Phrank Shaibu, an aide to the former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has hailed the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) over its recent report on the outcome of the last general election.
“Even primary school children who did not vote know that INEC failed woefully and that Tinubu rigged the last election,” Mr Shaibu said.
Mr Shaibu also reacted to the federal government’s statement discrediting the EU’s report.
The presidency, in a statement by Dele Alake on Sunday, rejected the report and described it as “a product of a poorly done desk job.”
The EU-EOM had, in its final report on the elections released last Tuesday, said the polls exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signalled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability.
The mission chief observer, Barry Andrews, faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the operational challenges and glitches experienced with the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) and the result viewing portal.
Mr Shaibu said the last election lacked credibility, noting that the electoral commission had been unable to explain why it refused to upload the full result on its viewing portal about five months after the polls.
“The presidential election was held on February 25, 2023, and yet as of July 2, 2023, the result of the presidential election has not been fully uploaded. This is despite the fact that this election was the most expensive in the history of West Africa.
“How can an election in which the full results have not been fully uploaded after nearly five months be described as credible by any sane human being?”
He said it was hypocritical of the Nigerian government to receive millions of dollars from the EU as election funds and then turn around to claim that the EU has no right to comment on the election.
“The EU said in September last year that it budgeted 39 million euros for Nigeria’s 2023 election. Most of the funding went to INEC as election support.
“The EU not only provided training for INEC staff but also donated equipment only for INEC to conduct a shambolic poll. So why would Alake claim that the EU has no right to speak when it was the largest single donor to INEC? Mr Alake should rather be quiet rather than try to defend the indefensible.”
Mr Atiku’s aide further argued that the results in states like Rivers showed that the election was far from credible.
He said it was tragic that Mr Tinubu planned to reward former Governor Nyesom Wike with a ministerial portfolio despite the accusations of rigging levelled against him and a pending petition against the former governor.
“Tinubu is now on the verge of appointing Wike as a minister as a reward for that disgraceful election. What a shame. And this is the character who claimed to have fought for the actualisation of June 12?”
Mr Shaibu also called on the United States and the United Kingdom to speed up the process of imposing visa bans on election riggers.