Nov 11: Coalition urges INEC to end Imo killings with credible guber poll

A Coalition of Civil Society Groups has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to help end the ongoing bloodletting and violence in Imo State by conducting a free, fair and credible governorship election in the state on November 11.

The group also tasked the commission to guard against the attempts by some unscrupulous elements in the state to harvest and write results in the favour of a particular candidate in the election.

In a joint press conference held in Enugu, the groups, including the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and Southeast based Coalition of Democracy and Human Rights Organisations said conducting a credible election in Imo would restore decency and sanctity of the ballot box and eventually have Imo voters and their properties secured and protected after years of agony.

Chairman, Board of Trustees of the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, (Intersociety), Emeka Umeagbalasi who addressed the press conference, said, “The restoration of sanctity of the ballot box in Imo, is capable of ending the ongoing mass murders and property destructions that have ravaged the state since January 2021-leading to unlawful killing by drafted security forces and armed non state actors of combined total of over 2000 unarmed and defenseless citizens and wanton destruction of more than 1,600 civilian houses and tens of thousands of other “non military necessity” properties”. 

Umeagbalasi lamented that available evidence and realities suggest that some persons do not want the INEC to organise an election that is free, fair, credible and secure. 

He said that the winner of the November 11 election in Imo State, if conducted freely and fairly, will not score more than 90,000-130,000 votes out of a total lawful votes cast of not more than 300,000.

“We arrived at this projection after considering the fears, chaos and bloodletting that have gripped the state since January 2021 in which more than half of the state’s 27 local government areas are deeply affected,” he said. 

He noted that the coalition had written letters to some critical stakeholders, including the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) the National Security Adviser, (NSA) the Chief of Army Staff, (CAS) Director General of the State Security Service (DSS), and the Chairman of tha INEC and the Chief of Defense Staff, (CDS).

He however regretted that none of the issues raised in the letters, such as the need to ensure that collation centres are outside the arenas under the influence of the state government, timely overhaul of some security departments in the state and the provision of security for Imo voters and protection of their votes..

“And that strongly suggesting that there are “plans to harvest and write results for the incumbent governor in the state” he said. 

Umeagbalasi called on various political parties in the election to insist that INEC must be impartial and non partisan in posting of EOs, AEOs and Supervisors and their deployment to LGAs, wards and polling units

He added that they should also pay much attention to physical component of the polling units’ result sheets or ‘FormEC8As’ than electronic results transmission component and insist on their mandatory availability at all the designated polling units on election day

Among other steps, he urged them to ensure that original results are duly tabulated and entered on polling units’ FormEC8As and duly signed by all the accredited party agents and designated security personnel and INEC accredited others, adding that they must ensure that duly signed polling units’ FormEC8As are physically gathered and duly submitted and stored accordingly.


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