Conference of United Political Parties (CUPP) has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, to move swiftly to address electoral anomalies witnessed in Rivers State on Saturday.
In a statement issued by Barr. Chukwudi Ezeobika, Chairman Media Committee, CUPP said the non-use of presidential ballot papers by INEC in Rumuonhwa polling unit and many other polling units in Rivers State during yesterday’s election is shocking and deeply worrisome.
Ezeobika said the claims made by the INEC adhoc staff that they forgot the presidential ballot papers and their decision to only proceed with the National Assembly elections in Rivers State remained reprehensible.
“It is indeed sad and unfortunate that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), through its agents deployed for yesterday’s elections in most parts of Rivers State, could arrogate to themselves such unfounded powers and erroneously proceeded in error to conduct elections in Rivers State without presidential ballot papers and against the wishes of majority of Nigerians in Rivers State.
“These actions pose a grave threat to the ongoing elections and which could undermine the entire electoral process,” he said.
The Coalition called on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, to “immediately carry out a thorough investigation into this dereliction of duty by agents and staff of the commission in Rivers State and redeem the image and confidence so far achieved by the Commission.
The Coalition also called on the INEC Chairman to, without further delays, ensure that elections are conducted in every polling unit in Nigeria where the Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) machine failed to function in order not to disenfranchise Nigerians from performing their civic responsibilities to exercise their franchise.
“The Commission must ensure that the confidence built over this short period of time is not eroded or whittled down in any way through actions and or inactions of its staff or agents deployed for elections at this critical moment in the electoral process.”
CUPP called on the security agencies, especially the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, to swiftly identify, arrest and prosecute all persons who made away with INEC BIVAS machines as well as election materials and carried out attacks on INEC staff and security personnel deployed during yesterday’s elections.