The 2015 presidential candidate and National Chairman of the United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has said for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get it right in Bayelsa and Kogi states on November 16, it must learn from its mistakes.
In a telephone interview with Daily Trust yesterday, Chief Okorie said the outcomes of previous elections, including the 2019 general elections, were characterised by several challenges that threw up the highest number of litigations in the polity.
He said the “shoddy deals” by leaders of political parties in the choice of candidates ahead of 2019 also contributed to the current political quagmire, adding that these must be stopped ahead of the November Bayelsa and Kogi polls.
Okorie said, “We are expecting INEC to show Nigerians that it has learnt enough lessons from the outcome of the 2019 general elections that came up with so many challenges for the commission.
“In these coming elections, I would like to see an outcome that would be generally accepted by the majority of the electorate. It means that the method must be transparent and credible.
“We are talking about only two states and not the 36 states. So, the card readers must be made to work accurately to avoid any polling unit resorting to any other method other than accrediting the voters using the card reader. And the results must also be pasted at the various polling units for the party agents to also have their own copies.
“The aggregate of these results must reflect at the collation centres and the state level without any discrepancy. If that is achieved, I believe we will say that INEC has arrived.”
Chief Okorie, the founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the UPP, appealed to the 9th National Assembly to revisit the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and resend it to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
He argued that if passed into law, rigging would become an unattractive venture in the nation’s electoral process, as electronic voting would be fully activated.
He said the UPP was weighing various options regarding participation in the two coming elections, including considering an alliance with the ruling APC, recalling that they adopted President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23, 2019, presidential poll.