By Biodun Busari
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, has attributed the poor performance of the party in the general elections to the difficulty of its supporters to identify the party logo on the ballot paper.
Kwankwaso said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) mixed up the party logo in the ballot papers making it hard for NNPP supporters to identify.
The former Kano state governor, while, speaking at the National Executive Committee meeting of the party, said the way the party logo was presented on the ballot paper was enough ground to cancel the general elections.
He, then, warned the Commission not to repeat the same thing in the off season elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states.
Speaking further, Kwankwaso said he is confident that with the performance of the party in the elections, where it came fourth barely one year in existence, showed the NNPP is the party for the future.
He said the party was not in a haste to sue any INEC over such issues, adding that the NNPP would have done better than it did if the elections were free and fair.
The National Chairman of the party, Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali, asked INEC to undertake internal surgical operations especially among its field officers at the States level to bring back sanity into the system.
Kwankwaso who was silent on whether the party filed an election petition at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, said “With INEC here with us, it is an opportunity to say that all our members were not happy with the way our logo was presented on the ballot papers. It was so bad that when we had the international observers, they could not tell you what was contained in the logo.
“It is so sad that we had to face those challenges at the last minute. Most people, including myself had to struggle to identify our logo. The party will work out how to present our logo for the next elections.
“One of the problems with our logo is the quality of the printing and I want to appeal to INEC that now that we are going for elections in about three states, we don’t want to be in a hurry to go to court on some of these issues.
“I believe that under normal circumstances, what INEC presented as our logo is good enough in a civilised society to cancel the national elections because we were disenfranchisement and not properly represented on the ballot and that created so much difficulty for our candidates and our party.
“What we were expecting is to see is what we presented which is a basket of fruits with colours so that people will know. Anything short of that in the coming elections will only be repeating the challenges we faced before.
“We have seen in some states how people were openly displaying money, both in local and foreign currency, buying votes. We look forward to the period when elections in this country will be the way it should be; peaceful, without guns and other dangerous weapons as well as willful purchase of votes.”
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