A warning has been sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, security operatives and local election observers for the governorship election coming up in Ondo State in November to ensure a credible election or face the wrath of the people.
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Yoruba pro-democracy groups, acting under the aegis of Concerned Oodua Stakeholders, COS, issued this warning at a press briefing in Lagos, warning that a repeat of election malpractices as witnessed in recent past elections would not be tolerated.
COS in the address by its National Coordinator, Kola Are, said the group has taken stock of the elections conducted under the present leadership of INEC and concluded that it has failed abysmally in delivering the wish of the electorate and thus charge the commission to immediately put its acts together to midwife a credible election in Ondo State or be ready to face the music.
The group berated the lingering electoral anomalies culminating in election postponements, ballot snatching, intimidation of electorates and sundry anomalies by men of the security agencies and forewarned that such would not be tolerated in the coming elections.
The group posited that INEC should use the remaining days to put its house in order and come up with a foolproof measure that will make the votes of the electorates count.
“We are saying this because of our concern for our people in the South West. We have suffered so much in the past as a result of imposition of people on us as leaders. Now is the time to choose who leads us without any undue interference.
“It is on this note that we warn that the security apparatus should strictly do their job, strictly as spelt out in the law. Any local observer that has nothing to do during the election should also steer clear. If you are coming to Ondo State as monitor, you should report what you see and not that you come as a surrogate to a sponsor,” Are said.
COS which stressed that its action was not influenced by any political party, said its concern was strictly for the electorate, who toil all the time to vote for credible governance but are always short-changed by some powers that be.
Are vowed that the group would be on ground to monitor the election and ensure there is sanity, just as it would mobilise the people to defend their votes.
“We are not interested in whoever is in power or who comes to power. Our concern is to ensure there is a free and fair election. Our interest is in those charged with the responsibility yo conduct that free and fair election,” he stressed.