The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it does not have any allegiance to any political party or candidate.
According to the INEC National Commissioner for Publicity and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, the Commission is a public trust and belongs to the Nigerian people.
He stated this while addressing members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who protested at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday
We reported that the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had led protesters to INEC’s office to protest the outcome of the presidential election won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The protesters, who were dressed in black, started their protest from PDP National Headquarters, Legacy House, around 10am, which led to heavy traffic congestion around the Maitama axis.
PDP Presents Protest Letter, Makes Two Demands From INEC
At the INEC headquarters, Ayu presented a protest letter to Okoye and asked the electoral body to cancel the election and conduct a fresh one that will be accepted by Nigerians and respected by the international community.
Ayu said: “On behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the teeming members of the PDP, we present this protest letter to INEC, addressed to the Commission Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
“We don’t accept the charades of what has been presented to Nigeria people as election and what has been declared.
“We, there, call on INEC not only to cancel the election but to re-conduct a very credible election that will be respected not only to Nigerians but also the international community.”
Grievances Will Be Addressed – INEC
Receiving the letter on behalf of the Commission, Okoye promised to transmit the letter to the INEC National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, saying that their grievances will be addressed.
He said: “I have received this particular protest letter on behalf of the chairman of INEC and I promise you that this letter will be transmitted to him.
“If there are remedial issues to be dealt with, we are going to deal with those remedial issues.
“But I want to assure you that this commission is a listening commission. This commission is a public trust and this commission belongs to the Nigerian people.
“This commission does not have any allegiance to any political party. We don’t have allegiance to any political party. We don’t have any allegiance to any candidate. Our allegiance is to the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I want to thank all of you for the peaceful way this protest has been conducted.
“The commission belongs to the Nigerian people and whatever grievances there are, we will look into all those grievances. If there are grievances that can be redressed, we will redress those grievances but I want to plead that all of us should continue to be peaceful and all of us should continue to respect the integrity of the commission and also the integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I am going to go and hand over the protest letter to the chairman of the commission and I want to assure you that the commission will meet over this letter, look into it and address some of the issues.”