Former Nigerian president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of conspiring with politicians to subvert the will of the people in Saturday’s presidential election, predicting dire consequences if this occurs.
In accordance with his pledge to promote free and fair elections, the former president of Nigeria urged President Buhari to intervene and ensure that things were conducted appropriately.
Obasanjo claimed in a statement released on Monday that certain INEC officials had collected “blood money” and are intent to corrupt the election results.
Obasanjo stated, “I beg the patience of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency General Muhammadu Buhari, to make this statement because I have had the opportunity to inform him of what I am aware is occurring and the impending threat. On numerous occasions in the past, I did not hesitate to bring out flaws in the President’s and his government’s actions. On election issues, however, the President has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that he desires to leave a legacy of free, fair, transparent, and credible elections.
“Till Saturday night, February 25, 2023, the nice and noble plan and election preparations appeared to be proceeding smoothly. A significant investment was made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to implement the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the Server for instantaneous transmission of polling unit results. It is no secret that operational-level INEC personnel have reportedly been corrupted in order to prevent what should have functioned from working and to revert to the manual transmission of results, which is manipulated and the results are doctored.
“The Chairman of INEC may claim ignorance, but he cannot fold his hands and do nothing when he knows that the election process has been tainted and that most of the results delivered outside BVAS and Server are not a true reflection of the choices made by Nigerians.” At this point, we do not need to intentionally or unintentionally burn this country ablaze with the greed, carelessness, and lack of patriotism of those who allegedly gave money to INEC officials for perversion and those who received blood money. Permit me to urge to the Chairman of INEC, if his hands are clean, to save Nigeria from the impending peril and catastrophe. If the Chairman can postpone elections four days before to the election, he may do everything to correct the faults of the previous two days: no BVAS, no acceptable result; and no upload through Server, no acceptable result.
“If BVAS and Servers have been tampered with or rendered inactive, such results must be ruled invalid and inadmissible for election declaration. I had hoped that, as chairman of INEC, you would take this opportunity to repair your reputation and character for posterity.
“Your Excellency, President Buhari Muhammadu, tensions are rising. Please annul and reschedule all polls that fail the credibility and transparency test for next Saturday, March 4, 2023, in locations where elections were interrupted, and replace the BVAS and Server authorities. A committee comprised of INEC personnel, members of the four major political parties, and the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association should investigate what needs be done to ensure that next Saturday’s elections proceed without incident. Mr. President, may your aim and desire to leave a legacy of free, fair, transparent, and trustworthy elections come to fruition. Please, Mr. President, do not let anyone tell you that this is unimportant or INEC’s concern. Under no circumstances should you be associated with collusion or compromise. When the outcome is determined, it will be your problem and the nation’s. The Chairman of INEC may leave the nation secretly or return to his ivory tower. Your Excellency, I appreciate your consideration.
“Nigerian patriots, please be patient until the error is rectified. I am confident that nobody will gamble with Nigeria’s destiny and prosperity at this time.