Nigerian Election 2023: Labour Party Calls For Another Election
The Nigerian Labour Party (LP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to completely cancel the entire election and make plans for another election.
The Labour Party says it has lost confidence in the collation of the results of the presidential election. Said the party:
We call on INEC to suspend further announcement of results and follow its own guidelines or completely cancel the entire election and make plans for another election.
Nigerians went to the polls on Saturday, with an unprecedented youth turnout expected against a backdrop of widespread insecurity and economic hardship.
After 24 years of uninterrupted democracy since ending military dictatorship in 1999, Africa’s most populous nation and the largest economy is conducting its seventh election.
Nigeria is at a pivotal juncture amid record unemployment and inflation, a massive debt burden, fuel shortages, worsening security conditions, endemic corruption and crumbling public services.
Hours before voting began, images showing that the Labour Party was missing from some senate and house of representatives ballot papers were widely shared on social media.
Supporters of the party alleged that there was a deliberate plot to prevent them from voting for the party.
The party’s official handle tweeted “Labour Party Logo missing in some ballot papers” accompanied by an amateur video showing an election official flipping through the pages of a ballot booklet. A voice is heard saying: “There is no Labour Party on the senatorial [ballot paper] here in Lagos. The presidential [ballot paper] has it.”
Labour Party supporters around the country also used Twitter and Facebook to share photos and videos from their polling units reporting the absence of the logo on parliamentary ballot papers.
Allegations that Nigeria’s INEC was biased for deliberately leaving out the party began to spread.
Others posted that they had been given ballot papers with the logo of the party but without the name of the party, saying that Inec purposely omitted the party’s name to confuse voters.
But the official logo of the Labour Party does not carry the name of the party, only its slogan -“Forward Ever“. Inec prints ballot papers with official logos sent in by the party.
Senior Inec official Zainab Aminu Abubakar told the BBC that the Labour Party was indeed missing from some parliamentary ballot papers. But she said that is because the party did not submit the names of its candidates for these constituencies.
She said the party said it had obtained a court order, compelling it to include Labour Party candidates on the ballot papers for parliamentary elections.
Inec then asked to see the court order but received no official reply before election day. Ms Abubakar said if the party had provided the court judgement even a day before, the parliamentary election for the constituencies affected could have been arranged for a later date.
A statement released by the Labour Party Ondo state secretary also said the high court in Abuja had ordered INEC to accept the names of the party’s candidates for parliamentary elections in some states but the commission deliberately left them out. It said this was a move to disenfranchise voters.
It is not clear how many parliamentary constituencies have been affected.
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