Don’t set Abia on fire, declare guber poll result now, rights groups tell INEC
By Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Abia State human rights and pro- democracy groups have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to save the state from avoidable crisis by resolving the logjam over the March 18 governorship election.
The groups in a press statement, noted with dismay that INEC State Returning Officer, Resident Electoral Commissioner and other actors in the commission “are being pressured to admit the bloated results from Obingwa LGA of Abia state”.
The statement was jointly signed by the State Coordinator Congress of Civil Society Groups Abia Chapter, Comrade Damian Ogudike; President, Abia Stakeholders Forum (ASF),
Comrade Nwogu Chukwudi; and the Convener, Abia civil society network on Equity & Justice(ACSNEJ), Comrade Nanna Nwafor.
According to the Rights Groups “incontrovertible evidence from the outcome of the polls has shown that the majority of the people of Abia State spoke in loud voices with their votes on whom they want to represent them in government starting from the Presidential/ National Assembly polls till last Saturday when they re-echoed their stance once more by ensuring they vote credible persons in House of Assembly and in various local government results for the governorship elections.”
They called on INEC “to resist any form of pressure or inducement in accepting the evidently flawed results procured from a particular Local Government Area”.
” INEC should save the commission and its agents from public odium and disgrace with its attendant consequences which may literally set Abia State on fire”, the statement said.
Continuing it said: “Tension is building up already across different parts of the state by the restive youths who are not taking chances these days in allowing their mandate to be stolen by any political actor or parties.
“The desperation to take power by hook or crook being exhibited by some forces leaves much to be desired while those who read the signs of the present times don’t need any prophet or seer to tell them that things have changed.
“It is our unshaken position that input legitimacy should not be toyed with at any time in the democratic process as the process through which a public official emerges into public office is very much vital as to also what the public person does in office after getting power.
“Subverting the peoples’ will in a brazen manner and resort to the provocative slogan “If not satisfied, go to court” will not be accepted anymore in Abia State.
” The people deserve the kind of a leader they gave their consent to, through the democratic process of voting and no more shall they be deprived of this their guaranteed democratic rights.
“To do the contrary poses serious danger to the society and we implore INEC and other desperate politicians to avoid setting Abia state on fire by their actions or inactions. Let the outcome of the final result be a reflection of the wish of the electorates who braved all odds to come out and exercise their franchise” the right group stated.”