The NLC once again warns that any election result that does not reflect the wishes of the people will not only spell doom for democracy but will also render the benefiting government of such heist illegitimate. Sustainable governments are built on sovereign will. The reason is that such government is akin to a coup though not a military one but organised by civilian INEC against the fundamental rights and choices of the people as expressed through the ballot last Saturday.

Every government needs legitimacy to govern freely. However this can only be conferred by the will of the people freely given in an election. When that will is circumvented by whatsoever means, the government loses the very foundation that it needs to be anchored to find acceptance thus govern.

These very basic elements are clearly lacking in what INEC seems to be in a rush to plunge Nigeria into. As it stands now, the current Presidential result collation lacks legitimacy as it has been questioned critically by major stakeholders with INEC unable to give satisfactory explanations to the germane issues raised. Since INEC has compromised the sources of the results from the Polling units by the mere action of the clear sabotage of the BVAS an instrument that had hitherto given Nigerians hope for a more free, fair, credible and acceptable election in 2023, there is nothing that will restore this hope and build belief than to go back to the results as captured by the BVAS. If this is no longer possible, we call for a pause in further announcement of the Presidential results and carry out a backward review before deciding on the way forward.

INEC’s actions have sabotaged the integrity of the election and undermine the credibility of its outcomes. It is the process that confers legitimacy on the outcome and anything that contaminates it renders the outcomes inchoate. This is not what this country needs right now especially when we are confronted with military insurgencies, banditry, Kidnappings and other very criminal acts around the nation. We need outcomes that builds national cohesion and solidarity and not one that divides.

Nigerian workers find it difficult to believe that at this day and age, INEC could not collate results from its own Servers when far less funded organisations both locally and internationally have done so seamlessly? Many Organisations and nations have performed this very basic tasks without this storm. It is neither the lack of capacity nor the paucity of resources at INEC’s disposal that has led to this farce but the greed factor that has led to the intentional scuttling of a simple process for the benefit of a few individuals and to the detriment of the whole nation. A product is always subject to the processes that gives birth to it and if that process becomes contaminated, the product becomes defiled.

We do not understand the driving force behind INEC’s pursuit of announcing a Presidential election result with processes that are clearly fraught with serious irregularities? We do not understand why INEC has suddenly become deaf to sound reason but continues to pursue a path that may put the whole nation in crisis. It will be the height of irresponsibility to rush our nation into a cul-de-sac.

A government that is built on subverting the sovereign will cannot be seen to be legitimate. Such illegitimacy will dog the footsteps of the administration and will surely make it incapable of providing acceptable governance to the people.

If INEC announces a result that is dogged by this confusion and questions, how can a government built on it survive? How can such a government hope to mobilise the people? How will such a government build trust and confidence in the people for whatever policies and programmes that may become the anchor for its governance projections? How can such government garner the support of the citizenry it hopes to lead? How can it wield authority?

The NLC is seriously worried knowing that a government that lacks legitimacy is like a fish out of water and can only survive by the sheer strength of brutal force thus a recipe for national disaster. INEC should therefore not give Nigerians an “Abiku or Ogbanje” that is billed to give us so much trouble and eventually die in infancy. This nation must be saved from this avoidable disaster.

INEC must allow reason to prevail and remove its legs from the pedal that is clearly headed for the rocks. No good will come from where it is taking Nigerians to. We are sure that a government that is unacceptable to the people will suffer severely and may be prone to social instability. This illegitimate result must not be announced. A stitch in time they say, saves nine. Let us consider this nation first before our selfish designs. We will not accept a government built on fraud and we are sure that other critical national stakeholders will also not accept such contraption.

Comrade Joe Ajaero

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