The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, a coalition of over 60 civil society organisations (CSOs) across the country, on Monday, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to clinically scrutinise the final collated results from Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia States against the polling units results.
The Situation Room also raised concern about the weak oversight powers of the national headquarters of INEC over Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) and state INEC offices in the management and conduct of elections, saying “this makes it easy for compromised RECs and other state-level INEC officers to undermine the credibility of the election sometimes with reckless impunity.”
Its Convener, Mr Clement Nwankwo, at a press conference on the final statement of the Situation Room on the Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly Elections in Abuja, said there were good grounds to question the credibility of the elections’ results in the states.
“In Rivers State, historically deep-rooted political animosities played out in a brazen, violent and naked manner to subvert the electoral process in many local governments in the state.
“In Akwa Ibom, there were also serious questions about the veracity of the results because of reports of active and direct partisan, interference with the elections. There are also concerns about Abia State, which recorded multiple cases of electoral misconduct,” he said.
Nwankwo said though the electoral umpire had to cancel elections in polling units in some states while in others, it has commenced investigations, he urged INEC to concern itself with possible negative public perceptions of the polls in the three states and ensure that it takes necessary step to protect the integrity of the elections.
He also condemned in the strongest terms the leading role played by prominent public political-office holders and other politicians as well as some INEC officials in encouraging and actively talking part in organised misconduct and disorderly behaviour that violated the sanctity of the electoral process.
“The Situation Room calls that action be taken to investigate their activities with a view to prosecuting and sanctioning them, if found culpable, under the law,” he said.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
-Ex VP Atiku Abubakar on Restructuring.
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