Abuja: Women protesters barricade entrance to collation centre

Posted by News Express | 28 February 2023 | 376 times

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•Protesting women at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja


Hundred of women on Tuesday barricaded the major entrance road to the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja, venue of the National Collation Centre, for last Saturday’s presidential election.

Defying the scourging afternoon Abuja sunshine, the women with pockets of menfolk, had threatened to stripe naked if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) remaind adamant to their demand for total cancellation of the presidential election and conducting a fresh one.

The protesters, majorly on black dresses, had occupied the Herbert Macaulay Way entrance to the ICC collation centre, disrupting vehicular and human traffick.

And rattled by the presence of the dogged protesters, the security agents had fortified security, deploying more vehicles and personnel at strategic positions to forestall any breach from the protesters.

The protesters not deterred by the proximity of the battleground to military institution, the War College, claimed that INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, has not only deceived Nigerians but also failed to live up to the expectations of Nigerians.

They brandished placards with various inscriptions like ‘occupy INEC now’, ‘our votes must count’, ‘Nigeria not for sale, we must fight for justice’, ‘we stand for justice, we fight for a new Nigeria’, ‘INEC is subverting the will of the people’, ‘INEC, please save Nigeria from war’, ‘the poor does not have money for visa, for flight tickets abroad’… and many more.

“We defied sun and rain, denied ourselves comfort, we resisted hunger, came out Saturday masaively and voted for the president we desire, but we are getting entirely different results from what they are presenting at INEC collation centre here.

“Many Nigerians were denied the opportunity to vote, where they voted, the security agents aided and abated the change of the results. We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the father of the nation to call the INEC Chairman to order.

“Our demands are very simple, we want the discontinuation of the announcement of the result at ICC. The election must be cancelled and fresh one conducted. We are very peaceful in our protest today, but if the authorities concerned failed to listen to our demands, we will go completely nake until the election is re-conducted.

“All of them from the president, the security agents, INEC Chairman came through women and we are ready to do the unthinkable, striping naked until they harken to our request of cancelling the election and conducting a fresh one,” many of the protesters demanded.

Interestingly, the electoral commission delayed the commencement of the announcement of State results for hours, hinging the reason on the delay in arrival of the State Collation Officers for Presidential election.

The announcement billed to commence by 12pm was postponed from 2pm to 3.30pm, fueling speculations that the electoral umpire boss meeting with President Buhari was responsible for the delay.

In fact, on two instances, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, had pleaded for the stakeholders that have waited patiently for several hours for the commencement of the announcement of the results, appealing that they are waiting for the arrival of many states.

Meanwhile, while the country waited for the final announcement of the winner of the presidential election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Office has come alive with celebration.

Our correspondent who visited the campaign office can confirm that dancing and singing from the blaring music marked the area, just as vehicular and human traffic into the office increased tremendously. (Daily Sun)

Source: News Express

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