Jamiu, in one of the national televisions had asserted that “the 2023 election that brought Bola Ahmed Tinubu to power was free and fair.”
TPA Coordinator, Courage Nsirimovu, in a release made available to TNN said the reason they faulted his statement was following the activities that characterized the immediate past February 25, 2023, presidential election.
The group in the release titled, “30 Years After June 12: Nigeria Is Yet To Have A Free And Fair Election” lamented that the 2023 election was characterized by irregularities such as voter intimidation and apathy, snatching of ballot boxes, failure to transmit result, among others.
According to TPA, “June 12, is a day we remember heroes of democracy like Anyakwee Nsirimovu, Ken Saro Wiwa, Olisa Agbakoba, Femi Falana etc, who fought for the transition of power from military to civilian rule.
“One of the significant lessons from June 12 in the history of Nigeria is that free and fair election is possible. However, the June 12, 1993 election was annulled by men like Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and his military and civilian cronies who had captured the country, Nigeria.
“This morning between the hours of 8am and 9am, Jamiu Abiola, son of the winner and hero of the celebrated June 12 election M.K.O Abiola, on Arise T.V, said that, “ The 2023 election that brought Bola Ahmed Tinubu to power was free and fair.”
“While we commiserate with him on the killing of his mother and father by the Nigerian system, TPA vehemently disagree with him that the 2023 presidential election was free and fair. As a matter of fact, the report of TPA as regards the said election is that the technology and result of the election were manipulated to favour the government in power. While results for senate and house of representatives were easily transmitted, the presidential election result could not be transmitted and as such, the result sheets were easily manipulated. It is common sense that whatever is in the result sheet must tally with the transmitted result, however, in the Rivers State of the then governor Nyesom Wike, who was eager to save himself from investigations and imprisonment, the result on the result sheets differed from the result on the server (which was transmitted after the elections.)
“Some polling units in Rivers State and Lagos State amongst other states, witnessed voter intimidation and apathy with loyalist to the Wike’s PDP flogging voters to vote for APC’s Tinubu. TPA also witnessed the snatching of ballot boxes in polling units. In such units, results were not declared, leaving room for result fabrication and manipulation.
“In light of the assertions above, it is the view of TPA that the essence of June 12 cannot be celebrated until we have a free and fair election in Nigeria that truly reflects the will of the people and leads to the actual emergence of a peoples leader.
“It is the view of TPA that any and every politician/office holder that emerged from such rigged election is illegitimate. It is the hope of TPA that the democratic grievance mechanism of court adjudication will come handy to save our democracy and restore power to the people’s choice.
“June 12, 2023 is a reminder of a military coup and as we commemorate June 12 today, it reminds us of several political civilian election coups since 1999 till date. It is the dream of The Peoples Advocates that the judiciary will rise to the truth and ensure justice for the sovereign peoples of Nigeria.
“It is also the dream of The Peoples Advocates that one day, we will have a free and fair election that truly resonates with June 12 and the successful candidate (s) will be allowed to freely rule. TPA and the good peoples of Nigeria must resist every attempt of few politicians to capture our country through the process of election rigging to serve their selfish political interest.”
The release also explained that, “The Peoples Advocates TPA, is an association and assembly of public interest lawyers and citizens of Nigeria who are interested in the rights of people globally.
“We are part of the public interest lawyering initiative for West Africa, Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Rivers State Network of Non-Governmental Organisations, CSO 1-Report Platform/CIEPD Election Situation Room, Network of Police Reform in Nigeria, Transition Monitoring Group, Civil Space Watch Cluster etc.”