Groups Deny Calling For Cancellation Of Election In Kano State
The Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, CISLAC and the Kano Civil Society Elections Situation Room have distanced themselves from calls seeking the cancellation of the Kano State Gubernatorial Election.
Chairman TMG, Auwal Rafsanjani at a news conference in Kano state North-west Nigeria said the group would never interfere with the conduct of elections or seek to interfere with the Judicial processes leading up to a redress of grievances resulting in the elections.
He said; “For that, the TMG called on the public to disregard in totality the reports making rounds and using the names of credible organisations calling for the review of Governorship Elections in Kano.”
A coalition of INEC Accredited Domestic Election Observers, CIADEO, a few days ago urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to review and conduct a supplementary election in affected areas with over 270,000 cancelled votes during the March 18 Governorship election in Kano state.
Rafsanjani said the group which identified itself as Accredited INEC Elections Observers is fake, faceless and politically sponsored as such should be disregarded by the public, promising to take legal actions against them.
“We assure the public that we have never at any time issued such statements nor been a party to such conclusions.
“The spread of the fictitious and malicious group at a time when Nigeria is having its political space heated up is not only worrisome but also has the potential to further overheat the polity.
“As Champions of Democracy, we will not allow smear campaigners and people with politically motivated reasons drag credible Civil Society Organizations in Kano State and indeed in Nigeria at large into political wars with political parties,” Rafsanjani said.
According to him, TMG, CISLAC and the Kano Civil Society Forum have done incredible Work towards electoral reforms in Nigeria, since 1998, stressing that, TMG has Championed the Democratic path in Nigeria as the foremost elections Observation group with the widest membership across the Nation.
The Convener, Kano Civil Society Elections Situation Room, Ambassador Ibrahim Waiya, urged the Media to filter credible Civil Society Groups from faceless, politically motivated sponsored groups who hide under the names of credible organizations to concoct fake stories that suit their narratives.
The group said, it, however, noticed
the widespread electoral violence and other forms of electoral malfeasance that characterized the governorship elections particularly in Kano State and other parts of the country, thereby making recommendations for INEC and other stakeholders to improve elections in Nigeria.
The group also recommended that strengthened collaboration with the security agencies in Nigeria is critical towards ensuring electoral security, especially to protect voters from political thugs in future elections.
“Similarly, justice must be served and seen to be served on those who perpetrated electoral violence in the 2023 elections, not just in Kano but in all the flashpoints across the country, calling on the international community to sanction the offenders.
“Very importantly also, we have seen how overburdened INEC can be and call on the incoming 10th National Assembly to prioritize legislation to establish the electoral offenders tribunal/commission which would take away the burden from INEC and ensure adequate and timely prosecution of electoral offenders in Nigeria,” the group said.
It is also critical for the political parties to reposition the party system to improve internal democracy in their operations. A huge part of the problems of the 2023 elections stem from the lack of internal democracy in the major political parties in Nigeria.
The group further recommended that “all potential elections observers should pass through Anti-Corruption Agencies screening henceforth, to ensure that only prudent and credible organizations are accredited as observers in future elections.
“They should learn and strictly adhere to INEC guidelines on observers’ operations, to appreciate their limitations as observers, which is only to observe and make recommendations.”