The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has frowned at what it described as “a disappointing decimation of principles of democratic elections” after the 2019 general elections.
In a statement signed by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, and made available to Drumbeat News on Wednesday, the Conference urged “the judiciary to live up to its responsibility of ensuring stability at a time of electoral chaos deliberately orchestrated politicians in their greed for power for the purpose of selfish allocation of the people’s commonwealth.”
According to the CNPP, “Every election year in Nigeria, we have always returned to the same thing, a major violation of essential elements of democratic elections. Even though the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), manages to make available a relatively accurate voters register and delineates the polling units, when it comes to ensuring that the ballots counted reflect the votes cast as the sovereign will of the people, we fail.
“From the assurances by the electoral umpire, we were hopeful that the country has overcome the crude way vote counting was made and validated in the time past but it was not to be.
“Equal accessibility to voting processes by political parties, candidates, and the public, either as witnesses or observers, met arbitrary barriers by security institutions and political thugs as they became the main impediments to a credible electoral process in the country in 2019.
“The security agencies, particularly the military, have been accused of obstructing access to collation centres by both national and international observers. There were also reports of individuals leading police and military personnel to disrupt elections and cause mayhem in parts of the country, especially in the Niger Delta region of Rivers and Bayelsa states.
“Observable interference by security agencies as attested to by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s fact-finding Committee’s report, which indicted the military for its unauthorised involvement in election-day duties must be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.
“Today, the outcome of some state governorship elections is yet to be known weeks after the polls due to the manipulative efforts by some unpatriotic politicians who want to upturn the sovereign will of the Nigerian people at any cost.
“We therefore call on INEC and the Judiciary to frustrate efforts of desperate politicians and ensure that the will of the people prevails in states where the governorship polls result is yet to be declared.
“Nigeria cannot continue on the path of fraudulent elections. It is the duty of the judiciary, where the electoral umpire has failed, to punish beneficiaries of manipulated electoral outcomes to serve as deterrence to dishonest politicians and eliminate electoral violence and end this circles of dishonesty by political elite to enable the country to develop.
“We strongly believe that flawed elections promote corruption and underdevelopment, which Nigeria is a typical example.
“Therefore, we urge INEC and all stakeholders in Rivers State to ensure that the governorship election in the state is concluded on May 2, 2019 without tampering with the will of the people through the ballot”, the CNPP stated.