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INEC, security agents under fire over Kogi by-election

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Kogi state

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Kogi State, Prof. James Apam, came under fire yesterday over the shoddy Lokoja/Kotokarfe by-election.

He had a herculean task dealing with agitations of stakeholders in the state.

Stakeholders raised concern that during the election, security agents, rather than ensure that people complied with the restriction on movement order, were aiding and abetting the irregularities that characterised the election.

The by-election, held to replace the late deputy majority leader in the House of Representatives, Buba Jibrin, was marred by violence and ballot box snatching.

The stakeholders, who gathered at the instance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the general election, condemned the electoral umpire for the shoddy manner the election was handled.

Consequently, Concerned Nigerian Christians Forum (CNCF) has urged INEC to be transparent and conduct a credible election that Nigerians and the international community would be proud of.

Briefing journalists on the 2019 Christian Summit themed ‘National Healing, Reconciliation and Unity’ holding today (Friday) in Abuja, the national coordinator of the faith-based group, Isaac Balami, recognised INEC’s crucial role in ensuring a free and fair election and therefore urged it to act as an unbiased umpire.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has denied backing any presidential candidate, saying it remains politically neutral and would never become a tool for politicians.

In a statement obtained by The Guardian yesterday, the national president, Alaba Lawson, firmly denied reports that the association was backing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

“Our attention has been drawn to a news report in The Punch Newspaper of January 22, 2019 with the headline ‘NACCIMA and others back Atiku on NNPC Privatisation’.

“We wish to make it clear that contrary to the suggestions and insinuations peddled by the said news report, NACCIMA has not endorsed any particular candidate in the coming general elections. NACCIMA’s political neutrality is a core principle that is equally imbibed by NACCIMA’s council, executive committee, members and employees.”

In another development, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has indicted the army for allegedly supporting the PDP to win the 2015 general election in Yobe south senatorial district.

Gaidam made the accusations on Wednesday, while addressing stakeholders and supporters of All Progressives Congress (APC) zonal campaign rally at Sabon Garin Nangere.


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