The National Peace Committee (NPC) yesterday said old styles of voter intimidation, vote-buying, voter apathy, among others, characterised last Saturday’s off-season elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.
The committee said it was unfortunate that corrupt Nigerians continued to collude to stall the nation’s electoral processes.
It advised Nigerians to learn from the experiences the elections elicited to make future polls less flawed.
All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma as well as his Bayelsa State counterpart, Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were re-elected.
In Kogi State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced APC’s Usman Ododo as the governor-elect.
Reviewing the elections in a statement by its Chairman and former Heald of State, General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar, the committee lauded the efforts by several stakeholders to ensure that the elections were free, fair, and credible.
But the panel decried some cases of corrupting the electoral process.
“We are not unaware of the glitches recorded during the elections. Sadly, we have noted that some of the old ways remain and ordinary people continue to collude with corrupt members of society to stall the processes of our elections.
“The persistence of the culture of vote-buying, intimidation, voter apathy, among others, are disturbing.
“A democratic culture will only grow if we participate in cleaning up the process of our elections because in the end, we are the victims.
“The corruption of the process will lead to the emergence of corrupt leaders, if we collude with merchants of corruption.
Also, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the February 25 presidential election, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has berated the INEC over the conduct of last Saturday’s off-cycle elections in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi states.
Adebayo said the elections ought to have been simple, considering the fact that it was only in three states, unlike what was obtained in February and March when elections were conducted in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The SDP stalwart gave the electoral body seven days to review the results of Kogi election or be perceived as unserious about conducting credible elections.
“INEC has a window between now and the next seven days after the elections to review this process. Otherwise, what we are having will just be a system where people take it for granted that the INEC is not serious about electioneering; that it is not serious about credibility as it is there to waste everyone’s time.
“Under the new Electoral Act, INEC has seven days to do a review and we are giving and assisting them with all information to ensure they listen to other people, including the observers. I believe INEC should review it,” he said.