Okunniyi,HURIWA flay INEC over election violence as LP demands swift collation of results
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has flayed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for spending four years to conduct what it sees as falling short of credible, free, fair and transparent elections.
HURIWA claimed that electoral officials, especially in Lagos, Kano and Rivers states, allegedly gave in to whims and caprices of “desperately greedy governments to enable the heaviest heist of election results to be perfected.”
In a statement, yesterday, by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group backed “outright cancellation of the results from Lagos and Rivers states for being irredeemably manipulated.”
It criticised the police in Kano for allegedly “encouraging underage voting and even stating on public television, watched around the world, that the thousands of underage voters seen on television suffer from DNA (genetic) deformity.”
HURIWA blamed INEC for “letting these shenanigans take place even when serious alarms were raised and early warnings issued.”It went on: “We, in HURIWA, condemn the security agencies for allowing hoodlums suspected to be supporters of a political party in Akwa Ibom State to inflict machete cuts on two voters before carting away one Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for polling units 11 and 12 at Oniong West Ward 1 in Onna Council of the state.”
HURIWA also deplored omission of logos of certain parties from the ballot paper. It maintained that the suspension of elections in parts of Edo and Bayelsa states smacked of “inefficiency” on the part of the electoral umpire.
THIS is even as Chairman, Contact and Mobilisation/Special Duties of Labour Party and Head of Grassroots Mobilisation of Obi-Datti 2023 Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Veteran Olawale Okunniyi, has charged INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to urgently address incidence of non-uploading of election results for collation by his officials, who make excuses that the BVAS had stopped functioning for transmission and collation of results.
In a statement, Okunniyi, who is also National Chief Mobiliser of LP and Obi-dient Movement under banner of the Big Tent of the 3rd Force Movement of Nigeria, decried ongoing disruptions to collation of results and reported “violence in Lagos, as reports from our men and women on the field indicate infliction of violence and assault on Labour Party agents and representatives, among who are renowned political economist and convener of the Big Tent, Prof. Pat Utomi, at collation centres in Lagos with heavy sporadic shooting to prevent collation of results from the polling units, where the ruling APC lost the elections.”
He added: “We, therefore, call on Nigerian security forces to urgently move to neutralise this ongoing thuggery and violence in most parts of Lagos, including Eti Osa, Ejigbo, Ishaga and Oshodi areas, among others, where thugs are currently having a field day assaulting and holding electoral officials and LP representatives hostage.”
“Intelligence report at our disposal also reveals that some electoral officials in connivance with political chieftains are engaging in falsification of election results at the collation centres, and that there are also strong plots to trade off the votes of the Labour Party and Peter Obi in some southern states.
“Finally, we wish to plead with INEC strongly to ensure that all results uploaded on its portal for collation tally with the results signed and handed over to the polling unit agents of political parties to prevent the current machinations of some politicians to discredit and scuttle the 2023 elections.”