For Immediate Release
(Onitsha Nigeria, 25th February 2019)-From every indication and unfolding circumstances; and without verbal regurgitation, it is the position of the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations that the 2019 Presidential Poll in Nigeria has suffered litany of ungodly delays and other satanic influences. The delays by the Independent National Electoral Commission in tabulating and announcing the results of the Poll in record time are getting Nigerians sicker and pushing them to maximum limits of their patience.
INEC must, therefore, avoid setting the country on fire with intractable or calamitous consequences in which neither the APC led Federal Government nor the opposition PDP nor INEC and its officials will be spared if ignited. The Commission must also ensure that all the results in its possession particularly those of the Presidential Poll are in tandem with every result generated from the country’s 176,000 polling booths; duly signed and held in duplicate by agents of the participating political parties. The Commission must refuse or turn down pressures by the central Government of Buhari and Osinbajo or its agents; or members of the opposition parties to suppress and subvert the true electoral wishes of the Nigerian voters not minding the political party affiliations.
It must be firmly stated further that the long delays in releasing the Presidential results are pilling and fueling security apparatus and inducement pressures to get the Commission to compromise and temper with the original results collected and collated from polling booths and have them replaced with robotically generated maddening figures so as to subvert the true electoral wishes of the gallant Nigerian voters. We are not unaware of executive and inducement pressures from some or the entire Southeast Govs to suppress the polling booth generated votes of the People of Igbo Nation and manufacture and inflate foreign figures that never originated from polling booths, all in a bid to save their shameful faces from a federal bad market, they undertook, at the risk of their integrity and political future, to market and celebrate in return for oligarchic crumbs.
We had expected the “Independent Electoral Commission” to get it consolably right this time instead of keeping the entire country restless and at crossroads after the Commission shamelessly wobbled and fumbled in the botched Feb 16 Poll. Apart from the unnecessary delays being complained of, all the pitfalls highlighted in our open letter to the Commission, dated 20th February 2019 and public statement of 22nd Feb 2019 have remained unaddressed, leading to their repetition in large scale in the said Presidential Poll.
Our Concerns Over Fifteen Rigging Strategies Associated With 2019 Presidential Poll
The 2019 Presidential Poll and its results, widely suspected to be undergoing “surgical operations” in INEC’s strong rooms, are grounded in fourteen rigging strategies majorly categorized into three layers of pre election, election day and post election rigging strategies which include (1) shutting out of millions of southeast, south-south and northern Christian voting population from being registered as voters; (2) non issuance of PVCs to many registered voters of the same ethno-religious nationalities; (3) systematic importation of alien voters from Chad and Niger Republics, etc; (4) widespread involvement of millions of underage and multiple voters from Northern Muslim voting areas, (5) relaxation of security arrangements and tensions in Northern Muslim voting areas; giving to unchecked perpetration of all forms of electoral malpractices and heightening of same and strict regulation of same under tight security in Southern parts particularly in voting areas dominated by Southeast and South-south citizens.
Others are (6) compromising by INEC and security agencies in widespread speed of sensitive ballot materials, (7) militarization of voting routes and arenas, (8) violent dispersal and voter terrorization by the military of Southern and Northern Christian voters, (9) sponsored violent attacks on Igbo and other Christian communities in the North and Southwest and burning of their polling centers and ballot materials, (10) skewed or brutally lopsided creation of polling booths and constituency delineation or denial of same in Southeast, South-south and Christian areas of the North so as to suppress their true voting and development populations and allocated resources, (11) military, police and security backed thuggery diversion, snatching and destruction of ballot materials in Southern and Northern Christian areas, (12) sponsored election day killing and violence, vote buying and intimidation, targeted at opposition and independent voting population.
The rest are (13) deliberately created hitches such as card reader failure, late arrival of ballot materials in Igbo and other Christian areas; all designed to scare away or shut out millions of Southern and Northern Christian voters, (14) reported suppression or attempted suppression of poll results belonging to the opposition and inflation of those belonging to the central ruling Government and (15) specific and general alteration or attempted suppression of results of the opposition candidates to favor the central ruling Government, etc.
Commending The People Of Igbo Nation For Rejecting PMB
The Feb 23rd 2019 Presidential Poll will always be written down in history and remembered in Nigeria as a day the People of Igbo Nation defiantly and collectively turned out in their millions and sent stronger message than that of 2015 to their traducers and suppressors that ballot is stronger than the bullet and that the true conscience of a man is greater than the iron bars of the prison. The Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations-SBCHROs; a coalition of 22 Human Rights and Democracy Organizations based in Southeast Nigeria and spread across Anambra, Imo, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi States; therefore, commend the People of the Igbo Nation for the achievement of such historical and immortal feat. We are not unaware of plots by the Buharists in Igbo Land to collude with INEC to suppress in the INEC strong rooms what they could not suppress at polling centers. The Coalition is keenly following the development.
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations (SBCHROs)
- Emeka Umeagbalasi-08174090052
- Aloysius Attah-08035090548
- Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD- 08035372962
- Prof Justice Chidi-Chidi-08039100804
Groups In The Coalition:
- Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Onitsha), 2. CLO, Southeast Zone (Enugu), 3. CLO, Anambra State Branch (Onitsha), 4. Forum for Promotion of National Ethos & Values (Enugu), 5. Igbo Ekunie Initiative (United Kingdom), 6. Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative (Enugu), 7. Foundation for Environmental Rights, 8. Advocacy & Dev (Aba), 9. Society for Economic Rights & Social Justice (Aba), 10. Human Rights Organization of Nigeria (Onitsha), 11. Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy (Onitsha), 12. Southeast Good Governance Forum (Awka), 13. Society Watch & Advocacy Project (of Intersociety) (Onitsha), 14. Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership in Nigeria (Aba), 15. Igbo National Council (Owerri), 16. Anambra Human Rights Forum (Awka), 17. Voice of the Voiceless Int’l (Awka), 18. Easy Life Initiative for Rural Youths (Aba), 19. Igbo Bu Igbo Organization (Enugu), 20. Community Empowerment Network (Aba), 21. Southeast Movement against Transactional Politics & Profligacy (Awka), 22. Prof Justice Chidi (Southeast Academia) and 23. Neighborhood Environmental Watch Foundation (Abakiliki)