The irregularities spotted on ballot papers for the elections of the President and executive officers of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which was one of the causative factors leading to the fracas that disrupted the elections on Wednesday, has been blamed on the Credential committee.
The credential committee, headed by President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Fagge, screened all aspirants to various offices and was in charge of the elections, including producing the ballot papers.
The NLC, in a statement issued yesterday said a printing error was spotted in a few ballot papers on Thursday morning by way of duplication of candidates.
“This error affected four candidates, two each from opposing camps. As regrettable as this error by the Credential Committee is, its degree was insignificant and could have been resolved amicably by way of vote invalidation. However, this was not to be as some delegates who held the view that the entire process might have been corrupted, reacted sharply. This led to the suspension of the voting process,” the statement signed by General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo Esan said.
The statement disclosed that the National Executive Council of the Congress would meet next Wednesday, February 18 to fix a new date for fresh elections and resolve the matter before the end of the tenure of the current leadership which ends March 3.
In a similar manner, one of the contestants to the seat of the President, Comrade Aruba Wabba said the credentials committee may not have observed due diligence over the ballot papers.
Wabba, who is Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN)
however noted that the ballot papers with the duplication of candidates may have been deliberately planted in a pre-determined move to truncate the election process.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, he said while the head of the credential committee, was a man of integrity, the unions where the other presidential candidates emerged from; NUEE and NUPENG, had members on the committee.
“They may have manipulated the ballot papers, so first line of blame should be the committee which they are a part of,” he said.
He also queried why the committee decided to print the ballot papers in a different form from what had been obtainable over the years, choosing to print booklets, and using a page per candidate, instead of having all contestants listed on a single sheet with blank spaces next to their names.