Sunday, May 8, 2011

INEC rigged Kaduna governorship election

INEC, security agencies rigged Kaduna governorship election’ - The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Kaduna chapter chairman alleges that the governorship election in the state was rigged.

Before the election on April 28, some opposition parties called for the postponement of the election because of the curfew. Was the ACN part of them?

Whether postponement or not, what we said was that the curfew must be lifted. There is no way you can conduct election when there is curfew; when people are still under siege. How do you expect people to come out and vote under such condition? You can interpret it to mean postponement even if it means indefinitely. Because there is no way you can conduct election under a curfew. What we are saying is that election conducted under a curfew cannot be transparent, free and fair. These are some of the reasons that necessitated our rejection of that previous exercise.

Don’t you think postponing the election would have contravened the Electoral Act?

Then why didn’t the government lift the curfew as well? If INEC knew they were limited by the Electoral Act, the government should have lifted the curfew. Otherwise, we don’t bother conducting this election at any given time. What we said was to lift the curfew and conduct the election. A situation where a large number of people would be disenfranchised because of the curfew is not acceptable. I cannot accept the result because of the process and INEC and government had a choice to put things in order. The choice was simple; lift the curfew and conduct the election.

Was there not enough security provided by government during the election?

The security was meant to harass the eligible voters of Kaduna State. The security was meant to provide cover for the PDP rigging machinery. It was not meant to protect the voters, rather, it was used to rig elections by PDP. It was biased towards the PDP. That was a dubious process.

Do you think ACN would have performed better had the curfew been relaxed?

Whether ACN performed better or not, it is all about a credible process; its for the people to be free to come out and cast their votes. What we are saying is for the right thing to be done. Election is not about winning; it is all about a credible process; it is about helping the people to arrive at what they really want; it is about sustaining our democracy. Whoever knows what democracy means, it’s not about winning election. So if we lose in a free and fair process, so be it. So we cannot be hoodwinked or deceived into the fraud called election and they expect me to go and congratulate the supposed winner. That cannot happen.

Many people have said the election was transparent going by the way both the CPC and PDP won in their strong bases.

It was not transparent. Look at the voting pattern; you will see how people voted. I did not look at it from the point of predominantly PDP south or CPC north. Because from 1999 till date, zones one and two have never voted for PDP; it is only the south that had always voted for the PDP.They were allowed to do their things in the south without molestation. In the south, they were allowed to move around during the election without any molestation, but in zone one and two, we were restricted and intimidated. Most of them in the north were harassed not to cast their vote. That was what accounted for the low voter turnout during the election in the northern part.

So what is your next action?

We are going to do everything legal and lawful to reject this purported election. We will do everything possible to resist this imposition of leaders on us. Everything legal is not limited to going to court. We have an option that is constitutional; we can resist unwanted leaders through constitutional means and that’s exactly what we are going to do.

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