Abia State Human Rights and Pro democracy Group has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately resolve the logjam encountered in the governorship/House of Assembly Elections, in Abia State, held Saturday, March 18, 2023, and save the State from avoidable crisis.
INEC, Monday, suspended further collation of governorship election results in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, as a result of the invasion of its office and hostage of its staff in the area on Sunday.
Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and chairman of, the Information and Voter Education Committee announced the suspension in a statement released in Abuja on Monday.
The group in a press statement made available to Newsmen, Tuesday, called on INEC to resist any form of pressure or inducement in accepting the evidently flawed result procured from a particular Local Government Area of the State and therefore save the commission and its agents from public odium and disgrace with its attendant consequences, which may literally set the State on fire.
They noted with dismay that INEC State Returning Officer, Resident Electoral Commissioner and other actors in the commission “were pressured with the outcome of the results from Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA) of the State.
The Right Group stated that incontrovertible evidence from the outcome of the polls had shown that majority of the people of Abia State, spoke in loud voices with their votes on whom they want to represent them in government, starting from the Presidential/ National Assembly polls, till last Saturday, when they reechoed their stance once more, by ensuring that they voted credible persons in House of Assembly and in various local government results for the governorship elections.
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“Tension is building up already across different parts of the State, by the restive youths, who are not taking chances these days in allowing their mandate to be stolen, by any political actor or parties.
“The desperation to take power by hook or crook being exhibited by some forces leaves much to be desired, while those who read the signs of the present times don’t need any prophet or seer to tell them that things have changed.
“It is our unshaken position that input legitimacy should not be toyed with at any time in the democratic process as the process through which a public official emerges into public office is vital, as to also what the public person does in office after getting power.
“Subverting the peoples’ will in a brazen manner and resort to the provocative slogan “If not satisfied, go to court” will not be accepted anymore in Abia State. The people deserve the kind of a leader they gave their consent to, through the democratic process of voting and no more shall they be deprived of this their guaranteed democratic rights.
“To do the contrary poses serious danger to the society and we implore INEC and other desperate politicians to avoid setting Abia state on fire by their actions or inactions. Let the outcome of the final result be a reflection of the wish of the electorates who braved all odds to come out and exercise their franchise” the right group stated.
The press statement was signed by, Damian Ogudike, State coordinator, Congress of Civil Society Groups Abia Chapter, Nwogu Chukwudi, president, Abia Stakeholders Forum (ASF) and Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, convener, Abia civil society network on Equity and Justice (ACSNEJ).