The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to apologize to Nigerians for the flawed 2023 general elections.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Catholic Secretariat said that the elections fell short of the high expectations of Nigerians, and that there were several electoral infractions and infamous glitches that marred the polls.
The statement said that the INEC’s failure to upload results from Form EC8A to the IREV portal in real time was one of the greatest flaws of the elections. This meant that Nigerians were unable to verify the results of the elections, and that there was a lack of transparency in the electoral process. INEC’s failure to provide adequate security at polling stations, which led to cases of violence and intimidation also made the list of the flaws. There were wide levels of unpreparedness and negligence of the INEC on the the rule guiding the electoral process. There were some places election was rescheduled but some INEC returning officers compromised and declared a candidate winner without recourse to those rescheduled elections.
Deeply concerned about the way in which the 2023 general elections were conducted, the Catholic Secretariat opined “We call on the INEC to apologize to Nigerians for the flawed elections.” INEC should also “take immediate steps to address the flaws that marred the 2023 general elections.”
Rev. Fr. Dr. Uche Obodoechina, the executive secretary of Caritas, said that most of the electorates are feeling disappointed in the outcome of the election.
“This is because they don’t feel that the result as declared by the INEC reflected the wishes of the peoples,” he said.
“One of the greatest flaws of the 2023 general election was the inability, unwillingness and the outright refusal of INEC to upload results from Form EC8A to IREV portal in real time from the polling unit as was severally promised before the election.”
Fr. Zacharia Samjumi, Secretary General Catholic Secretariat made it clear that they demand good governance, and good governance is all about justice. According to him, this was what necessitated the church to involve in observing the election in the first instance.