By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – No fewer than 24 civil society organizations, CSOs, have urged politicians, judicial authorities and personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to desist from acts that could jeopardise the credibility of the 2019 general election.
The CSOs, under the auspices of C24, made the call on Tuesday at a joint press briefing in Abuja.
Speaking, the Executive Secretary, Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative, Chief Dennis Aghanya, alleged that some politicians had begun hiring foreign strategists to blackmail the country and the coming elections.
He also alleged that some compromised judicial and electoral officers have joined a grand conspiracy to throw a spanner in the works for credible and fair polls in 2019.
Aghanya threatened that C24 will expose the identities of those working to scuttle the attainment of credible elections next year, if they fail to drop their ignoble activities.
He said: “We alert the nation to clandestine activities by some politicians, compromised judicial authorities, ad personnel of the electoral umpire and hostile foreign actors to destabilize the peace of Nigeria before, during, and after the 2019 elections.
“This army of mischief makers is being recruited gradually to undermine elections through multiplicity of actions and utterances planned to call into question the integrity of the polls and create disaffection likely to engender violence.
“The first leg of the plot consists of hiring foreign political strategists to lay down a consistent fusillade of blackmail against the country and the forth coming elections through procurement of adverse publications in foreign media which will then be echoed endlessly by local outlets.
“The second leg is to actively remote control the outcome of our elections in 2019 by hacking into INEC servers and taking control of her websites to upload fictitious results in favor of their paymasters, thereby determining electoral outcomes against the run of play of ballots contrary to the expressed will of voters.
“We are aware that these plotters have held meetings within and outside our shores and are already deploying actions calculated to achieve their ignoble ends.
“Part of these plots includes but is not limited to sponsoring ethnic and religious upheavals as a build up towards the forth coming elections and to create the notion of instability needed to mask their underground roles and using illegal processes to truncate the participation of perceived enemies.
“To achieve the aforementioned unpatriotic objectives, the conspirators have recently spent weeks recruiting highly skilled hackers, mainly from Asia and Europe, acquiring sophisticated equipment and setting up a base of operations in a popular middles east destination with the sole aim of taking control of INEC online and uploading fictitious results in real time as voting goes on across the nation on election day. Alternatively they plan to take down the INEC websites totally.
“Unfortunately, rather than consolidate efforts on how to win over the people and secure their voters at the forth coming poll, these self serving elements want to have their way, or they will scuttle the entire 2019 general election.
“May we put them on notice that all is known and we will not hesitate to name names should they fail to drop their ungodly activities. Let it be known that we will keep watch over our homeland to make sure that her peace and development is not frustrated by anti-democratic and corrupt elements.”