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Imo, Kogi, Bayelsa election will suffer credibility deficit–HURIWA



Reconstitution of NNPC LTD Board unconstitutional-- HURIWA
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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) , says the forthcoming governorship elections in Imo, Kogi and Bayesla states will suffer credibility deficit as a result of a massive voters’ apathy.

Governorship elections in the three states are expected to be held on November 11, 2023.

HURIWA in a statement by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it cannot ignore the failures of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in previous elections, particularly the Presidential Election held on February 25th, 2023.

The civil rights group pointed out that promise of INEC to use Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the upload of polling unit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) were left unfulfilled, and the voters, were left in the dark about the real-time progress of the election in the last presidential elections.

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According to the group, such unfulfilled promises erode trust in the electoral system and leave us disillusioned.

“Moreover, the series of annulments of elections by different Tribunals following that election only serves as a collective vote of no confidence in INEC’s ability to conduct free, fair, and transparent elections. We fear that this lack of confidence in INEC’s leadership may cast a shadow over the upcoming off-cycle Governorship elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa States.

“We are equally concerned about the performance of the security agencies, particularly the police, during the electoral process. Past experiences have shown that the security forces often fall short of their duty to maintain law and order, which further undermines the credibility of the elections. There is a real risk that the poor performance of the police could continue and, in fact, worsen during these upcoming elections.”

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“In light of these concerns, we call upon INEC to demonstrate unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and the use of technology to enhance the electoral process. We urge the commission to ensure that BVAS is effectively deployed in real-time during the forthcoming elections, to prevent any doubts about the credibility of the results.

“We also call for greater oversight and accountability in the operations of INEC and the security agencies involved in election security. It is imperative that the electoral process is free from undue influence, corruption, and ineptitude.

“As Citizens who value the principles of democracy, we remain vigilant and committed to holding our electoral institutions accountable. We hope that our concerns will be addressed, and that the upcoming off-cycle Governorship elections will be conducted with the utmost transparency, fairness, and integrity.