By Godson Ikiebey-

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room was not objective in its report on the 2019 general election.

You will recall that the Situation Room, made up of 63 civil society organisations that monitored the elections had on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in its report highlighted a number of lapses which it said undermined the credibility of the elections.

Reacting to the report, Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said he would not agree with the Situation Room’s report that the elections were not free and fair.

In a statement, he said:

“Yes, there were challenges, some of which were outside INEC’s control, but these challenges are not enough for anyone or any organisation to make a sweeping statement that the polls were not free and fair.

“I think this narrows down to the kind of outcomes some people were expecting, and not necessarily the genuine, objective analysis of what really took place. If the results had aligned with their expectations, the elections would have been described as ‘free and fair.’ But now that the results turned out differently in some cases, then the elections ‘are not free and fair.’

“But the general election is not about one particular result. Is the Situation Room saying that all the governors, National and State Assembly members were not duly elected at the polls?

“From my observation, some of them are really not doing things in the overall interest of our country, but because of specific interests known to them, which is very unfortunate. INEC is committed to free and fair elections and will continue to do its best”.

He said the commission will, however, study the report and other reports on the 2019 polls and harvest recommendations to improve electoral process.

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