Apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, has said that the governorship elections held on Saturday, November 11th in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa States were not a true reflection of the people’s wishes.
Ohanaeze strongly condemned the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for again failing to uphold the principles of free, fair, and credible elections, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.
A statement issued on Monday by Ohanaeze’s Secretary-general, Mazi Okechukwu lsiguzoro, expressed dismay that the elections were marred by widespread voter apathy, vote buying, violence, and the use of compromised biased INEC electoral officers.
According to the statement, the prevalence of these irregularities has allowed politicians to manipulate the process and declare themselves winners through fraudulent means.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo asserts that INEC, as an institution, is weak and requires a thorough overhaul of its management team. We call for the immediate restructuring of INEC under the leadership of Professor Yakubu Mahmood, who we believe has failed to address the systemic flaws within the organization.
“His leadership has become a cancer-eating away at Nigeria’s democracy, and new leadership must be appointed to restore public confidence in the electoral process.
“We urge the National Assembly to take decisive action by enacting new laws that will put an end to off-cycle elections. These elections have proven to be breeding grounds for electoral malpractices and are undermining the strength of our democracy. We must prioritize the integrity of our electoral system by ensuring that elections are conducted within prescribed timelines, allowing for adequate preparation and oversight.”
The organisation extended its congratulatory messages to the winners of the off-cycle governorship elections which include; Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State, and Governor Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State.
‘We implore opposition political parties and their governorship candidates in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa States to accept the outcomes of the elections, despite their constitutional right to challenge any irregularities. It is crucial to acknowledge that pursuing such challenges would be a waste of time and resources, as compromised INEC staff have systematically concealed all evidence of irregularities.”
Ohanaeze reiterated that it remains committed to the promotion of justice, fairness, and the preservation of democratic values.
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