The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has submitted a strongly worded protest letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to register its displeasure over the conduct and announced outcome of the Presidential election held on February 25th, 2023.
National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyiorchia Ayu who led other party leaders and supporters to the INEC Headquarters, on Monday, submitted the letter which was received by INEC’s Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Information, Barrister Festus Okoye, on behalf of the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu.
In the letter which was signed by Ayu and the PDP National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu, and addressed to the INEC Chairman, the party said it’s decision to embark on a peaceful March backed by the protest letter, was taken after a series of meetings to review the elections.
The letter read in part, “…after long sessions of meetings to review and deliberate on the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25, 2023 considers it expedient to communicate to you and other critical stakeholders and partners in the advancement of democracy in Nigeria, the position of our great Party (PDP) with regard to the conduct and outcome of that election.
“It is indeed disheartening to say that the election which raised the hopes of all Nigerians to witness an advancement in our electoral process turned out to be a charade.
“You would recall the outcry of many concerned citizens of this country variously accusing your commission of complicity in a planned manipulation of the electoral process in favour of the ruling Party (APC).
“ At each time the issues took the media front burner you were quick in dispelling them as rumors and mere allegations. Today Nigerians have all seen that those allegations were true.
“In many meetings and briefings your commission held with the Political Parties and the Press ahead of the 2023 general elections, you assured Nigerians that INEC under your leadership would conduct a free, fair, transparent and credible election.
“You also promised the use of the Bimodal Verification and Accreditation System (BVAS) technology in voter accreditation and result management whereby the public would have unhindered access to the results uploaded to your Servers online and in real time (iREV). Contrary to this belief there was an abysmal failure on your part to honour your promises.
“Predictably, the conduct and outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections fell below acceptable standards. It has resonated the fears of all Nigerians in your integrity and that of your commission to conduct a free, fair, transparent and credible election.
“The confidence you deceitfully made us to repose in you and your commission has been battered and eroded away by the outcome of that election. The masses are angry and have not hidden their resentment and rejection of the purported declaration you made to that effect.
“Without any equivocation, this election, in the history of our country elicited so much interest, awareness, commitment and dexterity in Nigerians to exercise their civic responsibility.
“The major factors that heightened the zeal and confidence of Nigerians to participate in the electoral process were the failures of the ruling APC government, the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) technology ,the Electoral Act 2022 and your repeated assurances of bequeathing Nigerians a credible electoral process.
“Everyone recalls with disappointment the reported widespread irregularities and manipulations that marred the election. There are ample evidences to show deliberate complicity of your commission in the entire fraud.
“ The falsification of results and deliberate de-activation of the BVAS and your Servers to frustrate the transmission of election results directly from the Polling Units attest to that. In all these issues brought to your attention you refused to act.
“Nigerians are no more in doubt of your direct involvement in aiding and abetting the monumental rigging and manipulation of the election results in favour of the ruling Party (APC).
“In addition, the refusal and neglect of your electoral officers to transmit the results of the election directly from the Polling Units (PU) to INEC Servers as required by law is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. This action is not acceptable to Nigerians and neither to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It therefore stands to be challenged.
“For want of clarity, Section 64 (4) (b) of the Electoral Act 2022 specifically provides thus;
“A collation officer or Returning
Officer at an election shall
collate and announce the
result of an election subject to
his or her verification and
confirmation that the –
(b) “Votes stated on the collated
result are correct and
consistent with the votes
or results recorded and
transmitted directly from
Polling Units under Section
60 (4) of this Act”
“Consequent upon the above Section 60 (4) of the Electoral Act 2022, the result you have announced and the declarations made are ultra vires, illegal and of no effect except for results transmitted directly from the Polling Units.”
The letter further read, “It is therefore circumspect that despite the agitations by Nigerians and our Party during the collation process protesting the reported irregularities surrounding the election you proceeded with the announcement of the results in utter disregard of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
“It is funny and a gross abuse of our electoral process for your commission to have commenced transmission of the February 25, election results from the various Polling Units (PU) days after the results of the said election had been announced and purported winners declared. Your action in this regard is an affront on the sensibilities of all Nigerians which we have vowed to resist.
“Notably, the hasty declaration of the election results evidently violating the Electoral Act 2022 places your integrity to total scrutiny going by your deceitful representations and assurances to Nigerians and the International Community that the Electoral Act 2022 is a game changer that would guarantee a free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process especially with the BVAS transmission of election results directly from the Polling Units.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) detests and condemns this absurdity and brazen rape of our electoral process. Nigeria should be seen as a country governed by the rule of law and it is a responsibility we collectively owe our citizens desirous of entrenching true democratic principles and the rule of law. In this circumstance we call on all Nigerians both home and in the diaspora to stand firmly in defense of their rights, votes and stolen mandate.
“In consideration of the foregoing, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) acting on the mandate of the Nigerian electorate has resolved as follows;
To reject and declare as
unacceptable the outcome,
declaration of the Presidential
election results. “ 2. To call on your commission to
suspend the on- going
transmission of the Polling
Units results to your Servers
which is in complete breach
of the provisions of the
Electoral Act 2022.
To warn your commission
against a repeat of the
experiences of the
February 25, election in the
coming Governorship and
State Assembly elections of
March 11, 2023. Any attempt
to manipulate the electoral
process will be vehemently
To call on all Nigerians to be
co- partners in defense of our
democracy, votes, the rule
of law and their Rights to freely
choose the candidates of their
To demand an explanation why
you proceeded with the
declaration of the election
results marred with
irregularities against all
calls to address the
complaints brought to
your attention before and
during the collation process.
“We are writing to you because we want to bring our grievances and demands formally to your attention for necessary action.
“Furthermore, to inform you and your commission that, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) together with the ordinary and aggrieved masses of our dear country will no longer tolerate any act in defiance of our electoral processes and laws.
“We feel pained at the outcome of the February 25, 2023 election and the provocative declaration your commission made against the will of the people. Sadly, this is coming at the time Nigerians were in high hopes of embracing a reformed electoral process.
“Please take caution in your acts to avoid destabilizing our fledgling democracy.”
In his remarks after receiving the protest letter, Okoye said, “So, I have received this protest letter on behalf of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission and I promise you this letter will be transmitted to him.
“If they’re remedial issues we will deal with those remedial issues. But I want to assure you that this Commission is a listening Commission this Commission is a public trust and this Commission belongs to the Nigerian people. Our allegiance is to the people of the federal Republic of Nigeria. This Commission does not owe allegiance to any political party.”
Earlier, dozens of party supporters dressed in black outfits marched from the PDP Legacy House to the INEC Headquarters amidst singing and dancing with armed regular and riot policemen in several trucks providing security cover. The March started and ended without incident.