By Jide Afolabi, Jos
A Civil Society Organisation, Plateau Peace Movement International, PPMI, has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for organising governorship elections which were characterised by ‘multiple irregularities and malpractices’ and called on the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Plateau State, Mr Hussaini Halilu Pai to resign honourably for loss of confidence.
The group also called for the cancellation of elections in Jos North, Shendam, Wase, Kanam, Qua’An Pan, Langtang South and Mikang Local Government Areas of the state.
PPMI made the call during a press conference held today, Friday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Plateau State Council in Jos, the state capital.
The group which had a peaceful protest to the NUJ, Plateau State Council held placards with various inscriptions which includes, INEC: Stop rigging, Rigging is corruption, INEC Cancel outrageous Jos North & Shendam results, INEC is a disappointment, Our votes must count, Lapai must go, INEC: Don’t compromise our votes, and Give us credible elections among others. The group said that it has lost confidence in the state’s REC.
According to the statement signed by the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, PPMI, Rev Joseph Bot, the group alleged, “Fly of sensitive electoral materials in the neighborhood including already thumb-printed ballot papers in favour of a particular political party. This was observed days before the General Election among reputable personalities including Right Honourable Peter Azi”.
The group further alleged, “engagement of fake security personnel using police ID Tags and Civil defence uniforms; cancellation of genuine votes in some polling units without tangible reasons as in the case of Mangu and Barkin Ladi LGA; the use of unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards in the possession of INEC while carrying out secret accreditation at various corners; exchange of smart card reader machines in some polling unit and collation centres; vote buying which was largely seen in Jos North, Shendam, Qua’An Pan, Wase, Langtang South and Kanam; changing of result sheets at some local government collation centres and the INEC Headquarters; the engagement of APC card carrying members as returning officers who import figures to suit their party and pay masters; and deprivation of some observers from observing the activities in some collation centre e.g Jos North, Kanam, Shendam, Quaanpan and Mikang” among others.
The group, however, commended INEC for conducting election throughout Nigeria on the same day, Nigerian Police and security agencies for frustrating the activities of manipulators and ballot box snatchers.
Bot stated that PPMI mobilised observers in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state and decried the voters apathy in the country and Plateau state in particular.
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