By Kelvin Obambon
The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) for the 2023 elections, Mr Omoyele Sowore, has stated that no one was mounting pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do away with the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in next year’s poll.
Sowore who stated this on Thursday shortly after arriving at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, insisted that INEC is not prepared to give Nigeria free, fair and credible elections in 2023.
According to him, “It’s not that anybody is mounting pressure on INEC. It’s that INEC is mounting pressure on itself not to deliver on a free and fair election. And we’ve been shouting that INEC hasn’t shown preparedness; they haven’t shown honesty and transparency in the way they’re dealing with preparations for the elections. For instance, I was at a meeting with them where we questioned why at this point we don’t know how many people are in possession of their PVCs. They haven’t been able to tell us. They say we have to wait until the clean up is done.
“They should be giving that number on a daily basis, not just a general number like 93million voters. If you have 93million voters and there are not up to 50million people in possession of their PVCs, then that’s nothing to celebrate.”
The AAC flag-bearer who is in the state to attend a conference organize by architects, said although he does not have confidence on the electoral umpire, he was however in the race to underscore the need for credible and patriotic citizens to occupy powerful positions in the country.
“We are running to also expose the flaws of the system so that we can get faster to our main agenda which is revolution, faster than they might even think, because if they keep shortchanging the Nigerian people, they can’t escape the revolution,” he said.
Responding to question on vote buying and the 2023 elections, Sowore said, “BVAS cannot stop vote buying. We know that people don’t buy vote if security agencies and INEC don’t collude. I attended a meeting with the Inspector General of Police and all heads of security agencies in Nigeria recently, all of them were sounding helpless. It feels like it’s rocket science to do right, capture some of these issues and make sure there are credible elections.
“Some of them even said that governors are the problem. And I told them if governors are the problem why don’t you curtailed some of their activities. Do you know what they did? The next time they had the meeting they did not invite me because I said the truth at the meeting.”
Sowore further stated that his administration, if elected, will prioritize mass housing whereby “over 40 million new homes will be built so that we can be assure that majority of our people have a roof over their head. That’s a priority for me as a presidential candidate.”