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2019: Politicians May Thwart Polls Using Money, Observer Group Raises Alarm

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A coalition of civil society organizations has raised the alarm that there were desperate moves by some politicians to scuttle the 2019 general elections, using funds at their disposal.

One of the election monitoring group, under the auspices of Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice CEPEJ, raised the alarm in Abuja on Monday, against the backdrop of recent lifting of the ban on political campaigns by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.

It said the plot may largely succeed if INEC officials and security agencies key into the intrigues that are being deployed by the political class.

The Group also accused Nigerian politicians of consistently making the country a laughing stock among the comity of nations, warning that situations, where financial inducement characterize our electoral systems, undermine our democratic processes.

“We are aware of the disparate devices by politicians to subvert the will of the people by manipulating the electoral process in their favour.
“We are also aware of the fact that their efforts can only be successful with the help of INEC and the security agencies. The coalition, therefore, urges the security agents and INEC to be apolitical and do everything possible to resist financial inducement which characterizes the political landscape of the nation, ”CEPEJ.

National Coordinator of the Group, Sheriff Mulade in a chat with journalists on some of the developments trailing the polity scene, said it was regrettable that political office seekers in the country conduct themselves in a manner not depicting them as leaders, noting that they still view the process as a do or die exercise.

According to Mulade, aiding and abetting electoral malpractices often goes to weaken security institutions, if not properly curtailed.

“We use this opportunity to call on political office seekers to conduct themselves in a manner that is befitting of leaders, because the success of any election lies in the hands of every citizen and not these agencies earlier mentioned, we must play by the rules and allow those saddled with the responsibility of conducting the elections do their job without fear or favour.
“Politicians should emulate the humility of former President Goodluck Jonathan who graciously congratulated his opponent even before the counting of votes were concluded, thereby preventing anarchy, violence, civil disobedience, and bloodshed, we can build on this foundation and dwell in peace,” he stated.

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