Why INEC Declared Imo North Senatorial Rerun Poll Inconclusive–Group | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why INEC Declared Imo North Senatorial Rerun Poll Inconclusive–Group

INEC, APC, PDP, Adamawa; Edo guber poll
Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 6:21 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Innocent Oweh


Abuja – An election monitoring organisation, Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), has said irresponsibility on the part of politicians was among top reasons why the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) usually declares elections inconclusive.

The group, which monitored the Imo North Senatorial rerun election conducted by INEC on July 23, 2016, but declared inconclusive, exonerated the election umpire of most of the criticisms often leveled against it by stakeholders.

The vacant seats in Imo include Okigwe North Senatorial district, Isiala Mbano, Oru East and Owerri West state constituencies.

ISDMG coordinator, Faith Nwadishi, who was part of those who monitored the rerun process, however, advised INEC to step up its game prior to the 2019 general elections.

In a chat with the media on Thursday, in Abuja, she alleged that there was conspiracy between security operatives and the political class which prompted INEC to declare the Imo North Senatorial election inconclusive, even though the election went on peacefully in most LGAs.

“On observation of the process of the Imo elections, we note with great dismay the seeming conspiracy of the political class with the security operatives to frustrate the electoral process especially in Okigwe and a few other LGAs.

“Reports from the field showed that in some parts of the state, the election was largely peaceful and well conducted while in some other parts like Okigwe, Ihitte Uboma and Obowo LGAs, elections were peaceful at the booths but collation officers went missing for a disturbing length of time, an act inimical to the spirit of free and fair elections.

“Generally, citizens conducted themselves peacefully but desperate politicians who seem to have mastered the art of disruptions would not allow a violence-free collation.

“When politicians throw caution to the wind and connive with agencies of state, namely security, and compromised officials to shatter the process, it becomes a herculean task to surmount such huge challenge.

“The choice of the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to rely on the academia, namely professors from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri as returning officers, is worthy but we still believe that more could be done to better the process,” Nwadishi said.

Nwadishi said it was an act of bravery for the current leadership of INEC to declare most elections that were characterised by violence and ballot box snatching inconclusive as stipulated in the Electoral Act.

“The decision to declare the Imo rerun elections inconclusive, especially in these troubled areas clearly shows the willingness of the election monitoring body to deliver on its mandate in a transparent manner, giving credence to various observers’ reports.

“On the issue of inconclusiveness which has almost become synonymous with the emblem of the commission in public discourse, we believe that this is largely owed to boldness of the political class to perpetrate violence to disrupt the process in places where they hold sway coupled with the fact that the results of every polling unit has a bearing on the overall outcome of the elections due to the increased competitiveness of the process”, she said.

ISDMG also called on the Inspector General of Police, Idris Kpotum Abubakar, to sit up and ensure that issues which tend to threaten peace prior to election process are resolved.