A group of protesters under the platform of Save Nigeria Democracy Group (SNDG) Wednesday took protest to the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declaring that the results from the just concluded elections “did not reflect the true voting direction of Nigerians.”
The protesters who came in their numbers, were seen carrying different placards with inscriptions such as “The People’s mandate can not be stolen”, “Atiku will not congratulate Buhari”, “Prof.Yakubu must resign”, “Inconclusive election is a shame”, “Atiku will get justice,” among many others.
Speaking in the presence of some INEC staff who came out to receive the protesters, leader of Save Nigeria Democracy Group, Comrade Tijani Abdulmumuni, said it has become necessary at this point for all well meaning Nigerians to halt and take a critical review of the events that characterise the just concluded round of elections which he added portend danger to democracy in Nigeria.
Abdulmumini said INEC decline to conclude the collation of results from select states gives credence to the concern that “the presidency is in cahoots with INEC, some state governors and the APC to drag this country into chaos which must be rejected at all cost.
“This latest show of desperation has further strengthened earlier concerns of widespread voter suppression, targeted violence, militarization of the political space and systematic inflation of figures that punctuated the presidential and National Assembly elections.
“It also heightens the fear of the dire consequences of the federal government muscling INEC and the nation’s security into turning blind eyes to obvious infractions and violations of the Federal Constitutional provisions and Electoral Law and the Regulations/Guidelines regulating the 2019 general elections and went ahead to uphold and announce a taylored result that only serve the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“We wish to place on record that the monumental electoral fraud, manipulation which have very negative implications on the credibility, transparency and integrity of the entire elections constitute a latent threat to our democratic development.
“Against all known rules of decency and fairness, the deliberate violations which include the widespread non-usage or selective enforcement of the use of Smart Card Reader (SCR) machines are also an indictment in the sight of the international community.
“In specifics, the International and local observers have regrettably noted that the usage of the SCR machines were enforced strategically in the South-South, South-East and the North-Central zones of the country which are essentially opposition strongholds but was radically slackened in the North-West, North-East and the South-West which were estimated as the APC strongholds.
“Other infractions observed nationwide, included the deliberate non-deployment of result form EC 8 to polling centres, the barricade by armed military personnel to deny the agents of opposition political parties access to collation centres, the recording of falsified figures and violent attacks at opposition strongholds.
“In the Northwest, the deplorable use of battallions of underagedsituation almajiri was the order of most fronline states in addition to armed thugs unleashed on voters.Like Borno and Yobe, parts of the Northwestern states of Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna have been under the siege of killer bandits and kidnappers which posed a serious threat to the smooth conduct of elections in those areas.
“The figures said to have been recorded in those troubled regions are as ridiculous as they are questionable, suspicious and unacceptable.It is therefore worrying, embarrassing and a glaring insult for such inflated figures to have been presented, accepted and declared as results from such states despite the abiding fear of a vicious banditry.”
The protesters, however asked Nigerians to rise and reject the results and push for immediate redress.
“We declare that the results that eventually came out of the flawed exercise of 23 February did not reflect the true voting direction of Nigerians and are capable of setting a dangerous precedent and exposing democracy and our collective nationhood to danger if allowed to stand.
“We specifically call on the civil society, youth groups, the elders and leaders of various communities, and the international community to expose such monumental fraud, and to hold that President Buhari has woefully failed as a leader with genuine intentions and capacity to save our democracy and the future unity of the country.
“Finally, with this, we hereby reaffirm our total rejection of the entire exercise and the concocted results that emanated therefrom.”
While receiving the protesters on behalf of the commission, INEC’s Assistant Director of Security, Kelechi Madumere, commended the group for a peaceful exercise, assuring them the commission will do everything possible not to betray the trust the wish of Nigerians.