CSO urges National Assembly probe of alleged electoral sabotage by INEC
Akeredolu tasks Ondo indigenes on peace
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged the National Assembly to probe the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for what it described alleged sabotage following the last-minute postponement of weekend’s polls by the agency.
In a statement yesterday in Akure, CISLAC’s Executive Director, Ibrahim Musa Auwal (Rafsanjani), decried the claimed poor preparation by the electoral umpire. He said; “CISLAC is seriously perturbed by the sudden postponement of the general elections by INEC few hours to the presidential and national assembly elections.”We condemn such abrupt decision informed by deliberate abuse of independent power that may discredit subsequent position by the commission as an ‘independent body’ before national and international observers.
“We are not unaware of systemic conflict of interests and questionable procurement process imbibed by the various positions in the commission, creating tendency for mutual sabotage among the three levels of appointees – National Commissioners, RECs and appointed relatives – as directors in the various departments.”
The ED regretted that the shift had inflicted tremendous losses on the masses, civil society, the nation at large as well as the international community that budgeted a lot of money to ensure a free and fair exercise. Auwal went on: “Given the huge presence of youths and electoral observation missions across the country, such abrupt postponement is a huge setback to our nation’s democracy which may breed electoral apathy and distrust at all levels.
“With the new dates, given the space of a week extension, we are as well worried about the safety, integrity and security of election materials which have been (already) distributed across the country.”
The sought inquiry, he clarified, would “clear the commission of public doubt that the decision was not informed by the desperate desires of unjust individuals or groups who want to assume or sustain power by all illegitimate means.”
The CISLAC boss further appealed: “We demand adequate security for both materials and human resources deployed by the commission so far to the field to avert susceptibility to violations and attacks by unpatriotic individuals or groups nationwide.”We call on the commission to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians as well as local and international observers who have committed their time, presence and financial resources to monitor the electoral process with assurances that elections would hold as rescheduled.”
Meanwhile, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has appealed to residents of Ondo State to remain calm.He admitted that the late shift of the polls was painful, but added quickly that the incident must be taken with calmness and renewed determination to turn up impressively on the new dates.The governor noted that the electoral body must have been overwhelmed by unforeseen circumstances such as logistics and inability to replace damaged sensitive materials and equipment in its offices burnt in parts of the federation.
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