Bayelsa/Kogi violence: Forum indicts politicians, absolves INEC
The Forum of Chairmen of Nigerian Political Parties has indicted security agents and politicians over the violence witnessed during the just concluded Bayelsa/Kogi states governorship elections.
This is even as it called for a quick conclusion of the Electoral Act Amendment to allow for electronic accreditation and transmission of results from the polling unit to a central database.
The forum gave its position while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday after a review of the conduct of the elections in the two states.
The event had chairmen of 60 political parties in attendance including Hon. Perry Opara, National Unity Party (NUP), Alhaji Adamu Takai (Advanced Congress of Democrats) and the Chairman of the Action Alliance (AA), Barr. Kenneth Udeze.
Udeze who spoke on behalf of the forum noted that after the review of the elections, the forum came to the categorical conclusion that the election was a serious dent on the progress made so far in enshrining free and fair elections.
“The failure of the elections was not caused by administrative lapses or inefficiency of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Udeze decried that despite the thousands of security personnel deployed to Kogi and Bayelsa for the elections, it can be stated that thugs had a field day particularly in Kogi State.
He frowned at the situation were in spite of all the violence by gun wielding thugs recorded and filmed by residents, there has been no arrest by the Police so far.
“The Collation Centres were made inaccessible to duly accredited observers and agents of other political parties except those that were allowed by the thugs; while over 35,000 policemen watched helplessly and haplessly.”
“The Inspector General of Police still owes Nigerians a lot of explanation on why the 35, 000 policemen in Kogi were helpless and could not stop these thugs,” he said.
The Forum urged the Federal Government to set up an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the over running of 35, 000 policemen by a motley crowd of political thugs.
In the same vein, the Forum noted that “the blanket blame on INEC for the failure of elections is inapplicable in this situation as Commission discharged their duties.
The Forum further noted that Nigerian politicians seem not to have learnt any lessons from the happenings of 1983 which led to the collapse of the 2nd Republic in 1984.
“It is clear to us that Nigerian politicians seem not to have learnt anything, in fact, Nigeria politicians we have not learnt anything from our history. The desperate quest to compromise institutions of state must be condemned”, the forum stated.