Barely two weeks after the declaration of the Presidential and National Assembly elections results, in Abuja, and at the Senatorial and Federal Constituencies in the States, respectively, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is yet to provide details of the outcome of the polls, either on its website, or at its States Offices.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had declared open the National Collation Centre, at the International Conference Centre, ICC, Abuja, where the results of the Presidential election from the 36 States of the Federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were collated.
He eventually made a declaration in the early hours of Wednesday, returning President Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the contest that had Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the main challenger.
Yakubu said that Buhari prevailed with 15,191,847 votes, to Atiku’s 11,262,978 votes.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, having satisfied the requirement of the law, and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner”, Yakubu had said.
Later in the day, the Certificates of Return were presented to Buhari, and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, at a ceremony that held at the ICC, Abuja.
As required by law, the results of the Senatorial and House of Representatives polls, were announced by the Returning Officers, at those levels.
However, till date, the details of the results from Wards, Local Governments, Federal Constituencies, Senatorial Districts, and States, are yet to be published, either at the State or National Headquarters of INEC.
As the outcome of the election became controversial, particularly with Atiku and the PDP threatening legal challenge to it, many had hoped that the publication of the details of the results, would enable discerning members of the public to come to more dispassionate conclusions on the results filed by INEC.
The enquiries by Journalists at the Commission’s States Offices throughout the Federation and Abuja, met a brick wall, with Officials saying the results were still being authenticated, even when returns had been made and winners declared.
“What is happening is quite unbelievable. How could INEC not give details of results it declared days ago? Where are the results?”, a curious Analyst, who craved anonymity, asked last night.
Another Observer, who also did not want to be mentioned, said that he was surprised that given the enthusiasm with which the Commission released the Certificate of Return to the President, it would have been much more forthcoming with the details of the results, particularly as many people are skeptical about some of the figures declared.
“I think something is fishy. Look at the massive figures that came out of the North-West and North-East. Should they not give us the details of where those votes came from?” he asked.
However, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, revealed last night, that the Commission was still authenticating the results from the States, explaining that until that process is concluded, they cannot be uploaded on the Electoral body’s website.