Mixed reactions greet inconclusive Kogi governorship election

Posted by News Express | 23 November 2015 | 3,107 times

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The Coalition of Civil Society, politicians and voters in Kogi have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to intensify efforts in educating the electorate on the need to abide by the Electoral Act.

The respondents spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to INEC’s declaration of the Nov. 21 governorship election in the state inconclusive.

Contested by candidates of 22 political parties, the election saw Prince Abubakar Audu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) beating incumbent Governor Idris Wada with 240,867 votes to 199,514. However, news of ex-governor Audu’s death, reportedly of a heart attack, filtered in shortly after INEC declared the election inconclusive on the grounds that invalidated votes were more than Audu’s margin of victory.

Some of those who spoke with NAN called for the introduction of measures that would check the unruly behaviours of voters which could lead to the cancellation of election results in the future.

Mr Habu-Rajan Suleiman, the secretary of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in the state, told NAN in an interview on Sunday in Lokoja, that the education of voters on the provision of the Electoral Act was imperative in view of the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the results of the election in 91 polling units.

He, however, appealed for calm in the state, adding that the peaceful conduct of the election was the best way to achieve fair, credible and acceptable election in the country.

Also reacting to the development, the Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), Mr Abdul Miliki, blamed the unruly behaviours of some voters on INEC’s decision.

Miliki told NAN in a separate interview that INEC acted in compliance with the Electoral Act, adding that the negative conduct of some of the electorate led to the snatching of ballot boxes and other anomalies which resulted in the inconclusiveness of the election.

He, however, appealed to the parties and their supporters to maintain the peace.

Mr Segun Abayomi, a civil servant, called on the electorate in the state to eschew money politics, adding that it was that kind of mindset that always brought about political crisis.

Abayomi also called on INEC to intensify effort in its voter education programme, adding that doing so would help to guide the electorates in the choice of their leaders.

Evangelist Frank Kato, who is also the Chairman of Independent Democrats (ID), an NGO, called on youths to moderate their actions and to avoid being used as “stooges to the whims and caprices of selfish politicians.”

He, however, called on security agencies to beef up their operations in the upcoming supplementary election to curb malpractices.

Meanwhile, Mr Tajuddeen Yusuf, a member of the House of Representatives (PDP-Kabba/Bunu), who also spoke with NAN, advised INEC to perfect the application of the card reader in future elections.

•Photo shows INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

Source: News Express

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