VIOLENCE: COALITION ASKS INEC TO CANCEL IMO ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY A COALITION OF CSOS AND NGOS OVER THE FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED IMO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS OF 18TH MARCH, 2023.
We the members of 35 Civil Society Organisations (CSOS) and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOS) after duly observing the elections that took place in Imo state yesterday for the State House of Assembly wish to state as follows:-
(1) The elections were largely marred by voters intimidation and harassment by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) across the state.
(2) In particular, the elections held in the three local government areas of Mbaise and other local government areas under Owerri senatorial zone in general were a complete charade. Imo state sponsored militia, thugs and compromised security officials supplanted the wishes of the people by manipulating the election results with brazen impunity.
(3) In Orlu senatorial zone, in one of the highly publicised cases that even went viral on social media, the Deputy Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, Amarachi Iwuanyanwu was seen in a motor convoy moving from one polling unit to another intimidating voters and apparently manipulating election results. This is against the security directives issued by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) strictly restricting vehicular movements on election day in Nigeria.
(4) We also noticed that in hundreds of polling units, many party agents of the main opposition parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) were routinely chased away from polling units and in some cases, already authenticated election result sheets were snatched away from them with a view of re-writing the results to favour the ruling party in the state.
(5) Many Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff were intimidated to cooperate with the perpetrators of these acts of electoral fraud by threats to their lives.
(6) There were so many infractions on election day in Imo State too numerous to enumerate here.
(7) Our information is to the effect that these acts of unprecedented ”scientific rigging” are sign posts to prepare the grounds for an APC ”Landslide victory” in the forthcoming governorship elections on November 11, 2023 against the wishes of the people of the state.
AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND, WE THEREFORE DEMAND AS FOLLOWS:
( a) The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should cancel immediately the results of the elections in state constituencies where there were major acts of vote rigging, voters intimidation, suppression and violence that makes it impossible for the manipulated declared results to represent the wishes of the people.
(b) The Inspector General of Police should order the immediate prosecution of the Deputy Speaker of Imo state House of Assembly, Amarachi Iwuanyanwu and all other persons that violently, flagrantly, intimidated, harassed and suppressed the people on election day in Imo state and manipulated election results.
(c) We call on the Nigerian Media to sustain it’s publicity and searchlight on news stories about all those who have conspired and collaborated together to upturn the legitimate will of the people of Imo state.
(d) We call on Imo people to remain resolute to defend and protect their mandate by refusing to recognise the legitimacy of those who have stolen their mandate no matter how long it takes.
Dr. Chike Ogbonnaya
Mr. Mike Ukaegbu
On behalf of CONCERNED CSOS AND NGOS FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE. (CCNGG)
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