28 persons died in the 2023 election, compared to 800 in 2011: President-elect Tinubu

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THE NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2023: SEPARATING THE FACTS FROM FICTIONS.

TEXT OF THE PARLEY HELD WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CENTER, WASHINGTON D.C, UNITED STATES ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12TH, 2023 BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PRESIDENT-ELECT, SENATOR BOLA AHMED TINUBU – MR. FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN (CHIEF SPOKESPERSON AND MINISTER OF STATE, LABOUR); MR. SUNDAY DARE (MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS); MR. AJURI NGELALE (ASST. PRINCIPAL SPOKESPERSON).

PROTOCOLS

INTRODUCTION

1) It is our pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the National Press Center in Washington D.C for this interactive session on Nigeria’s Presidential Election, 2023. We do not intend to make this a long-winding and boring session, so we shall go straight to the points we intend to make to clear some of the fallacies that have been peddled around the world by the sore losers at the said election.

PREPARATION FOR THE ELECTIONS: A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

(2) The country’s out-going President, Muhammadu Buhari, signed into law a Bill that seeks to improve our electoral process by introducing technology as a means of accrediting voters at the polling units. This is known as the ELECTORAL ACT, 2022. The opposition and international observers hailed him on this.

(3) There was also complete non-interference in the political process by State institutions. There were no reports of deployment of security agents or State apparati in support of the candidate of the ruling party. In fact, in some instances, the opposition celebrated the fact that our candidate had no support of the Government. These led to well-published reports (albeit false) that the President was not in support of the candidate of his own party.

THE STATE OF THE LEADING PARTIES BEFORE THE ELECTIONS

(4) The ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled 21 out of the 36 States of the country and the FCT before the elections with elected Governors; whilst the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had 14 Governors and the All Progressives Grand Alliance had one Governor. The Labour Party had no single Governor or elected official at any level of Government.

(5) About eight months to the elections, the main opposition, the PDP, suffered some major set-backs. Its Vice-Presidential Candidate in 2019, Mr. Peter Obi moved to the Labour Party with his supporters, mainly from his region of origin, the South-East. Another of the Party’s main pillar of support in the North-West, Alhaji Musa Kwakwanso moved to the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), taking with him a chunk of the party’s supporters in that region. Five (5) out of the 14 Governors of the PDP, publicly announced they would not be campaigning for or supporting its Presidential Candidate (Alhaji Atiku Abubakar). Meanwhile, the ruling party remained one huge, indivisible entity with no departure of any of its elected officials or public dissent from them. It was in this state of affairs that all the parties went into the elections.

THE ELECTION OF FEBRUARY 25TH, 2023

(6) Contrary to the false outcry by the opposition, the main technological device, Bi-modal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) did not fail on the election day. All the local and international observers scored the use of BVAS very high, with one local body called YIAGA, working in coalition with the EU and other International Observers, saying it recorded 88% success in all the polling units it monitored. The Nigeria Bar Association also issued its report saying only 8 percent of voters were not satisfied with the process on that day. The portal that the opposition made so much noise about, IREV, is just a viewing portal, which has nothing to do with accreditation or verification of voters or even the counting or recording of votes.

(7) Whilst we hold no brief for the Electoral Commission, it sufficiently explained to Nigerians the next day that the delay in uploading the results to the viewing portal was as a result of a technical glitch. And since the results have since been uploaded eventually, none of the parties have produced their own copies of the result sheets obtained at various polling units that substantially contradicts the results released and announced by the Electoral Commission. Even in their Election Petitions presently before the Court, no such alternative figures have been provided. So, what is all the fuss about?

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