As the Chief Returning Officer of the Presidential Election and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, officially began collating the results at the National Collation Centre in Abuja, results rolling in continue to show upsets with many federal lawmakers sure not to return to the National Assembly.
At press time, the results of the Presidential election showed victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Bola Tinubu, in Ekiti State, as announced in the National Collation Centre in Abuja.
Professor Akeem Olawale Lasisi, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer for the presidential election in Ekiti announced that Tinubu polled 201,494 votes to beat the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, who came second and third respectively.
Atiku got 89,554 votes, while Obi got 11,397.
The collation centre was subsequently shut till Monday for further announcement of results.
The results come as spokespersons of the major political parties traded words over the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which was not uploading results on its portal.
Meanwhile, INEC admits it is aware of challenges with the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV), taking full responsibility, and apologised for the distress caused caused the candidates, political parties and the electorate.
It adds that unlike in off-season elections where the portal was used, it has been relatively slow and unsteady.
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee says the commission regrets the setback, especially because of the importance of IReV in results management process.
The Commission adds, “The problem is totally due to technical hitches related to scaling up the IReV from a platform for managing off-season, State elections, to one for managing nationwide general elections. It is indeed not unusual for glitches to occur and be corrected in such situations.
“Consequently, the Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems, and that the IReV remains well-secured.
“Our technical team is working assiduously to solve all the outstanding problems, and users of the IReV would have noticed improvements since last night.
“We also wish to assure Nigerians that results from the Polling Units, copies of which were issued to political parties, are safe on both the BVAS and the IReV portal. These results cannot be tampered with and any discrepancy between them and the physical results used in collation will be thoroughly investigated and remediated, in line with Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022.
“While we fully appreciate the concerns of the public on this situation and welcome various suggestions that we have received from concerned Nigerians, it is important to avoid statements and actions that can heat up the polity at this time or promote disaffection towards the Commission.”
The ineptitude of INEC’s facility has led to a rash of unverified reports flooding the social media.
As this continued, the Police came out with a statement warning against heating up the polity with the unofficial release of results.
Police spokesman, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said in the statement: “The Nigeria Police has observed the spreading or circulation of alleged/fake elections results on social media and other news platforms, which is contrary to the policy and guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The Police has perceived this trend as a calculated attempt to heat up the polity and possibly create post elections chaos. We regard this as a disservice, unpatriotic, and a disinformation. The Nigeria Police hereby warns those who are spreading these alleged/fake election results to desist from such mischievous acts and wait patiently for INEC’s official results, which are authentic and tenable.
“The NPF urges Nigerians to remain calm, and go about their lawful engagements, while those who are billed to go to the polls today are requested to be orderly and law-abiding as we have re-enforced our security strategies for the smooth conclusion of the 2023 General Elections.”