belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a
pro-democracy group is calling for community protection for the
commission’s properties and staff.
The group also cautioned against reckless and inciting statement that
could jeopardise the lives of the commission’s staff, warning that “we
cannot afford to have those working for our country returned to their
families in body bags because of elections.”
“The security of INEC’s staff and properties across the country is a
collective responsibility of government and the people and we must do
everything to protect them,” says Coalition in Defence of Nigerian
Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC).
CDNDC in a statement by its Convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, also noted that
“the best and most convincing way to guarantee free, fair and credible
elections, is if the safety and confidence of INEC’s staff are guaranteed
by each community, and not just security personnel.”
As a cautionary measure, the pro-democracy group wants every community
across the country to complement the efforts of security agencies in
providing adequate protection and support for INEC’s staff and properties,
describing it as the best mode of guaranteeing a peaceful.
“Our politicians and their foot soldiers must remember at all times that
both the main and ad hoc staff of INEC who will be responsible for the
elections are all Nigerians who deserve our support and protection during
and after the polls.
“Every community must come together and play a special role in securing
and protecting election workers, especially members of the National Youth
Service Commission (NYSC) in order to avoid the painful tragedy that
happened in Bauchi and Rivers states.
“Never again must we repeat those painful incidents, elections should
never produce body bags because it is not a do or die affairs and we must
tasks ourselves on the need to be our brother’s keeper and keep the
stability of Nigeria,” according to CDNDC.
The group however implores staff of the commission, security personnel,
observers, everyone that will be involved in the conduct of the elections
to avoid “unholy alliance and compromise with unscrupulous politicians,”
warning that there are plans to use and money and intimidation to coerce
CDNDC commends the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu for
displaying openness, transparency, conviction and sincerity of purpose in
the process leading to the 2019 general elections, while calling on
politicians not to jeopardise the good work of INEC with reckless abandon.
“We have seen the chairman displayed unparalleled openness and conviction,
his decision to allow access to INEC’s backend, his refusal not to
compromise with the ruling APC and his decision to pursue a credible
process with vigour deserve our applauses,” the statement added.