Protesters on Tuesday stormed the adjourning streets leading to the Presidential Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre, Abuja to demand the electronic transmission of results from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Contrary to reports in some sections of the media, the protesters did not go close to the collation centre.
Since the collation of results started on Saturday, all the roads leading to the Collation Centre were barricaded by security agents and traffic diverted about a kilometre away to the collation centre.
The protesters, who claimed to be members of different political parties, expressed dissatisfaction over the refusal of INEC to transmit results electronically.
Political party agents led by Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and three others had staged a walkout at the collation centre.
Addressing journalists, one of the protesters, Lillian Kozau, called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow his image to be tarnished and his legacy be destroyed by INEC.
“INEC assured us that it would be a transparent process. They assured us of a transparent process and that the BVAS would be used, which is supposed to be an electronic process. Yet, after three days, 23 states still need to be uploaded. Why? Does this mean we will be doing this for one week?
“Why will a result be deleted from a platform after it has been uploaded? What are they up to? All we asked for was a transparent process. We just wanted whoever we voted for to emerge as the president of this country. We just wanted hope; we just wanted things to work. We are not asking for too much.
“We are not violent. Nobody is holding any weapon; we are just trying to make our voices heard. Please, our president should call the INEC chairman to order. Eight years have passed, and we don’t care what happened. We are looking to the future. Buhari should not let his legacy to be tarnished. Let them follow due process. Whosoever we have voted for should be announced as the president of the country. Let things be done rightly.”
Another protester, Ilemona Onoja, said their major demand was for the INEC chairman to fulfil what he promised Nigerians before the election, which was a transparent and open process.
He lamented that the process was not being followed, rather, what they were seeing was a situation where results were written and were announced as the results of the election contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, the INEC guidelines that they issued, and the promises of the INEC chairman.
“We came out on the 25th of February to cast our votes for our preferred candidates. We were told that a process was going to be followed. This process involves accreditation, voting and our ballots will be counted. After it has been counted, it will be transmitted directly to a central server. And that on the day of the election, at the national collation centre, that central server will be displayed and we will be able to follow the results.
“Now, all we are saying is, we don’t mind if our preferred candidate loses, just give us a transparent and open process. Let us be able to see the results. INEC promised us they will follow a certain procedure, we are asking them to follow it.”