Yunusa Tanko, the spokesman for Third Force Coalition of Labour Party, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be wary of the statement it dishes out to Nigerians.
Tanko made the statement while fielding questions on the Channels TVs Sunrise Daily following the clarification by INEC on Electronic Transmission of Result.
The INEC was quoted saying the results of the forthcoming election would be collated manually. The commission was criticized by many Nigerians across social media platforms over the comment.
Festus Okoye, INECs spokesperson, who had announced the clarifications, dismissed the statement and said his comment was misinterpreted.
Tanko said although INEC was quick in making clarifications as regards to the processes for the announcement of election results, people were observant and will critically examine any statement the commission makes.
“To say the fact, people are very observant and critical of any action that will derail the interest that the people have already consummated in their mind.
“So, any faulty statement that is made by the electoral umpire is being critically examined. And so therefore, it is very important to give precaution to the INEC to be wary of the statement that they need to dish out, because at any point in time that they made this statement, it can be miscalculated to mean something else and then, it will ignite a lot of fire.
“Now with the way in which the result has been sent recently, it has given hope to the Nigerians. And so, if it seems to be, like I think, being jettisoned by complications of the word of the mouth, a lot of people will kick against it. We did kick against it, but when we saw the clarifications, it resonated and gave back the trust we are hoping to have on INEC,” he said.
Noting the huge level of distrust in government, he said people were not comforted with the clarifications resulting from the conflicting statements.
“Well, we cannot say they are comforted. Their eyes will be on the INEC, especially the Nigerian youths who have resonated so well with my own (Labour Party) candidate. They are looking at every position and every action that is being taken, if seen as an anti-people process, they will kick against it.
“We are watching because we cannot say we are hundred percent sure. To us, we can only be comfortable when we win the election in 2023 and then, we are obediently in office, then we will be comforted,” he added.
Tanko also advised the political class to be mindful of the kind of conservation that they take to the public in order to foster confidence in the voters.
Tanko also noted that he was hoping for an advancement in the conduct of 2023 general elections.
“At the elections in Edo and Ondo, there was no complication as regards to the announcement of the result. And that of course has shown that INEC was able to deploy those machines to perfectly work as they wanted. And so the kind of upsurge of manipulation was not really too seen.
“I think learning from that, INEC can improve on the issue of deployment of BVAS machines and all that. And of course we have already seen it happening in Osun State. So it has helped to bring trust and I want to say here- those are some of the mechanisms that have made the Nigerian youth especially to believe that their vote will count. And so therefore, they are hoping to see the advancement of it, and so making sure that whatever INEC puts on ground seems to be solid. That’s why we have to caution INEC from making statements that will contradict some of the gains they have already made over the years,” he said.