Joint Forum of 60 Presidential Candidates has described as unnecessary the controversy over the alleged use of a central server for result collation by the Independent National Electoral Commission during the 2019 general election.
The forum, which is an umbrella body of about 60 presidential candidates in the election faulted the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate Atiku Abubakar for the controversy.
The forum noted that INEC did creditable well in the conduct of the election, adding that the controversy was a plot to discredit the election as political parties never agreed with INEC in any of the several pre-election meetings that results will be transmitted electronically.
The Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Mohammed Shittu, at a press conference which he addressed on Tuesday also criticised the report of European Union Election Observer Mission which alleged a lack of transparency in the guidelines of election.
The parties urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sign into law the Electoral Act amendment once it is presented to him again by the National Assembly, adding that the amendment would improve the electoral system and its processes.
“Parties agreed on a lot of issues with the commission and those were implemented. It is worrisome that only one political party out of 91 is saying a different thing on the presidential election while at the same time praising its performance on the other elections, especially governorship, conducted by the same INEC.
“INEC consulted widely and extensively, and together with stakeholders of which we are a part of, came up with the guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 general elections, which the commission followed to the letter. We recall that nine out of the eleven points for consideration we raised as candidates under the auspices of the Inter-Party Advisory Council and Coalition of United Political Parties respectively were adopted by the Commission. How then can the EU-EOM accuse the commission of a lack of transparency in putting up guidelines for the elections?
“Therefore, the report of the EU-EOM released over a week ago wherein they alleged a lack of transparency in the guidelines of election is bewildering. With all due respect to the EU-EOM, it is left to Nigerians to decide how we conducted our 2019 general elections,” he said.
The event was also attended by the Co-Convener of the forum and chairman of West African Coalition of Political Parties, Chief Perry Opara.