A civil society organisation under the auspices of Coalition of Democratic Watchdog of Nigeria has faulted the statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries did not hold in Zamfara State consequent to violence, thereby giving INEC two weeks to reverse the statement.
The coalition group also expressed fears that Nigerians are fast losing confidence in INEC daily and whether or not the commission still retains any iota of integrity to conduct credible election in 2019, saying that it is a billion-dollar question yearning for an answer, but has malignantly remained bizarre in the minds of Nigerians.
Engr Hugo Okafor, spokesman of the coalition group, which made this known in a world press conference organised in Abuja yesterday, explained that as a coalition, they have been monitoring events as it unfolds as a result of the fallout of the APC Primary elections held on the 3rd and 4th of October, 2018 in Zamfara State.
According to Okafor, the primary was held in the presence of the Zamfara State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), two Assistant Inspectors General of Police, the state commissioner of police, the state director 055, across the 147 wards that make up the 16 local government areas of the state and violence erupted in seven wards out of the 147 wards that ‘make up the state.’
“This led to the cancellation of the elections in the affected seven LGAs which held the next day being 4th of October, 2018, but to the dismay and chagrin of everyone. Now, the questions are: Why was INEC Headquarters in Abuja so much in a hurry to issue a statement even while the Primaries were still ongoing?
“Could election primaries that held in 140 wards, but could not hold in seven wards which later held on the 4th of October, 2018 be nullified and assumed to be marred with violence? What is the percentage of seven to 140?
“Could election primaries witnessed, observed and signed by the state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, two Assistant Inspectors General of Police, State Commissioner of police, amongst others be assumed to be all violent prone or void?” the group asked.
The group further said that ordinarily as a civil society coalition, they do not mind which political party was involved, because they are neutral, but with the countdown to 2019 General elections, Nigerians are fast losing confidence in INEC daily and whether or not INEC still retains any iota of integrity to conduct credible election in 2019 is a billion dollar question yearning for answer but has malignantly remained bizarre in the mind of Nigerians.
“The international community is also watching with keen interest how an entire state controlled by the ruling party (the APC) is barred from fielding candidates in a primary that was well conducted. Democracy in Nigeria is under threat and Nigeria in the League of Nations is being consistently mocked.
“There is a deliberate attempt to truncate due process and thwart democratic due diligence and procedure in Nigeria. The reputation of INEC is fast eroding. Fortunately, INEC still has some time to correct these orchestrated shame and national disgrace by doing the needful.
“INEC, by this medium is given the maximum of a fortnight to rectify these issues to save Nigeria from the unending laughing stock for which the commission has plunged the nation.
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