As criticisms continued to trail the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s declaration of the governorship elections of six states as inconclusive, a group, Save Nigeria Democracy Group (SNDG) on Wednesday led its members in protest to the Commission headquarter in Abuja.
The electoral umpire had since fixed March 23 as new dates for a fresh exercise in Benue, Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Plateau and Kano State.
But the SNDG, led by Comrade Tijani Abdulmumuni accused the INEC of working in league with the All Progressives Congress to ensure victory for the candidates of the latter in the respective states.
Abdulmumuni further claimed that the presidency “is in cahoots with INEC, some state governors and the APC to drag this country into chaos which must be rejected at all cost.”
He said: “This latest show of desperation has further strengthened earlier concerns of widespread voter suppression, targeted violence, militarisation of the political space and systematic inflation of figures that punctuated the presidential and National Assembly elections.
“It also heightens the fear of the dire consequences of the federal government muscling INEC and the nation’s security into turning blind eyes to obvious infractions and violations of the Federal Constitutional provisions and Electoral Law and the Regulations/Guidelines regulating the 2019 general elections and went ahead to uphold and announce a tailored result that only serve the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“We wish to place on record that the monumental electoral fraud, the manipulation which has very negative implications on the credibility, transparency and integrity of the entire elections constitute a latent threat to our democratic development.
“Against all known rules of decency and fairness, the deliberate violations which include the widespread non-usage or selective enforcement of the use of Smart Card Reader (SCR) machines are also an indictment in the sight of the international community.
Appraising the presidential and national assembly elections, the group alleged that the use of Smart Card Reader was observed in the breach in states in the North unlike in the South. ”
It also claimed that the military was used to intimidate voters in the South while security forces watched with indifference while underage voters partook in the electoral process in the North.
“In specifics, the international and local observers have regrettably noted that the usage of the SCR machines was enforced strategically in the South-South, South-East and the North-Central zones of the country which are essentially opposition strongholds but was radically slackened in the North-West, North-East and the South-West which were estimated as the APC strongholds.
“Other infractions observed nationwide, including the deliberate non-deployment of result form EC 8 to polling centres, the barricade by armed military personnel to deny the agents of opposition political parties access to collation centres, the recording of falsified figures and violent attacks at opposition strongholds.
“In the Northwest, the deplorable use of battalions of underaged situation Almajiri was the order of the day in most frontline states in addition to armed thugs unleashed on voters.”
“We specifically call on the civil society, youth groups, the elders and leaders of various communities, and the international community to expose such monumental fraud and to hold that President Buhari has woefully failed as a leader with genuine intentions and capacity to save our democracy and the future unity of the country.
“Finally, with this, we hereby reaffirm our total rejection of the entire exercise and the concocted results that emanated therefrom.”
INEC’s Assistant Director of Security, Kelechi Madumere, who received the protesters, commended them for conducting themselves in a civilised and peaceful manner while assuring them that the commission would do everything possible not to betray the trust of Nigerians.
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