Omoyele Sowore, the AAC’s presidential candidate, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday of being unqualified to oversee the general elections in 2023.
Sowore made this claim during a PUNCH Newspapers show called “The Roundtable,” claiming that the country’s electoral authority could not be trusted with the people’s vote during the elections since it had previously conducted selections rather than elections.
In order to make the electorate lose interest in the poll, he charged INEC with conspiring with the ruling party every election year to agitate the political system.
He said, “You know I participated in the 2019 elections and I can say categorically that there was no election in 2019. And this was how they started. I was waiting in my village for the election. And INEC suddenly on the eve of 2019 elections postponed the election by two weeks. You know what happened, some of our colleagues that came from the US to vote, US, Europe, South Africa, they had to leave. They were not small number. I am not saying the number would have made me win the election. But the moment INEC was postponed, people had doubts as to whether the election would hold again and they lost interest.”
“In 2015, the election was also postponed for security reasons. Why are they talking about postponing the election when the governor of Borno state is saying that 90% of Borno is not free from Boko-Haram control? If you ask me, that is not true. They were saying that 90% of Borno is free for rigging so that they would bring their big numbers from all these fake places where they claimed that people were voting and there were not even people living in those areas. Most importantly, it shows that INEC cannot be trusted. INEC is an incompetent electoral body. I have said this too many times.”
“It doesn’t matter how you look at it. Elections have been organised by INEC, it always has hiccups, even in Osun where they claimed that BVAS which is their magic one worked, we were hearing about over voting, over registration and all those kinds of electoral malpractices that they claimed BVAS had resolved.”
Sowore also described how he tried to enter the INEC website to check the results of the Osun State election, but the site was overloaded with visitors, making it difficult to obtain results on time.
“I visited their website to check the latest findings. It’s a scam, this website. It cannot support as many connections as the number of users trying to access it. What will they do during the primary election when more than potentially 50 million people tried to visit the website from both domestic and international locations? That is the truth. The people of Nigerians should make it clear that are not expecting anything less than free and fair election because we have paid for it already and INEC should not come with any excuse,” he added.
The AAC standard bearer responded that there was no election in 2019 when asked what he would do if he lost the 2023 elections like he did in 2019.
“What was not held, you cannot lose. It is comparable to attending the World Cup. There are rules for competing in the World Cup, and on the day of the championship game, will you call that a final? Only one team arrives since the other team is delayed in the locker room.”
“I was detained before I could file a lawsuit (to contest the results of the 2019 election), but I wasn’t interested in doing so because I also understand the judiciary and that everyone involved is working toward the same goal.”
“Imo State’s governor was elected by the judiciary; he ran in the election and finished fourth,” Sowore continued.
When asked why he was taking part in a system he did not like, the AAC presidential candidate responded that it was both his right and his decision to do so.
“I am unable to speak since Nigeria is not functioning and my passport is torn. I’ve decided to keep it. So, I decide whether or not to take part,” he stated.