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General News of Saturday, 4 March 2023


Presidential Election: INEC’s performance woeful - Moghalu

Kingsley Moghalu Kingsley Moghalu

A former presidential aspirant on the platform of the African Democratic Congress, Kingsley Moghalu, has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission over the conduct of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, saying the electoral umpire’s performance was “woeful”.

Moghalu, who stated this in a series of tweets on Friday which he titled, ‘My take on the election outcome’, said INEC and “election management in Nigeria need a complete overhaul,” adding that “elections must be made logistically efficient and transparent.”

The former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria noted that the 28 per cent turnout of voters, which, according to him, was lower than the 34 per cent recorded in the 2019 general election, was “disappointing.”

“This phenomenon needs a separate interrogation to understand why it happened when 87 million voters collected their PVCs,” he added, stressing that “such voter turnout levels undermine the meaning of democracy.”

He added, “Kudos to the youth of Nigeria who turned out enthusiastically to vote for their candidates. You have altered the trajectory of politics in Nigeria, whatever disappointments you may have with the process or the outcome notwithstanding.”

Moghalu noted that “legal fireworks” were expected from candidates aggrieved by the outcome of the election, adding that it “is their right, and no one should begrudge them that. I salute them all.”

While acknowledging the speech of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, after being declared as the winner of the election as “quite statesmanly” in the matter he reached out to his opponents, Moghalu, who said he would reserve further comments, lauded the Labour Party and its candidate in the election, Peter Obi for their “frankly impressive performance as a first time presidential candidate,” advising Obi to build on it.

The chairman of INEC and returning officer of the February 25 presidential election, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had, in the early hours of Wednesday, declared Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the election and Nigeria’s President-elect, beating his closest rivals, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party who came second and third respectively in the keenly contested election.