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YIAGA Urges Stakeholders To Reclaim Democracy

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YIAGA Africa yesterday, called on stakeholders to reclaim democracy by demanding accountability from all state and non actors whose act undermined electoral  process.

Dr Hussaini Abudu, Chairman for watching the Vote Working Group said the non-compliance with electoral guidelines, intimidation of voters and observers, violence and voter suppression impedes on the integrity of the election in some states where election has just been concluded nothing that the level of impunity observed in the supplementary elections is an indication of democratic recession in Nigeria.

Abdu noted that observers and voters were chased away by political thugs and police officers. ‘‘This was prevalent in Kano state in places like PUs 008 and 010, Kwarkiya Ward of Minjibir LGA, PU 008, Kanawa ward; Cikin Gari ward 05, in Sumaila LGA; and PU 07, Batayya ward 02, Albasu LGA; Zango PU 021, Karaye ward 03, Karaye LGA in Kano state.’’

‘‘In some cases, political thugs overpowered security agents despite massive security deployment as reported in Makurdi where the Returning Officer for Gboko was shot by unknown gunmen on her way to the state headquarters to submit election results as well as Ukum LGA, Benue state where thugs burnt election materials for polling units in  Azendieshi Ward-02 and the Incidence of this nature, questions the effectiveness of massive security deployment for elections.

“YIAGA AFRICA notes with concern the lack of clarity on the application of the margin of lead principle in supplementary elections. The regulations and guidelines for the election is silent on the appropriate action to be taken where cancelled votes in a supplementary is higher than the margin of lead he added.

He stressed that Nigeria cannot continue to condone this brazen disregard for law and order by political actors. As a country determined to make progress, electoral impunity must be checkmated else it will imperil our 20 year old democracy.

“We, YIAGA AFRICA questions the credibility of some results announced by INEC in polling units and LGA collation centres.

He however called on INEC to communicate to clear the air on this issue with reference to legal stipulations or judicial precedent and also urged INEC to make concerted efforts to vacate the substituting court order restraining it from concluding the elections in Adamawa and Bauchi state.

We urge INEC and Nigerian police to properly investigate cases of infractions and ensure diligent prosecution of electoral offenders. INEC and the police should extend the investigation to reports of complicity and collusion of its staff to compromise to the process.


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