MEMBER of a Occupy Nigeria on Monday protested at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, demanding that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reverse the issuance of a certificate of return to President Muhammadu Buhari who was declared the winner of the recent presidential election.
The protesters alleged that assessment by observers on ground during the election revealed that card readers were not used at all in some states.
The coalition of over 50 civil society organisations and citizens said the observers’ report showed that votes were merely allotted in many parts of the Northwest and Northeast.According to the convener of the group, Idris Usman, it is an insult to the Nigerian people that INEC would allow an election in which voters were intimidated, maimed and even killed to stand. He called for due process to be followed in ensuring that the vote of every Nigerian counts in the 2019 presidential election.
“We’ve done a petition to INEC. There has never been a time when a decision was reversed. Despite that, what we are saying is that this decision did not settle well with the people.“Where card readers were not used in the North, let card readers be used, anybody can win but let the proper thing be done. In Osun gubernatorial, no leader was announced till the process was concluded, so why was INEC in such a hurry to announce the result of the 2019 presidential election?” Usman queried.
He condemned the use of military on the day of election, saying the presence of soldiers during the polls violated the law.The convener said the protest by the group would continue for four hours every day until Friday, March 8, 2019 and if the electoral body failed to yield to the petition of the group, it would occupy the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
In its demands, the group stated that voting must be conducted for the five million disenfranchised Nigerians, which is the population size of several countries. They said that in the spirit of transparency, INEC must open its back end servers to stakeholders.
Besides, the group urged the Federal Government to withdraw all military personnel in the South-South and South East immediately, adding that the perpetrators of violence in the Niger Delta be brought to book.Occupy Nigeria also asked that the thugs who harassed voters and fellow Nigerians in Lagos be made to account for their crime.
In a statement earlier released, Occupy Nigeria urged the citizens to rise up and take back the country from those who wish to hold it back, saying the nation was under attack with the future generations being at risk.Also, a group of concerned Nigerians called Better Nigeria Group (BNG) threatened yesterday to sue the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, if he failed to challenge the outcome of the presidential election.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the spokesman for the group, Mr. Dickson Iroegbu, alleged that the irregularities in the presidential election should not be allowed to stand for the sake of future generations.Members of the BNG who wore black clothes to the press conference said they were mourning the loss of lives occasioned by the acts of brigandage and violence that characterised the election.
The group claimed that “the outcome of the presidential election which took place on the 23rd February, 2019, does not reflect the choice and the mandate of Nigerians. The spate of deliberate irregularities aimed at tilting the results toward the incumbent and the candidate of the APC and the subsequent declaration of victory for the same candidate is an assault on our democracy.
“This brazen impunity should not be allowed to stand unchallenged, otherwise, amongst other things, our democracy will be dead forever. The electoral process is the beacon of democracy and remains so. Elections must not only be credible, but must be seen as credible. The sham of an election which took place on the said date and the subsequent declaration leaves so much to wonder about credibility,” it stressed.