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Situation Room: INEC has failed to check manipulation of elections by incumbents

Situation Room: INEC has failed to check manipulation of elections by incumbents
December 30
13:01 2019
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The Civil Society Situation Room says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the ability to stand up to the agencies of state that are used to manipulate elections.

Speaking with THISDAY, Clement Nwankwo, convener of Situation Room, said the electoral commission should deal decisively with anyone trying to undermine the credibility of the country’s election.

Nwankwo said there were cases where security agencies sided with political thugs to undermine the electoral process.

The convener said INEC should take control of the country’s elections and not become a tool to be used by the incumbent.

“I think we have a constant issue with INEC with its failing to stand up to challenge efforts of agencies of state to manipulate elections and as long as it continues to be unable to stand up and say to such agencies ‘keep away from elections’ for so long will it take responsibility for the failings of an election,” he said.

“When agencies of states become tools in the hands of partisan incumbent’s political interest you must act in the best interest of the country to give your election credibility.

“We worry that INEC continues to fail to stand up to check the excesses of state interest that manipulate elections including security, including the military.

“When you find the security are running circles around you; the military is running circles around you and trying to discredit an election that you have invested so much resources and your credibility in then you must pull back and say to this agency ‘get off’ and when they refuse you insist on not going on with the elections.

“So, INEC must stand up. Of course, there are issues of rogue INEC officials and security agencies running off on their own to help to frustrate the electoral process but the bigger issue is that of the leadership of the commission taking responsibility and saying ‘we can’t allow security agencies, we can’t allow police to team up with political parties and subvert the will of the people’.”

He added that they would continue to insist that INEC check state interference in elections.

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