Tue, 16 Jul 2024


Nigeria Decides 2023: Take your anger, frustrations to the poll –Igini to Nigerians
From: Agency Report
Fri, 24 Feb 2023   ||   Nigeria,

The former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa-Ibom, Mr. Igini has charged Nigerians to take their anger, pains, hunger and frustration to the polling units across the country on Saturday, February 25, as they make the crucial choice of electing the next president, who will take over from President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2023.
In a letter to Nigerians titled, “A reminder on what Nigerians need to know about INEC procedures,” Igini reminded Nigerians that there would be consequences for the choices they make on Saturday’s presidential election.
He stressed that the 2023 election would be an electoral revolution; the type Nigerians have never witnessed in recorded history if they trooped out enmasse to express their anger and frustration through the ballot on Saturday.
“Fellow Nigerians, in a matter of hours, all citizens of voting age in this country will be trooping to the 176, 846 polling units, minus the 240 polling units, where there are no registered voters, to make a very important decision; the choice of the next president and members of the National Assembly. In effect, the coming Saturday’s presidential election would be conducted in a total of 176,606 polling units nationwide.
“We must all bear in mind that there will be consequences for the choices that we will make in all these elections for the next four or eight years. You must be guided in your decision of your choice by the kind of Nigeria you want to see and leave, and those who can lead the way for us collectively to achieve our desires in this country. You all must come out to vote and fix the politics in order to fix the economy,” he stated.
Reminding Nigerians that the power to elect leaders of their choice now lies in their own hands, because the 2022 Electoral Act has made that possible, he said: “In the last six months, l have, as part of my continued contributions to give meaning and purpose to the ballot as the best means to express the will of people in a democracy, embarked on weekly live public education and enlightenment on electronic platforms freely provided by the management of Arise, AIT, Channels, TVC and Silverbird  television stations,  as well print media, on what the Nigerian people need to know about the 2022 Electoral Act and the INEC’s innovations and procedures that have put voters at the centre of our electoral democracy and candidates at the periphery on Election Day. The votes of the people now count more than ever before and that is why politicians are desperate to buy votes.”
Igini lamented that Nigerians’ failure over the years to recognize the primacy or centrality of politics and political processes in shaping state’s goals and development outcomes has been responsible for the sorry state of the country.
He, therefore, urged all eligible voters to go out on Saturday to vote, reminding Nigerians that it is a general election and not party primary elections where only the delegates are allowed to vote.
“The election of Saturday is a general election for the people of this country to decide their future. This is not a delegate primary election of political parties, where delegates are given special dress to wear like prisoners, locked up in a hotel, not to be spoken to by anyone and driven to the venue to vote as directed.
“On Saturday, no Nigerian voter is required to go to the INEC offices or political party offices to take directive from anyone on who to vote for. That is why shock and lamentation await politicians that want to rely on vote buying. That will have no meaningful impact on the outcome of the 2023 election,” he said.
He noted that the election belongs to the youths who constitute over 70 million on the voter’s register, insisting that the outcome of the election would emphatically be determined by them since they would be the ones to constitute majority of the ad-hoc staff.
He stated that the election would be a litmus test on whether the youths would betray or fulfill the mission and challenge of their generation.
“Similarly, the entire presiding officers/assistant presiding officers, 707,384 out of the total one million plus ad hoc staff that will man all polling units and conduct the Saturday election are currently serving youth corps members, who are also youths demanding a new deal on the leadership challenge of our country. This Saturday election will tell how history and posterity will record the youths of Nigeria, whether they will betray or fulfill the mission and challenge of their own generation given their demographic voting strength and the fact that they are the ones to conduct the election,” he said.
Igini reiterated his earlier position that the 2022 electoral Act, INEC’S innovations and procedures, have effectively empowered voters on Election Day to determine the winner of election. ‘Power has been returned to the Nigerian people. All the provisions of the Electoral Act since 2002, such as sections 49, 53 and 65 (2010) that promoted and supported election rigging and manipulation for over 20 years have been repealed.
“Accreditation with the use of the BVAS machine is mandatory and compulsory to ensure the principle of one-person-one vote. There is no more use of the “incident form” because confirmation of a voter is made easy with “facial accreditation” and four other methods. There is nothing like “pre-loading” of BVAS machine that fraudulent ICT so-called experts on the streets and perhaps some unscrupulous staff of INEC have been telling politicians to make millions from them.
“The BVAS makes it impossible for election riggers to use difficult terrain, whether in upland or riverine areas, to produce fake votes that are not real. Under the current system, all species of fish like cat fish, tilapia and others that used to vote in previous elections, must appear before the BVAS machine on Saturday and subsequent elections for accreditation.
“The polling unit is now where elections are won and lost. The era of someone losing elections at the polling unit but suddenly becoming a winner at ward and local government collation centres are gone under the current system. Polling units are the places where Nigerians will vote on Saturday to decide the future of Nigeria. At the end of the election in each polling unit on Saturday, a new register of voters based accreditation at every polling unit will emerge, irrespective of the total number of registered voters.
“Under section 51 of the 2022 Act, computation of total number of valid votes and over-voting are now based on total accreditation number, instead of registered number of voters as was the case in the repealed Act that politicians used for two decades to subvert the will of Nigerian voters through rigging and manipulation of the outcome of election. The law has changed and politicians can no longer use the “total number of registered voters” to vote on behalf those who have died, “Jappa” and uninterested, whose names are on the national register of voters.
“Under the current system, it is only those who actually came out to be accredited that matter and that is the reason Nigerians have not been hearing of “inconclusive” elections that was almost becoming the norm sometime ago. Thus, no “bankable” votes for anyone, but votes of those who actually came to the polling unit and accredited to vote on Saturday.
“Every result declared at the polling unit will be uploaded to the public election result viewing portal for the whole world to see, which makes it difficult to change or alter. That is why all candidates by now should have set up their situation rooms for their party agents, who will be at polling units, given duplicates of election result FORM EC8A to immediately snap same and send to their respective situation rooms for collation without having to wait for INEC but they cannot make a declaration of the winner of election.
“The BVAS has eliminated the fraudulent practice/organized crime of sharing “unused ballot papers” thumb printed and arbitrarily allocated by party agents in connivance with poll officials after the close of the poll. The effective power to lead and govern has been restored to the Nigerian people and hope is re-born in you to use this election to bring about a re-birth of a new Nigeria,” he stated.
He expressed hope in the election noting that the current electoral process was capable of producing credible election results. “Fellow Nigerians, I have never been as optimistic at any given point in time in the past over our electoral process as I am this moment. The current electoral process is capable of delivering an outcome that should meet the expectations of the Nigerian people on Saturday, February 25, 2023,” he said.
He also express happiness with Nigerians in the Diaspora who have returned in their numbers to make a bold statement through their PVCs. He said: “I am impressed by the current unprecedented level of awareness, the energy and determination by Nigerians, many of whom returned to the country from different parts of the world to use this forthcoming Saturday elections to make a bold statement to the empirical world that they will no longer accept the misfortune created by our elites as their fortune. Collectively, we all must put an end to the struggle to build individual paradises, yet we live in a common hell.’
He urged Nigerians to eschew violence and maintain peace as they go out to vote on Saturday, stressing that violence has no place in a democracy and that the greatest promise of democracy is peaceful transfer of power from one government to another.
“The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has, at different for a, charged officers and men of the various security agencies to be neutral, apolitical, firm, protect and defend this democracy. The anti-democratic activities of thugs and other extra-constitutional actors that will undermine the integrity of our elections must be contained. The greatest legacy that will be written down by historians for President Muhammadu Buhari and for which he will be remembered by history, would be that of a free, fair and credible election, which produces an outcome that reflects the will of the Nigerian people.
“Fellow Nigerians, the broad outline of the 21st century is clear; it offers opportunities for those who can live together, work together and develop new ties that bind them together. We should allow our rich ethnic and cultural diversities to be a source of strength and social capital to build a society of mutual respect for one another, in a country where there will be opportunities for all and responsibility from all. I wish our country a peaceful election,” he submitted.


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