Former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo has broken his silence after the European Union Observer Mission (EUOM) gave a damning report on the 2023 general elections.
Reacting, Keyamo said the report cannot delegitimize the President Bola Tinubu-led government.
He stated this while reacting to the EU report released recently that pointed out some flaws in the general election and made recommendations to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The EU Electoral Observer Mission had said that trust in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been severely damaged, especially as a result of the failure to upload the result of the presidential election electronically. The EU which identified six areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process moving forward, noted that the presidential election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signalled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.
In his reaction posted on his Twitter handle, Keyamo stated that there is no election worldwide without irregularities. He added that the mentalities of many Africans have been so skewed to see any kind of report or data from any organization in Europe or America as an unquestionable report or data from God.
‘’Declaring certain aspects of an election or electoral process as ‘flawed’ is not synonymous as saying the whole process was a cataclysmic failure. This is the simple difference a whole bunch of people have failed to realise.
THERE IS NO SINGLE ELECTION IN THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT WOULD NOT RECORD CERTAIN COMPLAINTS OF IRREGULARITIES IN CERTAIN AREAS. The REAL ISSUE to determine is whether those supposed irregularities substantially affected the election to the extent that the loser(s) could have won or the winner could have lost. If you cancel an entire process each time some irregularities happen or are reported, we may conduct an election 100 times and no winner would be announced.
It is only a forensic examination of the entire process by the judiciary that can clearly determine the extent the supposed ‘irregularities’ affected the final outcome of the elections. And there are legal rules already laid down to achieve this. The EU report is NOT (and cannot be) a document that tells you who won or lost an election. It only reports the ‘irregularities’ noticed and makes recommendations for improvement in future elections.
Therefore, all the hoopla over that EU report is neither here nor there when it comes to legitimising or delegitimising the government of the day. That power or responsibility belongs to the judiciary.
I hope those who are now gyrating excitedly as if they are ‘speaking in tongues’ over the EU report will also have the spirit and ‘anointing’ to accept and embrace the actual forensic judgment by our properly constituted law courts when they eventually decide on the 2023 elections.
Till then, as a very senior member of the Bar, I hold my peace and I say no more.
Funny thing is, the mentalities of many Africans have been so skewed to see any kind of report or data with the imprimatur of any organisation or body from Europe or America, especially as regards Africa or any African country, as an unquestionable report or data from God!”