Labour Party Chairman accuses INEC of mismanaging gains of electoral reforms, indicts ‘compromised’ security agencies
National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Barrister Julius Abure, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of mismanaging all the gains made in the electoral reforms through its conduct of Saturday’s governorship and state Assembly elections, which he claimed ‘was a complete sham as serious thuggery, violence and suppression of voters prevailed unchecked.’
He further said the conduct of INEC during Saturday’s poll only served to demonstrate to the world that the outcome of the February 25 Presidential/National Assembly polls was the result of a carefully orchestrated scheme to favour a particular political party and its candidate.
Abure further berated the police and other security outfits deployed to man the various polling units fo compromising their position, saying ‘they looked the other way when there is violence.’
The party chieftain stated that the country was ‘very far from true democracy,’ insisting that ‘the wishes and aspirations of the people have been defeated. What we have in Nigeria is a civilian dictatorship.’
Abure, in a statement issued, late Saturday, further called for cancellation of polls where voters intimidation and other forms of crises occurred, just as he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to exert pressure on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali, to identify and punish any personnel who partook in compromising the elections.
“The leadership of the Labour Party has watched with trepidation the ongoing rape of democracy in Nigeria as being supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“Today, the INEC led by Prof Mahmood Yakubu has clearly proved to the world that the outcome of the February 25th Presidential Election which denied the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi the victory which Nigerians graciously gave him was not a ‘glitch’ as infamously claimed but a well-orchestrated plot to favour a particular political party and candidate.
“What transpired today across the nation was a complete sham as serious thuggery, violence and suppression of voters prevailed unchecked. People were prevented from going to vote for candidates of their choice, especially when they perceive you are supporting the opposition party. There were also incidences of ballot snatching, intimidation of voters and high level of vote buying. These electoral crimes were very visible in Rivers, Lagos, Enugu, Edo, Delta, and several other states.
“There was also a high level of voter apathy apparently because people have lost faith in the electoral process. They sincerely believe that it was not worth it after what happened on February 25, where the mandate given to the LP was stolen. People believe that their votes will not count anymore. So INEC has succeeded in mismanaging all the gains that we have made in the electoral reforms.
“The Rivers State government used the state officials to harass voters. In Enugu, one of our supporters was shot and the entire Enugu North senatorial zone was invaded by thugs. In Lagos, the APC-sponsored thugs invaded polling units where our candidate has huge supporters. In Edo State, the thugs had a free day, unleashing maximum violence. It is very chaotic across the nation and it is very unfortunate.
“Security agencies look the other way when there is violence. It is very apparent that even security agencies are equally compromised. We are very far from true democracy. The wishes and aspirations of the people have been defeated. What we have in Nigeria is a civilian dictatorship.
“We therefore condemned the entire process and called for the cancellation of results from the polling units where voter intimidation and other forms of the crisis were witnessed.
“We also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in the Inspector General of Police to fish out all the officers that have compromised in today’s election and mete appropriate sanctions,” Abure said.