By Emmanuel Mogbede
Abuja – The Save Nigeria Democracy Group, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the supplementary elections are free and fair.
Mr Tijanni Abdumumini, coordinator of the group gave the advice on Wednesday when he led some of its members on a protest to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
The group was protesting the events that characterised the March 9, governorship and State House of Assembly elections in some states of the federation.
This, the group`s coordinator noted made the commission to declare the elections inconclusive in some states, adding that the commission should not be deterred.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the March 9 election had been declared inconclusive in seven states following some infractions in the electoral process.
The states include: Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto, Kano and Rivers.
“It has become necessary at this point for all well meaning Nigerians to halt and take a critical review of the events that characterised the just concluded round of elections.
“The elections portend a clear danger to democracy and to Nigeria’s collective nationhood,’’ he said.
He noted that electoral fraud and manipulation in some states could have negative implications on the credibility, transparency and integrity of the entire elections.
According to him, it can also constitute a latent threat to our democratic development.
Mr Kelechi Madumene, an Assistant Director in INEC, who received the group on behalf of the commission’s national chairman, welcomed them.
Madumene said the protest was welcomed so long as it was peaceful.
He assured the group that their grievance would be communicated to the commission`s chairman for necessary action.
The assistant director further assured that the commission would not in any way compromise its standard, adding that the elections would be concluded in the affected states.
“The commission is committed to concluding the elections in the affected states on March 23, the rescheduled date and the winners will be declared according to the law.
“We will not do anything outside the law and the electoral Act,’’ Madumene said.
NAN reports that the group also presented a copy of their grievance to the commission. (NAN)