Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Coalition of Observers Hints Delay In Polls Aids Rigging, As PDP Declares Results Unacceptable


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Some Coalition of southwest based civil society observers have express concerns in the ongoing process of 2019 election with the understanding that the rigging plot hatched by some anti-democratic elements to rig the election especially the presidential poll  was through unwarranted delay in announcing the outcome of the balloting
The coalition comprises of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO – Southeast Zone), Forum for Promotion of National Ethos and Values, Igbo Ekunie Initiative (UK), International Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights Initiative; Society for Economic Rights and Social Justice, among others.


It noted that the orchestrated delay and piecemeal release of the results provide an avenue for the “widely suspected surgical operations the outcome is undergoing in INEC’s (Independent National Electoral Commission’s) strong rooms.”
While indicating that the sluggish announcement preceded the first botched election date, the coalition declared that the rigging schemes are “grounded in fourteen rigging strategies majorly categorized into three layers of pre-election, election day and post-election rigging.”
It stated: “These strategies include shutting out millions of Southeast, South-South and northern Christian voting population from being registered as voters, non-issuance of permanent voter cards (PVCs) to many registered voters of the same ethnoreligious nationalities.
“Systematic importation of alien voters from Chad and Niger Republics, widespread involvement of millions of underage and multiple voters from Northern Muslim voting areas, relaxation of security arrangements and tensions in Northern Muslim voting areas, giving to unchecked perpetration of all forms of electoral malpractices, and heightening of same and strict regulation of same under tight security in southern parts, particularly in voting areas dominated by Southeast and South-South citizens.”
The coalition added that compromising INEC and security agencies in widespread speed of sensitive ballot materials, militarization of voting routes and arenas, violent dispersal and voter terrorization by the military of Southern and Northern Christian voters and sponsored violent attacks on Igbo and other Christian communities, as well as burning down their polling centers and ballot materials, were part of the plans to undermine the electoral process.
In a statement jointly signed by the leaders, including Emeka Umeagbalasi, Aloysius Attah, Jerry Chukwuokoro and Prof. Justice Chidi, among others, the group noted: “From every indication and unfolding circumstances, and without verbal regurgitation, it is the position of the Southeast-based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations that the 2019 presidential poll in Nigeria has suffered a litany of ungodly delays and other satanic influences.
“The delays by the Independent National Electoral Commission in tabulating and announcing the results of the election in record time are getting Nigerians sicker and pushing them to maximum limits of their patients.
“INEC must, therefore, avoid setting the country on fire with intractable or calamitous consequences in which neither the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government nor the opposition Peoples Democratic Party nor INEC and its officials would be spared if ignited. The commission must also ensure that all the results in its possession, particularly those of the presidential poll are in tandem with every result generated from the country’s 176,000 polling booths, duly signed and held in duplicate by agents of the participating political parties.
“The commission must refuse or turn down pressures by the central government of Buhari and Osinbajo or its agents, or members of the opposition parties to suppress and subvert the true electoral wishes of the Nigerian voters not minding the political party affiliations.”
The groups reiterated that the long delays in releasing the presidential election results “are pilling security apparatus and inducement pressures to get INEC to compromise and temper with the original results from polling booths and have them replaced with robotically-generated figures so as to subvert the true electoral wishes of gallant Nigerian voters.”
Nasarawa example
In Nasarawa State, where the ruling APC was leading its closest rival, PDP, with 6,000 votes, Governor Tanko Al Makura had to pass the night in Doma to ensure that cancellation of as much as 40,000 votes to achieve the feat on behalf of his party and presidential candidate.
Out of the 13 local government councils, INEC declared results for the presidential poll, the returning officer, Prof. Azubike Nwankwo, disclosed that President Buhari of APC was trailed by the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who won in five local government areas.
The local governments where Atiku won included Karu, Obi, Akwanga, Kokona and Nasarawa Eggon, while  APC triumphed in Lafia, Keffi, Nasarawa, Keana, Awe, Wamba and Doma, where the deed was done
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party has said it will not accept the ongoing presidential election collated by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja 
Its concern was that the results conflicted with the ones it had recorded from the election
The National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, made it clear at a press conference that “the PDP’s collation centres have all original results from every polling unit, in every ward, in every Local Government Area in Nigeria, of which the international community is well aware, implying all results currently being announced by INEC are incorrect thus unacceptable to our party and people.”
He accused officials of both the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of working with INEC officers to alter the course of history and disenfranchise voters through the cancellation and manipulation of figures for results already announced “at polling units, nationwide, in Local Government Areas (LGAs) where our party, the PDP, had commanding votes.” He noted that this must now be resisted by every well-meaning Nigerian.
PDP further alleged that “the ruling party’s strategy has indeed been murderous, undignified, and disrespectful of the wishes of the electorate, our people and the international community who have been in solidarity with our nation as we attempt to strengthen our democracy and its institutions.”
According to the opposition party, “in full view of the watching world, and despite efforts by our great party and its agents to adhere to every laid down provision for the 2019 general elections, the APC in collusion with INEC has taken aggressive steps, mostly through inducements, manipulation and incarcerations, using the elements of state power, including the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army in particular, alongside other organisations, including the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to silence the voices of our long-suffering people; this is disheartening, considering the terms of the Peace Accord, which called for impartiality and non-partisanship by members of our security organisation with constitutional roles to play during this civic exercise.”
The PDP alleged that “as results trickled in on Sunday, February 24th, 2019, clearly putting the PDP in the lead, the ruling party and President Buhari dispatched high-ranking officials to coercively influence the outcomes in different geopolitical zones in the country.
“With the INEC server hacked by agents of the APC to manipulate results, we can with certainty state that results from some polling units have, for example, been tampered with.

“As if these provocations are not enough, our agents and officials are constantly arrested and in many cases locked up for complaining that card readers were not in use in many northern states, implying that all results from the northern part of the country where card readers were not used should be voided in accordance with INEC guidelines.”

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