Group petitions development partners, donor agencies over Bayelsa gov poll

Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI) has petitioned development partners to stop future technical and financial supports to the Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC) and also demanded a full investigation into the recent governorship election in Bayelsa State.

This was contained in a statement issued by the president and Permanent Representative of the CCDI to the United Nations, Olufemi Aduwo and made available to the Nigerian Tribune, on Monday.

He said since the inception of democracy in 1999, development partners and donor agencies have been rendering a series of assistance to the lNEC in huge proportions.

These included multilateral institutions and foreign missions in Nigeria and joint donor basket fund coordinated by UNDP, Commonwealth Secretariat, World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), the United States Embassy, British High Commission, Canadian High Commission and the Japanese Embassy.

CCDI registered as a non-profit organisation in Nigeria and the State of Maryland, US, demanded that an independent panel should investigate the activities of lNEC and security agencies during the Bayelsa election, won by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Aduwo advised the development partners and donor agencies to stop wasting the funds of their home countries or institutions on what he described as unproductive ventures.

ALSO READ: Conduct elections in Bayelsa without pressure and intimidation, US tells INEC

“CCDI members served as technical assistants to some foreign mission observer’s groups, both in Kogi and Bayelsa states. What happened in Kogi State was a child’s play, compared with Bayelsa State as thugs and criminals working with the APC, conducted the poll in the state.

“We stated unequivocally in the correspondence to the UK and EU countries that all the APC chieftains in Bayelsa State who were involved in the illegality should be banned from entering their countries.

“To this end, we will lead other Commonwealth observers accredited by United Kingdom Electoral Commission for the December election for a rally in London and deliver a special letter to the UK Government.

“We maintained, based on a court pronouncement, that the APC didn’t have a candidate for the governorship election in Bayelsa State, even as we wait for Supreme Court, as the final arbiter over the matter,” he added.

Alleging that the INEC and security agencies collaborated with criminals and armed men during the election, Aduwo said: “The governorship poll marked a dramatic step backwards, even when measured against the dismal standard set by the 2015 general election.

“Electoral officials, alongside the very security agencies charged with ensuring the credibility of the poll, reduced the Bayelsa election to a fraud-ridden farce, in collaboration with armed criminals.”

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