Expresses Worry over decision

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, Saturday, knocked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, over yielding to pressure from politicians to extend party primaries by six days.

The Chairman, TMG, Auwal Rafsanjani in a statement said TMG is disappointed and worried over the extension of party primaries granted by INEC from 4th to 9th of June 2022.

Expressing pain over the development, Rafsanjani said the way INEC gave in to political parties to grant extension erodes confidence of Nigerians in the electoral umpire whom they have started building their trust on ahead of 2023 general elections.

The statement reads in part, “A lot of political parties have made efforts in conducting their primaries and if the ruling party is still uncertain about the day to conduct its presidential primary elections that shouldn’t be the basis for the extension.”

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The statement also pointed activities of inducement and vote buying at the ongoing party primaries, “Any financial inducements on delegates were tantamount to the mortgaging of the country’s future.

“We are appalled by the incidents of vote-buying and sundry financial inducements on the delegates in the ongoing political party primaries across the country.

“Delegates should note that they don’t have to go to the extent of mortgaging Nigeria’s future on the altar of ephemeral financial gratifications. They should think of Nigeria first before any other considerations.

“Our observers reported that aspirants’ agents were largely involved in coordinating vote-buying for various persons seeking political offices, which is unfortunate.

“It should be noted that the influence of money in an election has far-reaching implications in Nigerian politics because any politician that spends to be voted for will surely work towards recouping the money at the end of the day, and it is still the voters that will be at the receiving end.”

The TMG boss, therefore, noted that the group will continue to monitor the electoral processes with a view to ascertaining the level of transparency and fairness in the process and report the same to Nigerians in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

The group, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for ensuring the smooth conduct of the party primaries across the country.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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