URGENT PRESS RELEASE
As Nigerian Citizens march out again today in their numbers to cast their votes for candidates of their choice in the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections, AKA IKENGA, (AI) the pivot global Igbo Think Tank, has called on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to stand up to redeem their credibility, and stand out as truly independent. “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”.
In a release signed by the Deputy Publicity Secretary, Collins Steve Ugwu, and the Secretary-General, Barr. Mark Anthony Nduka-Eze, the group said, “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.”
We want to make it even clearer, that we align totally with all Nigerians who have awakened in vehement resolve to walk away from the dictatorship of corruption, and tragic detention of bad governance, for a leap in leadership only credible and transparent elections give. Our citizen’s democratic preferences are inviolate, must be respected, and should never be criminalized, commercialized, or battered away. Our eyes are seeing and ears hearing.
We equally call on all our Security Agencies to please give Nigerians protection for at least one day to do a simple election. You were absent for critical needs of protection in the Presidential elections, and appear to have been on leave since then. Because we note with grim apprehensions the unchecked threats of ethnic reprisals and open schemes of voters suppressions that are not being addressed for clear containment, especially in several states with significant resident populations like Lagos and Rivers State. These grave flashes of “poison” to our democracy are red flags that demand intensive investigations, arrests, prosecution, and deterrent consequences. Please get up to your national patriotic duty today to prevent bottled explosions from putting our already fragile state into deeper tragedy.
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.
Collins Steve Ugwu