Convener of Big Tent, Professor Pat Utomi, has said that many Nigerians are still in shock at the outcome of the February 25 presidential and March 18 governorship elections.
Utomi made the revelation at a press briefing held in Lagos on Monday.
He stated that the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had hyped the new infallibility of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) tech system.
He said, “On February 25 a frightened old guard struck the way it knew best – election results manipulation. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had sold, even oversold the new infallibility of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) tech system.
“It led many who had given up on the value of voting digging up their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). When it mattered the system did not just fail, it collapsed; whether it be a glitch or was tampered with, is left for the tribunals and competent Court to establish.
“But I have seen mountains of evidence even going back years to the supply of BVAS machines that suggest a capriciously planned and premeditated effort to doctor elections away from the wish of the people as expressed in their vote.
“All that was needed was for a simple technology to work and all would have heard clearly what the Nigerian people said. Whether it be for good or for bad, this candidate or the other, calm would come and the legitimacy needed for governing would have been conferred. But it was not possible.”
Utomi who is a chieftain of the Labour Party (LP) said advocated strong institutions and values as key ingredients to saving the country from decay.
According to him, Nigeria cannot afford the crisis of legitimacy that comes every election cycle.
He lamented that a number of fascists, demagogues or extremely ambitious people have pursued self-interest in a way that reduces the vision of others through the emotions political actors play up.
He added, “What Africa needs is a strong institution, not strong men. Our strong men are here now and our weak institutions are exposing us to their wrath.
“The push of the strongman for power usually is either pushed back by strong institutions and reliable systems. Strong institutions and values remain key ingredients to saving Nigeria, true Patriots are obliged to intensify the struggle as we smell freedom from the hard work of Obidients and the Big Tent in 2023.
Nigeria cannot afford the crisis of legitimacy that comes every election cycle. It hurts growth and development and we need to work our institutions to maturity to avoid these negative disruptions.”