Kogi, Bayelsa polls disasters – NSA – Newtelegraph – Digitalmunition




News Unthinkable things occurred in Kogi, Bayelsa polls – Newtelegraph

Published on December 12th, 2019 📆 | 3482 Views ⚑

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Kogi, Bayelsa polls disasters – NSA – Newtelegraph

…admits governorship elections were disasters

 

 

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) has scored the conduct of the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states low.

Monguno said things “unthinkable happened” during the elections.

The NSA, who spoke yesterday at an Inter-Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting in Abuja, said despite the assurances of adequate security before the elections, the polls “were a fiasco where the unthinkable happened.”

He did not elaborate on the details of the unthinkable things that happened. But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had kicked against the conduct and outcome of the elections in the two states.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, however, said the elections were peaceful despite related infractions.

He disclosed that 49 persons have been arrested on election related violence in the two states, including six persons arrested in connection with the killing of the woman leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Salome Abuh, in Kogi State.

Monguno, who was represented by Mr. Sanusi Galadima, recalled that prior to the two elections, the ICCES was told of the level of the preparedness and assured of adequate security.

“They made promises and told the meeting of the level of their preparedness, but unfortunately, the fiasco was the answer. What happened was quite unthinkable.

“Violence erupted in the two states of Bayelsa and Kogi, particularly the violence that occurred in Kogi State which aftermath of that election led to the death of a woman leader in that state,” he regretted.

The NSA expressed the fear that if nothing is done to curtail such violence in future elections, voters might not come out to vote.

He advised that in the future elections, particularly the by-elections that would come up in January 2020, the various security agencies and political parties should meet to ensure that those elections were free of violence.

Monguno further advised party thugs to have a rethink, remarking that at a book launch in Abuja two days ago, “all the creme de la crème of various political parties, the national chairmen of the strongest political parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were there.

“I saw how they were embracing each other, laughing, which to my mind, that laughter means a lot: ‘look at the useless people killing themselves because of politics!’

“So, it is our hope and prayer that if all the stakeholders pertaining to any election that would come up in future would come together the issue of violence would be addressed adequately.”

The IGP, who was also represented by Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Bashir Makama, said 35 persons were arrested in Bayelsa while 14 were arrested in Kogi, for allegedly disrupting the elections.

The breakdown of the arrest in Kogi, Adamu said, include six for the death of PDP woman leader and eight for electoral violence.

The IGP, however, described the conduct of the polls as “relatively peaceful”, adding, “despite the related infractions or some sort of thuggery that was observed and other challenges faced, the elections could be said to be relatively peaceful.”   

He said those arrested in connection with the Bayelsa governorship were being interrogated by the zonal police headquarters in Benin City.

“They would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he assured

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, requested that security personnel on election duty should be identified by their names.

This, he said, is to know who to be held responsible for the proper conduct of elections in those locations.

“This will not only enhance transparency, but the commission and security agencies will know who to contact in specific locations during elections when the need arises,” he said.

The INEC Chairman further called for deepening of the use of technology to ensure the integrity of elections.

“We are excited by some of the new provisions concerning electronic transmission of results.

“We are glad that the electoral legal framework is removing some of the encumbrances to the full deployment of technology for the improvement of the electoral process in Nigeria, especially result collation and management.

“The commission will work with the National Assembly for the expeditious passage of the amendment to the electoral legal framework so that work can begin in earnest to make future elections in Nigeria more technology-based.

“It is long overdue, it is doable, it is achievable and it is inevitable,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, INEC has tasked stakeholders on the need to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu State, stressed this need in Enugu at a stakeholders’ forum on the new electoral bill before the National Assembly.

Ononamadu urged the stakeholders to identify challenges as well as proffer enduring solutions to electoral malpractices that had been militating against free and fair elections.

According to him, the challenges and solutions should be in line with what happened during the recent Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

“After the 2019 general election, there were also two major elections in Kogi and Bayelsa and I think the election must have given Nigerians insight into what direction should be taken.

“Our gathering is to look at the event collectively for improvement in our electoral process.

“In the last previous elections, we made sure that the elections were free and fair,” he said.

Ononamadu told stakeholders that the review of the 2010 Electoral Act had become germane in view of observed lapses during the 2019 general election and the Bayelsa and Kogi states off season elections.

He absolved the commission of the allegations of being solely responsible for the electoral challenges facing the nation, saying that no organisation or individual will make elaborate arrangements and turn around to sabotage it.

The REC said INEC was taking the step of involving stakeholders to demonstrate that it meant business of realizing free, credible elections as the nation moves forward.

In her contribution, Mrs. Rita Chekwe, Head of Administration of INEC in Enugu, said that the commission was committed to delivering its mandate by conducting a credible election.

Chekwe noted that the gathering had become imperative for the stakeholders to brainstorm and make input for an effective electoral process in Nigeria without compromising their integrity.

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