U.S lawmaker warns INEC against tampering and manipulation of results
Rep Chris Smith, an American politician currently serving his 20th term as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 4th congressional district, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “announce without delay actual results — which are certified by party agents and observers — at each polling unit as the vote is tabulated”.
Smith, a ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Africa, was among the delegation that held meetings with PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the United States on January 18, 2019.
In a statement plastered across his website, Smith wrote that; “Yesterday (Feb 23), Nigeria voted. Today, votes are being counted. I am very concerned by credible reports that the vote is being tampered with. To avoid any manipulation of the tally, it is critical that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announce without delay actual results — which are certified by party agents and observers — at each polling unit as the vote is tabulated.
“Well-placed sources report that in some states and localities — including Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia — INEC commissioners are receiving enormous pressure to alter poll results. This must not be allowed to happen.
“The eyes of the United States, of Africa, and the world are upon Nigeria and INEC. I also ask Secretary Michael Pompeo to hold accountable anyone who seeks to cheat the Nigerian people — who have waited patiently — of their vote or foments violence.”
A season of press statements
The PDP has issued one press statement after another all weekend, alleging that the electoral commission is manipulating the vote for the governing APC, claims INEC have repeatedly rejected and denounced.
INEC postponed a result collation event from 6pm on Sunday, Feb 24 to 11am of Monday, Feb 25.
The vote counting exercise will happen inside the Collation Center in Abuja, Nigeria’s moneyed capital.