Posted by News Express | 26 March 2015 | 2,665 times
The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has listed 15 things which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the various security agencies must do to make the 2015 polls credible and acceptable.
It did this in a letter dated 20th March 2015 and entitled ‘Beyond INEC’s Corruption & Bastardization of PVCs Distribution: Conditions for Secured & Rogue Free Polls in Nigeria’, a copy of which is in the possession of News Express. The letter was addressed to Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal AS Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Kenneth Minimah; Inspector General of Police, IGP Suleiman A. Abba, Director General, State (Department of) Security Services, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong; and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. Signed for Intersociety by Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi and Head, Campaign & Publicity Department, Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., the letter was copied INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
In it, Intersociety wrote with regard to “Conditions That INEC Must Fulfill To Ensure Secured & Rogue Free Polls”:
“To ensure secured and rogue free polls on 28th March and 11th April 2015 particularly the presidential poll, your respected offices, particularly the offices of the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Director General of DSS and the Inspector General of Police, as a mandatory condition to INEC, should ensure that the Commission does as follows:
“That INEC must compile and send to your respected offices the names, locations and number of all the popularly recognised polling units in Nigeria (119,973) for terrain, terrestrial, aquatic, data, securitisation and surveillance studies; for the grand purpose of ensuring maximum poll security and counter poll rigging operations.
“Your respected offices must demand from INEC to clear air with statistical breakdown, on the possible existence of two sets of National Polling Units (119,973 (120,000) and 150,000) in Nigeria. This is to block the possibility of second official rigging using officially created criminal polling units.
“INEC must pledge to your respected offices of its readiness, willingness and ability to apply and enforce to the letter and evenly all voting accreditation procedures throughout the country’s popularly recognised polling units. In other words, INEC’s reported age long method of lowering some voting procedures in the North particularly in the North-West and the North-East owing to instigated mob action or group violence; and tightening of same in the South must be eliminated. That is to say that the use of Card Readers and PVCs in the referenced polls must be uniformly applied and enforced to the letter throughout the country irrespective of landscape or ethnic grouping.
“INEC must pledge to your respected offices to turn back from the voting centers and areas all facially and commonsensically identified under-age voters particularly in the North-West and the Northeast zone. Your respected offices also have a constitutional duty to disallow any under-age voter to queue for accreditation or voting not minding the validity of his or her voter’s card.”
As for what the security agencies should do, Intersociety wrote:
“The North-West and the North-East zones as well as Plateau and Niger states in the North-Central zone should be designated by your respected offices as the poll security hotbed and poll rigging nipping points.
“All youths and street urchins particularly in the North-East and the North-West as well as in Niger and Plateau states in the North-Central; other than those with valid voters’ cards, must be kept off the streets and voting areas on the voting dates.
“Those with valid voters’ cards must be searched and all daggers, pencil machetes and violent sticks in their possession must be recovered and impounded.
“Politicians and religious leaders in the North-West, the North-East as well as Niger and Plateau states in the North-Central and Rivers State in the South-South; other than those with valid voters’ cards heading to voting centers nearby; should be barricaded and bottled till the end of polls.
“Mosques, churches and houses of leading politicians in the North-West and the North-East zones as well as Plateau and Niger states in the North-Central should be roundly monitored.
“It is also the constitutional duty of your respected offices, in collaboration with INEC to ensure that any citizen with fake or proxy voter’s card in and around any polling unit particularly in the North-West and the North-East zones is arrested and detained. In the plain language of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, it is unlawful to allow any citizen below the age of 18 to vote.
“While field personnel and commanders of your respected offices are not expected to be found in the polling units especially with arms; the Constitution and duty guidelines still empower your respected offices to be proactive and extremely mindful of any early warning signals. In other words, your respected offices are empowered constitutionally in the context of protective and preventive policing. This constitutional empowerment is beyond any judicial distraction or interpretation.
“All the entries and exits in the country’s borders particularly in the North-West and the North-East zones must be tightly monitored on polls’ dates.
“Your respected offices must beware of false alarmists particularly in the TV and online media, CSOs and politicians/parties capable of creating confusions and breaching public security and safety.
“The insurgency areas of the North-East zone require thorough monitoring and securitisation by your respected offices. Going by INEC’s recent magical PVCs distribution in the area, there is no doubt that they are potential rigging warehouses of compromised INEC staff and their desperate accomplices in some political parties. Extra efforts must be made to thwart such immoral and unlawful plots as well as ensuring maximum protection of lives and properties from insurgents and other killer citizens and groups. If it becomes evident that holding polls in the areas or any part thereof, will endanger lives and properties and compromise national interests including public security and safety; then such polls should be put off.
“In carrying out your constitutional duties, national interests and public security and safety of Nigeria and Nigerians must remain your pivotal goals during and after the polls, not minding their religious and ethnic divides or groupings.
“To actualise the foregoing 14-point recommendations, there shall be robust and cohesive inter-agency arrangements put in place by your respected offices in association with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”
•Photo shows Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal AS Badeh.
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