Botched Rivers Guber Polls: HURIWA slams INEC Chairman, calls for his resignation, prosecution •Describes military role in the polls as coup plot, high treason

Posted by News Express | 11 March 2019 | 893 times

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•INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood

Following what it called “a spectacular but deliberately orchestrated breaches and violence unleashed on voters by armed security forces in parts of Nigeria and especially in Rivers State”, a call for the withdrawal of the professorial title of Yakubu Mahmood the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been made.

The election has also been described as a sham and the shameless desecration of democratic values.

A non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA),which made the call in a statement against the backdrop of reported sporadic violence and bloodsheds that characterised Saturday’s governorship polls across the country has also asked the outgoing National Assembly to investigate the electoral umpire to uncover why the management staff unduly conducted a floored and fraudulent election in which the armed security services were allowed to deliberately attack leaders of the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in parts of Nigeria, including the outright refusal of the armed forces to allow their accredited agents into collation centers in Rivers State.

The rights group alleged that collation centers were reportedly invaded by suspected armed thugs guarded by armed security forces to destroy or cart away election results.

The interference by armed security forces in the actual conduct of the polls has been described as coup plot and high treason.

HURIWA, which also commended the pronouncements of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, to investigate alleged violations of the rules of engagement in internal security operations by some army operatives who were videoed invading houses of leaders of the PDP in Rivers State and also reportedly captured by video stealing with the force of arms the results of some of the elections in some Local Government Areas of Rivers State.

It described the forceful takeover of the INEC collation centre in Port Harcourt by the armed forces has as treason. 

However, the rights group has asked categorically that those armed security operatives captured on photos perpetrating violence and anarchy during the polls should be tried for attempted coup plot because their criminal actions are tantamount to staging a military takeover of the democratic process in parts of Nigeria which must never be swept under the carpets to avoid an imminent implosion and ultimate collapse of constitutional democracy.

"The brazen criminality by these shameless men in uniform must never be tolerated by Nigeria, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Buratai who is a consummate professional must never allow his legacies to be tarnished by the actions of some bad elements embedded in the armed forces of Nigeria. We will get in touch with the Army Chief by way of a petition to table before him some damaging evidences our people generated from the fields showing some bad elements armed with weapons bought with tax payers money to unleash violence of unmitigated dimension.

“We are hopeful that the highest military authorities are aware that the eyes of the international community are on Nigeria. We will also petition the President to record our displeasure and strong disapproval of these acts of criminality perpetrated by armed security forces invited by cabinet-level Ministers in the current administration,” HURIWA said.

It also asked that the universities that conferred professorships titles on the INEC Chairman and most of those Returning Officers who supervised the travesty of justice committed by the electoral umpire during the two sets of elections should revoke those tiles.

The rights group hinged its demand on what it called “the absolute manipulation of the elections and the ethical challenges trailing the actions of these academic professors” which it says shows that they are not deserving of these high honour, since, by their actions, they have demonstrated the total lack of honour that ought to be associated with holders of the prestigious academic title of professors. 

HURIWA has also called for the resignation and prosecution of the INEC chairman for attempting to drag Nigeria into a state of civil war by deliberately messing up the electoral process.

Source: News Express

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