The Youth Initiative for Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa, a non-governmental organisation, has called for a comprehensive audit of the 2023 general elections.
According to the group, it became imperative for purposes of inspiring public confidence and ensuring accountability for operational lapses, disregard of the constitutional and electoral legal framework, and cases of subversion of the people’s vote which hallmarked the elections.
They made this known in a statement following the March 18 governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, where it deployed its Parallel Voter Tabulation methodology in Benue, Delta and Kano states, and 900 observers to 300 polling units in each of the three states, as well as 550 observers to the rest of the 25 states, to observe the conduct of the elections and the collation of results.
YIAGA observed that although INEC’s Results Viewing Portal had functioned optimally, the manual collation process reinforced the fact that the Wards and Local Government Area collation centres were the weakest link in the process.
Observers had noted the failure of collation and returning officers to verify and compare results uploaded to the IReV with hardcopy results recorded on the Form EC 8A.
YIAGA said reports by some of its observers were that security agencies, party supporters and political thugs denied accredited observers access to results collation centres, while some of the officers in some cases, demonstrated a lack of understanding of the guidelines by INEC, thereby misapplying the rules.
On the PVT findings on results declared by INEC, YIAGA said the results declared by the electoral body for 22 LGAs in Benue state were consistent with its estimates for the governorship election, where the All Progressives’ Congress should receive between 57.9% and 64.7%, the Peoples’ Democratic Party between 26.6% and 32.6%, while no other party should receive more than 5.6% of the vote.
In Delta, the APC was to receive between 33.9% and 40.9%, the PDP between 46.2% and 54.2%, while no other party should receive more than 10.2% of the vote. While in Kano, the APC was to receive between 42.4% and 45.6%, the New Nigeria Peoples’ Party was to receive between 50.7% and 54.1% of the total votes, while no other party should receive more than 0.11% of the vote.