March 06, (THEWILL) – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday, held a protest march against the presidential election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
THEWILL reports that the peaceful protest march, which kicked off at the Legacy House, terminated at the headquarters of the INEC in Abuja, where the party handed a letter containing its demands to the officials of the Electoral body.
The letter was received on behalf of INEC, by its National Commissioner for information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye.
Led by the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the party and its supporters, dressed in black attires, displayed placards, chanted songs, and called for the cancellation of the presidential poll over alleged non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, particularly the transmission of results from the Polling Units.
PDP bigwigs including its National Chairman, Iyrochia Ayu; the vice-presidential candidate of the party, Ifeanyi Okowa; Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, his counterpart in Taraba, Dino Melaye, among others, attended the protest.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Ibrahim Abdullahi, on Sunday, said the protest was planned to show the party’s disenchantment with the flawed poll, insisting that the election should be cancelled.
“It (the protest) is to register its grievances and disenchantment following the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections,” he said.
INEC had on Wednesday, declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the winner of the February presidential election.
The Chief Collation Officer of the election, who doubled as Chairman of the INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, declared that Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to beat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 6,984,520, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), who secured 6,101,533 votes.
The PDP had on Friday, rejected the declaration of Tinubu as President-elect by the electoral umpire. It demanded that INEC should immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return (CoR) issued to the former Lagos State Governor and cancel the poll in line deference to Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022.
It insisted that the electoral body, in declaring the APC flag-bearer as the winner of the contest, acted contrary to provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Electoral Act 2022 and guidelines and regulations for the conduct of the 2023 presidential election.
The party also claimed that its standard-bearer, Atiku Abubakar, “clearly won the February 25, 2023, presidential election, having evidently scored the majority of lawful votes cast by Nigerians at the polling units.”
It equally held that the exercise was marred by “deliberate malpractices, including the non-use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC’s refusal/failure to transmit directly results from polling units to its server/website in flagrant violation of Section 60 (4)(b) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“This violation of the Electoral Act by INEC, as attested to by political parties, voters, Nigerians of all walks of life, as well as local and International observers, paved way for alteration, falsification, switching of results and allocation of figures in favour of the APC,” it added.