Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The presidential candidate of the People’s Trust, Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, on Wednesday said the presidential election held last Saturday fell below international standard.
He, however, said that notwithstanding the irregularities that characterised the election, he had decided to accept the result and congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari who was declared the winner.
Olawepo-Hashim made his position known in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
He urged the President to be mindful of the numerous lapses identified in the electoral process.
He said issues, such as card reader failures, thump printing of ballot papers, allocation of results, vote-buying, violence and killing plagued the polls, but he decided to congratulate the winner “for the greater good, peace and progress of the nation and also in compliance with the peace accord, which all the aspirants signed.”
He said, “Although we have accepted the outcome of the 2019 presidential election in the interest of peace and stability of the country, the election fell short of international standard and the standard established at the 2015 election.
“President Muhammadu Buhari must, soon after the governorship and House of Assembly elections, probe the Independent National Electoral Commission’s inefficient conduct of the election.
“Also, it is about time we had a national conversation on how to unbundle the INEC and have a more efficient and transparent election management process.”
He added, “Now the election has been won and lost. It is my duty, as a matter of honour, to keep the peace and congratulate the winner.
“I therefore offer my felicitation to the winner of the 2019 presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari. I pray for God’s guidance for him and wisdom as he steers the ship of state further in the next four years.”