2023: INEC accredited CSOs launche ‘Follow the Result’ campaign in Kogi, Delta, others, to curb electoral fraud
Worried about the lack of accountability and transparency in Nigeria’s electioneering process, a coalition of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited election observers have launched what they tagged, the ‘Follow the Result’ election campaign to curb electoral fraud.
According to the coalition, the campaign which will take place in every part of the country would be more effective in Kogi, Delta, Rivers, Kano and Yobe states, respectively.
Speaking over the weekend in Abuja at the launch of the campaign, Executive Director, Grassroots Voters Mobilization and Empowerment Network, (GVMEN) Amb. Ozuem Esiri said the campaign will ensure transparency, accountability and verify the result from observers, and polling units and to further confirm the final result that would be announced by the electoral body.
According to Esiri, the general election is more than a deciding moment for the country, hence, all well-meaning Nigerians must come together to uphold the unity, sanctity and integrity of the nation by ensuring a credible election.
He urged stakeholders, including INEC, security agencies and voters to ensure free, fair and credible general elections in February and March.
“INEC has a responsibility to ensure transparency in its management of the election and because as an unbiased umpire, it must uphold those principles.”
“If you go out to cast your vote, don’t leave the polling station. Stay there until the results are counted and follow the results to the collation centre. Our election observers will follow the results at all levels
“The ‘Follow the Result’ election campaign project would be set up in states like Kogi, Rivers, Kano, Delta, Imo, Ondo and a few others.
“The era of election rigging, vote-buying, ballot snatching, stuffing and falsification of results is over as we collectively take steps to protect and defend our hard-earned democracy since May 29, 1999.
“This time, every vote must be counted and made to count in the overall result. We must get it right and move the nation forward in the quest for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.”
“The electoral process at the federal and sub-national levels need to be free of political manipulation. In a state like Kogi, political actors and stakeholders should create a level playing ground and reduce the tension.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must exercise its independence and capacity to sanction breaches of the provisions of the National Electoral Act 2010 as amended.”
Ozuem stated that GVMEN as a body will not shy away from its responsibility of drawing the nation’s attention to some acts that are capable of derailing the efforts made by Nigerians to ensure the elections are credible and hitch-free.
Also Speaking, the Executive Director, of International Network, Mr Micheal Frisch, urged stakeholders to make a comprehensive report on the election and to compile the names of troublemakers, election riggers and their sponsors who are planning to disrupt the elections to the appropriate authorities and various embassies to revoke their Visas or issue a total Visa ban for them and their families.
On his part, Amb. Prince Mgbemere urged states such as Kogi, security agencies and personnel to live up to their responsibilities to secure and defend voters and protect their rights on election day.
He stressed the need for INEC staff, CSOs representatives, partners, INEC, international and domestic election observers, monitoring the election to be provided with adequate security before, during and after the election period.
“Security agents should fish out the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and their sponsors to face justice. The need for enhanced intelligence gathering, sharing and utilization amongst security agencies to curb acts of political violence cannot be overemphasized in this crucial general election that will redefine the destiny of the nation.”
Other stakeholders at the meeting commended the federal government’s assurances that the elections will not be shifted and will be held in a peaceful atmosphere.