There was fear of a repeat of the 31 March 2015 ‘Orubebe drama’ during the collation of last Saturday’s presidential election results held at the National Collation Centre, located at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja.
The PDP agent and spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Osita Chidoka, early Wednesday, tried unsuccessfully to trigger the suspension of the declaration of the result by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
It all started when Mr. Chidoka reminded Prof. Yakubu about the petition his party, the PDP wrote to INEC.
He alleged that the INEC Chairman promised that details of accreditation captured by the card reader across the country would be provided during collation of results.
“Yesterday (Monday), our colleague raised the issue and we thought that when we come in this morning as we are listening to the states, we will be seeing the accreditation from the states,” Chidoka said.
“Please, Mr. Chairman, we will like it to be on record that we want to see the accreditation by the card readers for Bauchi, Borno, Yobe in particular and then of course for the rest of the country because the numbers we are seeing seem to be like we live in two countries,” he said.
He said they were not comfortable with the alleged failure of the INEC boss to use projector and show the results from the smart card reader despite spending N27bn in this year’s budget alone for technology.
Chidoka also said they observed that there were 1.6 million people missing in the voter register besides the cancellations that during the election that allegedly affected 2.7 million voters.
He prayed Prof. Yakubu to suspend the announcement of the results until all observations were addressed.
Responding, The INEC chairman brushed Chidoka aside saying all the observers including those made by other agents would be useful for future elections.
Mr Yakubu said while the commission noticed that the figures of accredited voters in relation to vote-cast did not add up in one or two instances, preliminary investigation revealed that the cumulative disparity was less than two per cent.
In 2015, a former Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe who was the PDP agent during the collation of the president election, accused the then INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega of being biased against his party.
He also said Prof. Jega was tribalistic in handling the process of the collation, saying Jega had set up a committee to investigate results from Rivers State after the APC raised objections but refused to do same when PDP complained about results from Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Jigawa and three other states.