Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Anambra State branch has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair, credible and generally acceptable election during the Ogbaru Federal Constituency supplementary election slated for Saturday 15th April 2023.
The group made the call in a statement made available after their pre-election world press conference in Awka.
In the statement endorsed by the Chairman, Evangelist Vincent Ezekwueme; and Secretary, Comrade Chidi Mbah; the group said people have already lost faith, hope and confidence in electoral process in the country due to flawed February 25th Presidential Election.
It said that led to unprecedented voter apathy, indifference and nonchalant attitude of voters during the March 18 governorship and House of Assembly polls in states across the country.
To rescue the pathetic condition, the group said it will require collective task by all stakeholders including the voters, security apparatuses and INEC as a body.
It urged INEC to use the supplementary election in Ogbaru to redeem her battered image and restore people’s confidence in the electoral process.
It also urged the electoral body and security agencies to prove wrong the assertion that ‘those who cast voters do nothing, but those who count the votes do everything’ by counting the votes rightly and ensuring that people’s votes count and the outcome of every election reflects the wishes and aspirations of the majority of the electorate.
“It is pertinent to note that credible elections precipitate credible leaders and transparent government and governance.
“INEC, Security personnel, political gladiators, stakeholders and political parties must play the game according to the rules and ensure that people’s votes count in words and action. INEC should provide level playing ground for all the contestants as only pre-condition for credible election.
“It is of prime to note that the outcome of February 25th Presidential and National Assembly elections led to unprecedented low voter turnout during governorship and House of Assembly elections on March 18th.
There is urgent and inevitable need to rescue the situation by ensuring through words and actions that people’s votes count.
“Anambrarians and Nigerians are desirous of credible and generally acceptable elections in the country as only desideratum towards enthronement of God fearing, charismatic, accountable, patriotic, competent servant leaders,” it concluded.