UPDATED: Nigerians Pooh Pooh INEC Boss Yakubu over 2023 Election Report, Invoke Spiritual Powers

 The report on the 2023 general elections that was released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, has elicited fiery reactions by Nigerians from all walks of life. Nigerians have expressed outrage, shock and disappointment, over the report on the 2023 presidential poll which the Commission asserted there was error in its internal server and resulted in delayed result.

It took weeks for the presidential results to be uploaded to IReV, leading to widespread protests by opposition parties and their supporters.

Africa Health Report on Friday, reported that INEC has stated that its internal server errors was the chief reason the Commission’s public viewing portal failed to release the 2023 presidential poll result on time.

This led to huge controversy when the result was eventually released by INEC as many Nigerians had different versions of the official result. The result by INEC attracted wide condemnation.

Tinubu was credited with 231,591 votes while Obi had 175,071 votes in the official results.

While INEC was yet to formally make public its report on the election, many Nigerian elections monitors and international election observers have passed judgments about the 2023 polls which caused further controversy and doubts over the integrity of the poll.

The results eventually posted on IReV were analysed by several media and civil society organisations with a conclusion that the votes for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were inflated in Rivers State while those of Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party (LP), were reduced.

But, the results posted on IReV appeared to show that Obi won Rivers with about 100,000 votes, which was however not significant enough to upturn the national gap of over two million votes between him and Tinubu on one hand and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who came second.

The Commission says it is open for feedback to aid future improvement on their www.inecnigeria.org

Sam Olumekun, information director, INEC disclosed this in a statement on Friday, in which the Commission referred to its report on the 2023 general elections.

Public reactions have been a mix-bag. Many gave up on the electoral umpire arguing they were robbed of their choice. Following the report Nigerians at home and abroad have resorted to various channels to express their sentiments over the report, including invoking Metaphysical Powers, allegedly rain curses on INEC Chairman for Role In 2023 Presidential Election Result Manipulation.

An X handle user, wrote, “The man at the centre of it all, Prof Mahmood Yakubu has been declared ‘an enemy of Nigeria’, a ‘weapon fashioned against Nigeria’s prosperity’ and for this reason Nigerians dedicated today, February 25th 2024 to lay ‘curses’ on him, exactly a year after the 2023 presidential election that majority of Nigerians believe the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi won”. This statement was sighted by Africa Health Report being circulated in the social media.

Amidst the economic hardship which Nigerians believe is being necessitated by the economic policies of the present administration, Nigerians revisited the election report declared by INEC, concluding that Tinubu was not the choice of the electorate, but rather an imposition by the ruling class which was made possible with a compromised election umpire.

In the 567-page report, the document is structured in 13 chapters of 60 tables and 14 boxes with 10 graphs of in-depth analysis of the 2023 electoral process, achievement, and challenges

The statement reads, “In keeping with our tradition over the last four electoral cycles, and our commitment to transparency, we are pleased to announce the release of the official INEC report on the 2023 General Election”

It explains the pivotal role of the newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), how newly introduced technology has enhanced electoral transparency and reduced fraud, and also addresses the issue of Result Viewing Portal (IReVP) as technical issues during the upload of polling units result of the presidential election

INEC has insisted that the results represented voters’ sentiments and rejected accusations of bias and manipulation.

The commission, in the report documented the failure of the result viewing portal (IReV) during the presidential poll.

According to the report, while the elections were generally peaceful and successful, however, a key challenge that impacted the public perception of the election and elicited widespread commentary is the failure to upload Polling Unit (PU) results of the presidential election to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time at the close of polls on Saturday 25th February 2023.

“It is important to note that the IReV portal is one of the most significant innovations introduced by the Commission prior to the 2023 General Election to promote the integrity and transparency of the electoral process. As a public-facing website, the IReV portal shows the images of the original Polling Unit result sheets as recorded in Form EC8A.

“The operational methodology and the concept behind the upload of results to the IReV for public viewing is quite simple. At the end of polls, Polling Unit results (Form EC8As) are scanned and uploaded to the IReV by the Presiding Officer(s). These results are then available for viewing to the public and all stakeholders,” the report stated.

According to the report, the system, which was first deployed during Nasarawa Central State Constituency bye-election in August 2020 and tested in 105 subsequent elections, including three off-cycle governorship elections, has tremendously improved public confidence in the integrity and transparency of the Commission’s result management process.

The report said that the challenge of uploading the PU presidential election results on the IReV after the presidential and National Assembly elections on 25th February 2023 was unique.

“In the troubleshooting process, it was established that there was no issue in uploading the PU result sheets of the Senate and House of Representatives elections through the Election Result Modules. However, there was a problem with uploading the presidential election results to the system.”

“Attempts to upload the results were generating internal server errors, which refer to a significant impairment that usually originate from within an application due to problems relating to configuration, permissions, or failure to create or access application resources correctly.

“Further interrogation of the Election Result Modules indicated that the system is encountering an unexpected configuration problem in mapping the presidential election results uploaded into the system to the participating Polling Units.”

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