The presidential election of 25th February, 2023 has proved to be a very bitter lesson to Nigerians at home and in diaspora. The World is in a big shock at the level of impunity exhibited in discarding the electoral Act 2023, and the guide lines issued by the Umpire for the conduct of the elections in order to arrive at a predetermined answer.

At inception of campaigns, the ruling APC and PDP despised and made mockery of the Labour Party as having no structure. We never knew that the structure they referred to were incumbent governors who could convert and illegally appropriate state resources to comprise the umpire. We believed in the integrity of the umpire and the processes. Nigerians believed that the umpire was not partial and non-partisan till they deliberately shut down their portal to ensure there was the resort to manual collation of presidential election results. They went ahead to announce apparently fraudulent results collated manually as against the clear and unambiguous provisions of the electoral Act 2022 and the INEC guidelines it issued for the election.

Essentially the essence of the electoral Act 2022 was to eliminate the manipulation of election results that occurred between the pulling units and the collation centres viz ward, local government and states. It is at these collation centres that governments and government appointees invade INEC personnel; some will hijack the results at gun point since they are always with their armed escorts while some reach compromise with the personnel who aid and abet in doctoring the results from the pulling units. It is here that winners of elections at the pulling units become losers courtesy the interference of partisan government officials and compromised of INEC staff.

In order to ensure that the old order prevails, INEC allegedly shut down the portal and made the transmission of results from the pulling units in Real Time impossible. Most of the results used to collate the presidential election results are said to differ very significantly from the results obtained at the pulling units. In many instances, where elections did not hold, presidential election results were manufactured manually and submitted to INEC. The game plan was fundamentally to stop Labour Party from winning the election.

Again, the structure labour party lacks is the purchasing power of sitting senators and National Assembly members of other parties to use the funds accumulated from unexecuted constituency projects over the years to compromise and negatively influence the electoral process to the detriment of Nigerians. The structure Labour Party lacks is the criminal diversion of Local Government allocation over the years waiting to use it for criminal purposes. For instance buying votes at the pulling units, and alleged wholesale purchase of INEC or is INEC an arm of the ruling APC?

Labour party believes 100% in the Nigerian project and never contemplated that INEC will sabotage its own guidelines and the electoral Act 2022 to allegedly enable it favour a preferred candidate. INEC if judged from the prism of the last presidential and National Assembly elections could be said to be in alliance with APC. It acted contrary to everything it had expoused before the election and everything honourable. The disruption of the working of the INEC server to ensure results are not uploaded in real time negates the whole essence of the electoral Act 2022 and vitiates the integrity and credibility of the elections. We have been told to go to court. We are obedient; we shall obey and go to court on behalf of Nigerians.

Yes. A situation where we negligently or inadvertently allow those entrusted with state functions to connive with fellow contestants, award them fraudulent results and ask us to go to court to prove otherwise must never be allowed at the forth coming governorship elections. The world is aware of what happened in Rivers state, Lagos State, Kano state, Imo state and many other states where even the sitting governors were recorded threatening INEC officials who allegedly collected bribe and refused to keep to the terms and conditions of the bribe. Some governors were heard promising to kill some officials.

Nigerians have resolved that all INEC officials coming for the governorship elections must ensure they come with the correct password to upload the polling unit results from the pulling units after counting and recording. The issue of taking the pulling unit results to the collation centre to upload, we shall not tolerate.

INEC must ensure the portal is functional throughout the period of the governorship election to receive results real time. INEC must not put the life of its staff in danger by shutting down its portal or issuing them fake password or asking time to manipulate the electorate and return to the collation centers.
Nigerians are willing and ready to sleep with INEC officials at the various pulling units until it is confirmed that the results have been uploaded from the source. Anything short of this will not be acceptable by Nigerians. Nigerians are tired of a few people employing coercion/violence and using the security details at their disposal to mortgage the future of Nigerians and asking us to go to court. All INEC officials and the electorate will remain at the pulling units until the results of the pulling units are uploaded by the officials and confirmed by the electorate. That will be the time of governorship and house of Assembly elections March 11, 2023. Nigerians are encouraged to make adequate provisions to sustain them at the polling units for as long as INEC portal is shut down. It could be two to three days.

Nigerians are angry and hungry for a positive change. The international community will not come and do it for us. Our future is in our hands. We shall take our anger to the pulling units on Saturday March 11, 2023 and effect the desired change or forever remain slaves of the Statusquo and Establishment. It is time to make a choice. I place before Nigerians, Labour Party and others. I encourage us to choose Labour Party because the others have failed us repeatedly. It will be insanity to expect otherwise from them.

We shall not continue to allow miscreants and outlaws in the garb of leaders violate the law with impurity, desecrate our election and electoral processes, intimidate the citizens, appropriate false election results to themselves and cronies, announce with unprecedented arrogance such results and ask the law abiding citizens to go to court to retrieve our mandate. Those who make peaceful political revolution through the ballot box impossible engender inevitable violent revolutions. A departure from the statusquo is an idea whose time has come and no amount of suppression can stop it. Those who have ears let them hear what the Oracle has said.

Sir. Temple Ogueri Onyeukwu FCA

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