Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has deplored what it termed seeming infractions and non-adherence to laid down rules during the just-concluded presidential election. In a statement, it noted that electoral processes world over are governed by laws and rules pre-defined before commencement of electioneering.
The body said the credibility of any election is based on level of compliance with laid-down rules and procedures. It lamented that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) repeatedly gave assurances of preparedness to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent elections, yet delivered shabbily.
TUC noted that Nigerians were further buoyed by passage of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) that specified electronic transmission of results. It recalled that in the buildup to this year’s general elections, INEC defined in its guidelines that election results would be uploaded from the polling units directly to the Result Viewing Portal (IReV), using the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) machine in deference to provisions of the Electoral Act.
However, the labour centre regretted that all of this was not done, neither was any concrete explanation offered by the electoral umpire until almost 48 hours conclusion of election when a press statement was issued.
The statement reads: “This is not acceptable as it has dented the credibility of the results being announced in different parts of the country, as the citizens and stakeholders cannot independently authenticate them.
“The Nigerian populace hailed the introduction of BVAS and IReV as game changers.
“Despite all the sacrifices made by ordinary Nigerians to queue for their PVCs, cast their votes and the billions of taxpayers’ money budgeted for conduct of this election, INEC failed in meeting expectations of Nigerians.
“This failure on the part of INEC to upload results from polling units to the IReV portal climaxed an election that was challenged by late arrival of personnel and materials in some areas, by-pass of BIVAS in some cases, suppression of results and outright voters’ intimidation and coercion in many instances. ”
“Congress believes in a democratic electoral process, which has been proven to be far better than autocracy, dictatorship, totalitarianism and all other extreme forms of governance in societies.
“We hereby call on the National Chairman of INEC to immediately direct all original polling unit results to be uploaded through the BVAS to IReV Portal.”
IN a related development, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, commended the newly elected federal lawmakers on platform of Labour Party (LP), saying that their emergence would give fillip to anti-labour bills.
NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, shared the optimism during a working visit to Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) office in Lagos. He said even as the party did not win the presidential election, having some of its members to represent workers at the National Assembly was one of its greatest achievements.
According to Ajaero, deliberations on the floor of both chambers of the National Assembly will be robust, as the candidates will contribute to improve welfare of the masses.
“We score the LP high. It has performed creditably well. They have come up to be the voice of the masses. Even in the National assembly tomorrow, when they come up with anti-labour issues, we now have voices that can speak for us, they can stop any anti-labour bills. We are going to engage them to give them our charter of demands, while we do our union job,” he said.
Ajaero urged aggrieved parties to take their cases to the court of law. He said losers have the right to seek a redress in court or even protest if they think that the contest was not transparent, free and fair.
The NLC, who promised that LP would be reorganised to take over leadership in the country, called on workers to be patient. For President-elect, he said the union would present to him its charter of demands, articulating and presenting the position of the NLC when he is eventually inaugurated.
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