Independence Of INEC, A Must For Nigeria’s Democracy To Thrive  – CUPP

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*Wants law setting up INEC amended

*Describes 2023 presidential election conducted by INEC as  “smash and grab” validated by court

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has emphasized  that for Nigeria to be a truly Democratic nation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), must be independent.

CUPP expressed this in a statement signed by its National Secretary, High Chief Peter Ameh, made available to our correspondent yesterday. 

“It is our hope that going forward, the Electoral Management Body (INEC), amongst others, should be able to maintain its independence by being neutral and unbiased in the discharge of its mandate. 

“Also, the laws setting up INEC should be looked at, and where necessary amended to insulate it from the interference of the executive branch of government by the removal of the appointment of the Chairman, National Commissioners, and Resident Electoral Commissioners from the hands of the president.

“The Electoral Act should also be amended to make it mandatory that electronic transfer of results be the norm and in any conflict with manually tallied result, the electronically tallied result in the IREV will take precedence,” CUPP said.

CUPP recalled that February 25 makes it  one year since the 2023 presidential election that brought President Bola Tinubu to power. 

High Chief Ameh said that the 2023 presidential election conducted by INEC was simply an electoral smash and grab that was validated by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

“Recall that in the run up to the election, all the assurances contained in the 2022 Electoral Act and INEC guidelines, such as the accreditation of voters through the means of BVAS, and real-time uploading of results from the polling units to the IREV through the same BVAS were rather observed in breach by the Commission.

“Recall also that the fiercely disputed results of the presidential election of 2023 came with many fallouts, especially when what was speculated, and believed to be the true results that were warehoused in the electronic server of a foreign entity, were already known to the leading countries, thereby leading to credibility issues that our nation is currently passing through.

“Our government is only trying to be subservient  to those countries may only come as a temporary relief, but the fact remains that those other nations are capitalising on this legitimacy and credibility situation to undermine our nation to the extent that a war with Niger Republic was narrowly averted.

“The current economic hardships our  country is facing also stem from the legitimacy crisis that arose from the presidential election. 

“Our government has not been able to summon the courage to say no to the biddings of the Bretton Woods institutions, which has led to the removal of whatever little and rare welfare services the poor gets from the government in the name of fuel subsidy,” CUPP said. 

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