The Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) has praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for indefinitely suspending Saturday’s House of Assembly bye-election for Port Harcourt Constituency 3.
It will be recalled, that the bye-election which began on a peaceful took an ugly turn, when miscreants, accompanied by security agents stormed various polling units and disrupted the exercise.
The group in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday and signed by its Executive Director, Olufemi Lawson, described what was witnessed during the election as an act of terrorism, which should not be condoned in a democracy.
“We wish to applaud the INEC, for demonstrating in an emphatic term, that it will no longer allow a return of our electoral processes, to the ugly old days, where elections were converted into acts of War, which does not only endanger our democracy, but also endanger the lives and properties of innocent Nigerians. The INEC under Professor Mahmood Yakubu, by this decision have shown courage and must have unsettled a lot of those, who think INEC would be available to validate for them, any form of electoral brigandage come 2019” the statement said.
The group also condemned the Security agents, mainly men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad SARS, who in broad daylight, accompanied hoodlums and miscreants, who stormed the various polling units and registration areas, where they disrupted voting activities, and carted away election materials, including smart card readers and ballot boxes and in addition, man-handling electoral officials, injuring and held some hostage.
The group also demanded for an independent probe of the incidences of violence, witnessed during election, urging INEC to ensure that perpetrators, including security agents who were involved, are brought to justice.