Two opposing protesters stormed the International Conference Centre, Abuja – the venue of the National Collation Centre – to protest for and against the collation of results of Saturday’s presidential election from states.
The first group of protesters expressed dissatisfaction over the refusal to use electric transmission of results as promised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
One of the protesters, Ilemona Onoja, said their major demand was for the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to fulfil his promise for a transparent and open process.
“Instead what we are seeing is a situation where results that were written, that didn’t follow the process, are being announced as the results of the election contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, contrary to the INEC guidelines that they issued, and contrary to the promises of the INEC chairman.”
Also speaking, another angry protester, Lillian Kozau, urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow his image to be tarnished and his legacy to be destroyed by the INEC.
But, in a counter-protest, another group under the aegis of Concern Nigerians said Nigerians were satisfied with the outcome of Saturday’s presidential election.
The convener, Lawrence Beatrice, alongside other officials of the group including Mohammed Bello and Shola Lawal, urged INEC not to be distracted.
They said that the upsets recorded during the election showed that it was credible despite some unintended challenges. Also, another group of protesters under the aegis of Nigerian Voters led by Dominic Alancha kicked against calls for cancellation of the election.
The protesters carried banners and placards with different inscriptions such as “Our Democracy Must Not Be Scuttled,” “INEC Must Not Stop Collation of Results,” and “Election Must Not Be Cancelled,” among others.
Addressing newsmen close to the National Collation Centre, Alancha described the polls as free, fair and credible.
“We are absolutely in support of the process and we urge INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to continue with the collation and announcement of results as they trickle in,” he said.
He said that some sitting governors lost their senatorial bids and some serving members of the National Assembly lost their return bids while “ordinary citizens” won various offices showed that the electoral process was free, fair, transparent and credible.
By Abbas Jimoh & Saawua Terzungwe (Abuja)