By Deshi Munkuwe
An Abuja based anti-corruption NGO, Almushahid Initiative for Transparency and Accountability (AITA) has condemned the systematic and constant attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), calling on the federal government, security agencies and other stakeholders to prevent further occurrence and punish perpetrators.
Recently, there were reports of simultaneous attacks on the local government offices of INEC in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and Ede, Osun State. Recent reports also showed over 50 attacks on INEC offices in several states in the last few months.
In a press release signed by its National President, Ambassador Aminu A. Majidadi and made available to Capitalwatch Media, AITA expressed it dismay over the unfortunate repeated burning of the INEC facilities that are no doubt threats to the 2023 general elections.
According to AITA, the increasing attacks can no doubt place INEC under siege if not urgently addressed. These criminal acts on INEC facilities can also undermine the public trust on the electoral processes which certainly would affect the credibility and success of the 2023 general election.
“AITA as an anti-corruption NGO, we are saddened with the ugly incidents of attacks on INEC facilities aimed at sabotaging the processes to conducting credible elections as another form of corruption where the constitutional and democratic means of letting the masses to duly participate in electing their leaders is tempered with.” It stated.
The anti-corruption NGO urged the Federal Government to back its promise to conduct free and credible election in 2023 by protecting INEC staff, facilities and materials from destruction. Also, that the Government must also fish out the perpetrators of these arson and bring them to justice as a punishment and a deterrent.
“It is on this regard that we urge the federal government of Nigeria, security agencies and other stakeholder to as matter of urgency ensure that these acts are stopped and all those involved in perpetrating the unfortunate acts are punished regardless of their positions”.
In conclusion, AITA vowed to set an eagle eye to ensure that proper investigations are conducted and no perpetrator of these acts jumped punishment. According to According to AITA, it is only by that that those who are intending to do such acts or similar that would learn lessons and shy away from doing that. Here, “we condemn this arson in the strongest term possible because of the serious danger and threat it poses to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections next year”.