Peoples Democratic Party, the Labour Party and the African Democratic Congress, on Tuesday, demanded the conduct of fresh presidential and National Assembly elections, asking the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to step aside.
The three parties at a joint press conference in Abuja, alleged that the February 25, 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections were marred with violence, rigging and intimidation of voters.
The parties, therefore, demanded the conduct of fresh elections.
LP National Chairman, Julius Abure, who spoke on behalf of the three opposition political parties, delivered their position, saying, “We are therefore constrained by this development to state that INEC compromised the integrity of this election even before collation commenced at the polling units.
“Section 60 sub-section 5 of the Electoral Act says that the presiding officer shall transfer the results, including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballots in a manner as prescribed by the commission.
“A failure to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the guidelines makes it imperative that all results recently uploaded on the IReV portal must be updated before they are announced.
“INEC went back on that promise…This election is not free and far from being fair and transparent.
“We shall not be part of the electoral process currently going on at the National Collation Centre and we demand that this sham of an election be immediately cancelled.
“We also call for a fresh election to be carried out in accordance to the laid down INEC procedure.
“We therefore call on Yakubu to step aside from his role.”
The parties asked Yakubu to step aside from his role as INEC Chairman for a “credible personality” outside the commission to take his place and oversee the process that would be acceptable to all stakeholders and will restore the confidence of the international community, the democratic process and institutions.
“We have a responsibility to the millions of Nigerians who put their faith in us and our presidential candidates to defend our country from the forces that seek to tear us apart,” he added.
The parties therefore called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to stand by his promise to Nigerians to leave a legacy of a free, fair, transparent and credible election.
Abure said, “President Buhari, this is the time of great test of your integrity, use your office to save Nigeria from this electoral mismanagement and save your legacy.
“We call on Nigerians to join us in defending the democracy of our country.”
Also present at the press briefing are the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu and his ADC counterpart, Ralph Nwosu.