November 25, 2019

62 party chairmen indict police over election violence in Bayelsa, Kogi

62 party chairmen indict police over election violence in Bayelsa, Kogi

File: A Voter being Accredited by an INEC Official at unit 18 Ward 6 Amarata, Yenegoa during the Bayelsa State Governorship Election. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

Henry Umoru – Abuja

Chairman of 62 political parties under the aegis of Forum of Chairmen of Nigeria Political Parties on Monday indicted the security agents and politicians over the violence and electoral frauds that marred the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

However, the forum absolved the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of wrongdoing after a review of the conduct of the elections in the two states.

The meeting was attended by over 60 party chairmen including Hon. Perry Opara (National Unity Party), Alhaji Adamu Takai (Advanced Congress of Democrats) and Barr. Kenneth Udeze (Action Alliance), among others.

The forum also called for the urgent amendment of the Electoral Act, electronic transmission of results and electronic accreditation of voters and if possible electronic voting.

The party chairmen after reviewing the Kogi and Bayelsa elections concluded that the process was a serious dent on the nation’s democracy.

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Reading a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting of the Chairmen in Abuja, the AA chief said despite the reported cases of violence, especially in Kogi State, the police never made an arrest to serve as a deterrent to others.

Udeze said despite the deployments of thousands of security personnel for the elections, thugs had a field day particularly in Kogi State where their activities played a major role in determining who eventually won the election.

He said:  “The failure of the elections was not caused by administrative lapses or inefficiency of the INEC, but by the treasonable actions of security agencies (Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police) who compromised the process and aided political thugs to disrupt the entire process and cart away electoral materials.

“The collation centres were made inaccessible to duly accredited observers and agents of other political parties except those that were allowed by the thugs; while over 35,000 policemen watched helplessly and haplessly.”