Electoral Violence: Group Calls For State Of Emergency In RiversFeatured, Latest News, News Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Port Harcourt
Worried by the spate of ongoing violence in Rivers state,occasioned by saturday’s rerun election, a non-governmental organisation, (NGO) the New Initiative for Credible Leadership has called for outright cancellation of the results of the elections, and immediate declaration of state of emergency in the area.
The organization insisted that the election fell short of all known local and international standards of acceptable polls.
In a letter to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Aniedi Ikoiwak on monday, the group disclosed that it would work with the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET), Africa Arise for Change Network, Nigerians United Against Terrorism, the Arewa Youth Integrity Forum and other NGOs that monitored the election to occupy the Abuja headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should it go ahead to validate the controversial polls.
￼The statement read thus: “We are going to work with consortium of NGOs in Nigeria, especially those that participated in monitoring the rerun elections in Rivers to occupy INEC Headquarters if those sham elections are in anyway validated”.
The letter, which was signed by its leader, Rev. Steven Onwu, also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency if the actors in Rivers state continued to disrespect the sanctity of human lives and not ready to give democracy a chance.
“We have observed blood bath on account of elections in Rivers and one wonders how politicians threw away conscience in order to perpetrate heinous act in the guise of politics, hence we want to submit that Mr President should declare State of emergency if they would not give peace a chance”, they said.
The NGO maintained that no right thinking person will attempt to ascribe the name of election to what took place in Eleme, Gokana, Khana, Adoni, Tai and Bonny Local Government Areas, calling for thorough investigation to ascertain the Resident Electoral Commissioner’s possible complicity in the exercise.
The group also described the election as the worst ever conducted so far in Nigeria.
￼According the statement, “There was widespread snatching of ballot boxes, results were written in obscure locations, there were escalated threats to the lives of voters, and armed militants were mobilized to disrupt polls in addition to other unspeakable atrocities that exposed the decline of INEC in the past months to the international community.
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