Before the gubernatorial and state Houses of Assembly elections that are due to take place today, an Igbo socio-cultural organisation called Aka Ikenga has encouraged the Independent National Electoral Commission to defend democracy and act honorably in order to restore its credibility.
In a statement released by the organization on Friday, Barr. Mark Nduka-Eze, the Secretary-General, and Deputy Publicity Secretary Collins Ugwu made the claim.
The February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections were characterized by violence, late delivery of election supplies to certain polling places, and other anomalies.
“We call on INEC to uphold democracy today and remove the stigma of being its undertaker rather. You must be transparent, you must be impartial, and you must follow our laws to give Nigerians the desires of their votes without compromise or theatre.
“We demand that INEC should today, unreservedly regenerate the confidence of Nigerians whose unprecedented energy and legitimate expectations for free, credible and transparent elections, before and during the presidential elections was savaged by a cocktail of institutional ‘errors’ and scandalously unprotected ballots, contrary to their strident but now clearly overrated assurances,” the group said.
It also stated that INEC needed to work with all Nigerians who were motivated and committed to put an end to the age of corruption and poor governance in the nation.
According to the group, Nigerians must be respected and should never be criminalized, exploited, or physically abused when exercising their right to vote in a peaceful manner.
It encouraged the security agencies to “please offer Nigerians safety for at least one day to do a straightforward election” while criticizing them for failing to provide appropriate security during the most recent presidential election.
The group asserts that irregularities found in the elections of February 25 could undermine the democracy of the nation.
The group, however, implored Nigerians to exercise their franchise dutifully.
It noted that the electoral umpire and security operatives should ensure they adhere to their responsibilities to safeguard the country’s democracy
“We must note that Nigeria has paid a huge prize for corporate nationhood in the war we fought, and insurgencies we are still trying to contain. Nigeria paid a prize for military dictatorship, and we are still reeling from the pangs. Nigerians now have chosen democracy and INEC and our security formations must not be complicit to make us lose it.”
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