Ensure credible elections or resign, groups tell INEC chair
Written by Taiwo Adekola on March 8, 2023
The Southern and Middle Belt Alliance SMBA has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and senior officials of the commission to resign if he cannot guarantee that Saturday’s governorship and states House of Assembly elections will be free, fair and credible.
In a statement yesterday by SMBA spokesperson, Rwang Pam Jr., lamented that the alleged failure of INEC, police and Department of State Services to competently perform their constitutional duties during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections “has not only brought international disgrace to Nigeria, but equally failed to protect the mandate of millions of Nigerians.”
The group lamented that “after a week of such daylight destruction and intimidation, neither the NPF nor the DSS has paraded any of the political thugs or their sponsors as a demonstration of their commitment towards defending the integrity of the electoral process.
The group further berated the INEC chairman and his commissioners “who either by omission or commission or both have conducted an election that has been unanimously rejected as not being free, fair or credible by international observers and local observers as well as a majority of Nigerians.”
In a separate report, a coalition of 18 civil society organizations held a demonstration on Tuesday at the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission over the controversial manner in which it handled the presidential and National Assembly elections.
The coalition also called for the immediate resignation of the INEC chief for rushing to announce the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the winner despite knowing that the elections were flawed following allegations of rigging and pockets of violence.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, the coalition’s convener, Dada Olayinka, was quoted to have said, “INEC claimed the BVAS technology was going to be effectively deployed to forestall rigging and over voting. In places where BVAS worked efficiently, there were reported cases of over voting in many centre, leading to the denial of voter’s rights, including reported compromise of the process by some ad hoc or INEC staff and ballot snatching. Many votes didn’t count.