The Bishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Diocese of Abakaliki, Rt. Rev. Lawson Elom has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the alleged manipulation of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly election results.
He said the candidate declared by INEC runs contrary to the desires of Nigerians who came out en mass to vote for candidates of their choice.
Elom expressed his dissatisfaction while addressing clergymen, stakeholders in Ebonyi State and Christians, during the 29th annual Synod of the Methodist Church Nigeria in Abakiliki.
He said: “INEC came up with electoral guidelines, especially the assurance that everyman’s votes will count as a result of the introduction of BVAS. Nigerians were made to believe that the just concluded general election will be transparent. At the end of the whole exercise, INEC could not upload the results in the machines, the BVAS were said to have failed, and so, INEC led credence to such excuses and resorted to electoral malpractices.
“They resorted to manual recording and released false election results. It was clear to Nigerians that through their manipulations, results were pronounced in favour of INEC’s choice of candidates and not on people, eventually people’s vote did not count.
“Nigerians and international observers confirmed that this election, especially the Presidential and National Assembly elections failed to meet any standard of credibility or fairness. It was adjudged both locally and internationally to be the worst election since Nigeria started the Democratic process. Indeed, it was a disappointment to the whole world” he stated.
Elom, also frowned at the introduction of the new naira notes by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which according to him, resulted in untold sufferings and hardship while many innocent citizens fainted in frustration, just to access their money in commercial banks.
“Nigerians both the well-to-do cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari, that the system of new Naria note Swap will not work perfectly, especially at the time of the election, and it brought untold sufferings to the general public.
“The governor of the central bank and the powers that be, never considered the cry of the masses and went ahead to implement the change and introduced the cashless policy. Many people suffocated in queues on a daily basis while some others fainted in frustration at banking halls trying to access their money” he stressed.
Bishop Elom, however, tasked the incoming administration in the country, Ebonyi State in particular, to focus more on the welfare of citizens by declaring a state of emergency on poverty alleviation.
He also tasked the incoming administration to tackle the deplorable state of the educational sector and ensure that there is an improved educational system that will be affordable and accessible to citizens.
He also tasked the incoming administration in Ebonyi State to focus on combating the various communal clashes that have resulted in bloodshed and the destruction of valuable properties belonging to the citizens of the state.