Nigeria Exchange
About Us Advertise News Business Addresses Nigeria Events Newspapers Newsletter More
Search Nigeria Sites & Businesses Search Tips

News General Sports Business Odd / Funny Tech Entertainment Articles Author Login Comments More Categories Author List
Author Name: Ifeanyi Izeze
Number of articles: 174

Before the current Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke is allowed to go, she and her... (0) Comment

Email A Friend  |   Print
INEC’s March 28 Polls in Rivers: Why Ogoni Insists on Outright Cancellation/Rerun
Author: Ifeanyi Izeze | April 09, 2015

Without doubt, the Ogoni people of Rivers state has come, through years of agitation against the irresponsibility and callousness of Shell Petroleum Development Company in the area and the federal government's perceived complicity and docility in redressing the injustice, to be the most politically aware, closely-knitted and focused bloc in the entire state and even the Niger Delta region.

So When the Ogoni apex organization, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), in its assessment of what transpired across Ogoni as elections on March 28 said, “The March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections in Rivers state particularly Ogoni, to say the least, was a sham,” it was not surprising that it completely aligned with posits by several other interest groups and political blocs across the state calling for “outright cancellation and rescheduling” of the elections.

If MOSOP after collating field reports and evidence from its agents dispatched to monitor the elections particularly in Ogoni, could come out to publicly chastise the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it could have attempted to give, (even if it was a deceitful one) impression of “a transparent and accountable approach that would have reflected the Commission's neutrality and fairness,” it means the Ogoni people are fully convinced the results announced as votes from the area outrightly contradicted their position and how they would have voted on the March 28 elections particularly the National Assembly elections.

As alleged by the Ogonis, “violence was orchestrated to scare away voters, and the officers of the Nigerian Police Force were also used to arrest some APC leaders and faithful thereby scaring away the ordinary electorates. “In almost all the wards across Ogoni were reports of faulty card reading machine, hijack of sensitive materials by hoodlums, non availability of original results sheets and presentation of fake result sheets, intimidation, harassment of the electorates and killings in some areas.

“Throughout Gokana, Khana, Tai and even Opobo/Nkoro local government areas, trained-INEC ad hoc personnel were replaced with untrained manpower suspected to be PDP members and this was done in connivance with the Local Government Areas, Electoral Officers in the affected LGAs.

“As discovered, in Wards 6, 9, 16 17 and 18, of Khana local government area, the Returning Officers, Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers were all known PDP members in addition to the sudden change and appearance of fresh and non-trained INEC ad-hoc personnel.

“The most egregious aspect of the glaring irregularities and breaches in the election is in the area of a wilful and deliberate non availability of results sheets in nearly all voting centres. This was deliberately made so as to pave the way for the writing of the results thereafter.”

This was the case as contained in the petition to INEC by Ogoni. And based on the conviction that the Ogonis were not allowed to vote in the March 28 presidential and National Assembly polls, Senator Magnus Abe representing Rivers South-East in the National Assembly also joined in the call on INEC to cancel and reschedule the elections.

If Senator Magnus Abe, a member of the Senate Committee on INEC could openly express shock at what he described as “massive fraud which marred the exercise that was expected to witness an improvement in the conduct of elections in Nigeria,” it definitely means the Ogonis may have a genuine case to seek redress at least so that the true position and aspiration of the people can be captured.

According to Abe, “How could the election be credible when there were no actual voting anywhere in Ogoniland and the umpire was established to be complicit in the malfeasance?” Abe who urged the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega to immediately announce the cancellation of elections in that part of Rivers State with a view to rescheduling a rerun, insisted that “Nigerians and the international community should ignore purported election results from the area as there was no election particularly in Rivers South-East district.”

He stressed that “accepting such disposition will further deepen the mockery of our democracy.” The case by the Ogonis fully aligns with what the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress had already stated in its petition to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, calling for “outright cancellation and rescheduling” of the elections.

In the petition signed by APC Chairman, Davies Ikanya, the party said the “parody of election held in Rivers State” on Saturday was characterised by “deliberate non release of result sheets to nearly all the centres, active collaboration and collusion of the INEC staff with the People's Democratic Party in undermining the credibility of the election.”

Before the Ogonis commenced their agitation against what transpired in the area on March 28 as Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Rivers state Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Davies Ikanya, in a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) described what happened as on that day as a “parody of elections.”

His words: “We want to firmly state that there is nowhere in the world where this sham and debacle that happened in Rivers State can be glorified as an election and allowing this to stand is to posit to the entire World that allocation of votes and massive irregularities and malpractices will be allowed as long as the perpetrators are able to carry same out.” No doubt, the Ogonis seem to have a genuine case.

However, the caveat is that rather than the call for outright cancellation, as said by the INEC Chairman, Prof Jega, “every case or rather allegation is going to be taken by INEC on its individual merit.” And this is why the Ogoni case has become very interesting because if the people can provide enough evidence to sufficiently prove the allegations contained in their petition, they may be able to discredit the election results submitted for their area a situation that may lead to cancellation and a rerun. Let's watch and see!

(0) Comment

More From Ifeanyi Izeze


NGEX welcomes and encourages reader comments. Permission to post reader comments is assumed, and we reserve the right to excerpt or edit for clarity any comments that are posted. We won't be able to publish all comments. And we can't vouch for the accuracy of posts from readers. Nickname or Name will be used to identify your post.
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."

follow NgEX on Facebook
Submit An Article
"Press Releases"    More »
Abiodun Idris | December 22, 2014
Greatest Nigeria students and masses of our dear country. I want to start this write up by saluting...
Submit A Press Release »
News / Comments   More »
President Muhammadu Buhari's 2016 Budget Speech - “The Budget of Change"
December 22, 2015 | saifullahi h umar gwarzo | 1 posts
Alhamdulillah thanks to allah to help us with great leaders,Ya allah protect them and my country nageria...  Post comment »
26 things you did not know about Nigeria's President-elect Muhammadu Buhari
April 02, 2015 | "Coming In From The Cold" | 1 posts
Welcome on board again, General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB – Great Man Buhari)). My spirit is high and...  Post comment »
Article / Comments   More »
Nigeria: The 19 Northern Governors in the Eyes of the People
August 04, 2011 |  Chioma | 1 posts
This is nothing but the truth.  Post comment »
Why Biafra may be a bad idea
May 25, 2015 |  James Udo Kalu | 1 posts
Is this "coin" having only one side? How is the other side like? May we have a look!  Post comment »
The end of the Goodluck Jonathan nightmare
May 20, 2015 |  Don C | 1 posts
This writer is simply is ignorant as his article. He had in an attempt to appear unbiased brought Ironsi...  Post comment »
Submit An Article
Copyright © 2005 -2013 NgEX. All rights reserved.