-February 28, 2019/news/comments
Information available to Afrikanwatch seems that some Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, and National Commissioners of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, may quit their national assignments following alleged intimidation, harassment and threat to their lives by security agencies during the presidential and National Assembly elections held last week Saturday February 23.
Meanwhile, States electoral commissioners and national commissioners alleged that at the height of the threat to their lives, they had hoped and beacon on the National chairman of the commission, Prof .Mahmood Yakubu to save the situation but couldn’t because he was also under intense pressure and massive attack by high profile individuals who believed that Nigeria belongs to them..
It was learnt that some of the states and national election mediators are living in uncertainty, and are considering whether they should continue with the March 9, governorship and state national assembly elections, having been under serious attack by security agencies that are supposed to protect them, but turned out to be against them.
Competent sources close to the RECs and national commissioners had claimed that some of the States electoral officers were held under hostage and placed them under dures to announce results on their favour while some of them also were left in the hands of political thugs and political hoodlums. The source also noted that security agencies connive, including the military and other paramilitary organisations, of distracting officers of the electoral umpire on the pretense of protecting election facilities and at the same time facilitate illegal distribution of materials to politicians. The source further stressed:
“If there is no intervention, many of the RECs and national commissioners are contemplating the option of resignation because what they passed through in the hands of security agencies, they have not witnessed it before. “We have not seen this kind of thing before and all through the preparations. Some of the RECs were held hostage.”
‘Some states, collation officers were caught in hotels sharing money and that even those arrested were immediately released as a result of what they described as “orders from above.” “I think this country is worse than a banana republic,” one of the electoral officer who was a victim of the harassment and intimidation stated.
The officer said that the security agencies involved in the harassment were in a convoy of armored personnel carriers, adding that in some cases, retired security officers were drafted into the ‘ugly’ affair. “They mutilated result sheets. On the eve of elections, they were moving materials away,’’ the source said. Besides, the source alleged that the most worrisome aspect of it was that some RECs and National Commissioners condescended by working with politicians to undermine the process”.
Continuing the source noted “You are not free anymore. You can’t even exchange ideas with your colleagues. It is a complete takeover of INEC by all security agencies. ‘’You will sit in office, a group will say it is from Defence Intelligence, after finishing with you, 10 minutes later another will come from National Intelligence Agency, NIA, not only one person but about three or five and they will sit in your office.”
“So, there was a lot of distractions, you cannot even concentrate. “Then your office will be filled with security agents under the guise of protecting facilities. You will see about 15 soldiers, police, you can’t count, civil defense, everywhere was just choked up. “Most of the electoral officers were caged. All these figures they are reeling out have no basis. In the area where they have these bandits, after taking the security men out, early morning of the election, they withdrew the security and left the youth corps members at the mercy of thugs hired by the politicians.”
“So the youth corps members were endangered
and had to run for their dear lives, they now stuff the boxes. When I was
flying out of….it was like I was flying to heaven. It was so terrible that I
have never seen this type of election before.” Another source said: “One
fundamental thing why some Resident Electoral Commissioners and National
Commissioners are threatening to resign is that chairman of the Independent
National Electoral Commission that they looked up to was helpless.
“Understandably, even the man who could have led that protection himself was
under massive attack.” One of the sources alleged that in the far north, the
results released did not reflect the actual votes cast, especially in Zamfara
and Borno as a result of military harassment.
For news, call the editor, 08028592006, email us for breaking news