Kogi/Bayelsa polls: Impose travel ban on INEC officials, police, PDP tells UN, AU, others

• Wants elections cancelled

After a review of the gubernatorial elections conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa States, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the international community to impose sanctions including the travel ban on the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police command.

The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, made the call at a press conference addressed at the end of the meeting of PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT) in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the sanctions were necessary because of the roles they played during the elections.

He said: “The PDP, standing with millions of Nigerians also holds that the INEC and the Police high command must be made answer charges of electoral fraud and crime against humanity at the appropriate quarters.

“The PDP, therefore, calls on the international community as well as international organizations including, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union (AU), ECOWAS to immediately impose sanctions, including travel bans, on the INEC and the Police high commands for abusing their offices and allegedly aiding or allowing acts that led to electoral fraud and violence in the elections.”

The party boss also called for the cancellation of the elections in both states given the violence, brigandage and deaths accompanying them.

Reading from a prepared text, Secondus noted that all was not well with the nation as according to him, a wave of terror was threatening our democracy; the nation’s constitutional order, national cohesion and safety of citizens.

He added: “As the world witnessed, the official conspiracies, bloodletting and mindless killing of innocent citizens by agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in connivance with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to aid the forceful seizure of power in the November 16th Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections, clearly show that our democracy is under severe attack.

“In an apparent organized attack, government-controlled Police and military, working for the APC, deployed dangerous assault weapons, including helicopters to coordinate the violent invasion of polling units with maximum force; shooting, killing and maiming unarmed civilians, who were called out by the government to perform their civic responsibilities at the elections.

“The world watched with horror as killer security agents brutalized voters and carted away ballot boxes to government facilities were results were written in favour of the APC and handed to a heavily compromised INEC, which has become part of the crime, to announce.

“From the report reaching our party, no fewer than 30 innocent compatriots were killed and many more injured in this organized crime against humanity by the APC, the Police and INEC.

“The only crime of the citizens was their expressed determination to vote for the candidates of their choice as governors of Kogi and Bayelsa States as clearly manifested in the results from the polling centres before the forceful seizure of the electoral processes.

“Most distressing is the gruesome incineration of one of our party’s woman leaders in Kogi State, Mrs Acheju Abuh, in her home by APC thugs, a crime that was abetted by unscrupulous security agents.

“Our party holds that this electoral fraud and crime against humanity, including established culpable homicide committed by the APC, security agents and INEC cannot be allowed to pass.

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“The leadership of our great party has thoroughly reviewed incontrovertible pieces of documentary of evidence including video clips, graphic pictures, witness testimonies, manipulated results sheets, proofs of compromising of INEC officials and other hard facts to establish the culpability of the Police and INEC in the electoral fraud as well as the unforgivable culpable homicide and crime against humanity in the elections.

“The PDP also restates that we have the details of the roles played by the Police high command and the INEC as well as other security and INEC officials in this election. Those details will be made public at the appropriate forum and time.

“It is instructive to call the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the fact that since the election, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Federal Government has failed to take any concrete steps to investigate the issues and bring culprits to book. The Police and INEC had also failed to take any decisive action to arrest and investigate their officers accused of involvement in various crimes in the elections.

“We have also noted frantic efforts by the police hierarchy to explain away the crimes and sweep the killings under the carpet.

“These only validate apprehension that the invasion of polling unit, killings and alteration of results were part of the premeditated power-grabbing designs of the APC.

“The PDP states without equivocation that invasion of polling units and killing of voters to manipulate electoral results cannot be allowed in our democratic space. If the APC’s political brigandage that happened in Kogi and Bayelsa State is allowed to stand, such would be extended to other elections including the 2023 general elections and that would be a death knell to our democracy.

“It is, therefore, a sacred duty we all owe our nation to pursue redress for this crime within the ambits of our national and international laws.

“In this regard, the PDP calls for the outright cancellation of the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States as they are products of bloodshed and do not reflect the true wishes and aspiration of the people of the states.

“We also demand the immediate cancellation of the Kogi West Senatorial election. This is the biggest fraud of the century.”

Secondus noted that it was the primary duty of INEC and the Police to ensure a free, fair and credible election.

But he said: “This they observed in the breach as even reported by agents, voters, stakeholders and independent observers in the elections. They must, therefore, be made to face the consequences to serve as a deterrent to others.

“The leadership of the PDP once more commends the people of Kogi and Bayelsa States for their resilience and resistance against oppressive forces during the election. Such patriotism will never be in vain.”

The PDP leadership condoled with the families of those who were murdered during the election, saying: “Indeed, their death can never be in vain as the mandate for which they were killed will be surely retrieved.

“Moreover, somebody someday will bear the full sentence of guilt at the appropriate quarters, be it within the ambit of our domestic laws or those of the international laws.”

Secondus called on all members of the PDP to remain strong and undeterred “as we collective exert ourselves in the defence of our nation’s democracy.“

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