2019 Polls: Why INEC, Security Agencies Must Be Neutral—Group

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An election monitoring group, Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, and security personnel on the need to maintain neutrality in the conduct of next year’s general election.

According to the group, though elections in Nigeria are frost with serious challenges, they should see their roles as electoral umpires as service to their fatherland and not a means for financial aggrandizement from politicians.

Sheriff Mulade, the National Coordinator of the group, gave the warning in Abuja on Tuesday, where he noted that the 2019 general elections provide an opportunity for INEC to prove that it is apolitical.
He said it was unfortunate that in the global political scene, Nigeria was still queuing behind smaller African countries in terms of electoral conduct and good governance when it ought to be a role model for the continent.

According to him, each electoral circle should provide an opportunity for the country to consolidate its democracy adding that the security agencies cannot afford to jeopardize the process.
“We find it necessary to call on the electorate, INEC, the police and other security agencies that would be involved in the conduct of the 2019 general elections to carry out their responsibilities without fear, favour or bias against any candidate or political party as the success or failure of the election rests in their hands.

“We have had instances where Nigerians accuse security men and women of conniving with politicians to perpetrate electoral malpractices, we, therefore, urge the security agents and INEC to be apolitical and do everything possible to resist financial inducements which characterize the political landscape of the nation.
“We also use this opportunity to call on political office seekers to conduct themselves in a manner that is befitting of leaders and should not see elections as a do-or-die exercise”

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