the outcome to seek redress through lawful means rather than casting aspersions on INEC and its chairman.