The Initiative for Rapid Development of Nigeria, IRD – Nigeria has described as unacceptable, the deployment of over 80% of Muslims as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the security agencies in the February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections in a secular state.
The President, IRD – Nigeria, Dr. Basil Nwolisa who made the observation in a report on the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections as put together by the group said that the development would never yield a transparent process in Nigeria.
While noting that out of over 150 INEC officials met in the line of duty across the nation on the election day, majority of them were mainly Muslims. He also said that “Religion and ethnicity played a serious role in that the high population of Muslims in the INEC, Police etc, tilted the manipulated election towards a Muslim/Muslim ticket.”
The IRD – Nigeria President further observed that the elections were generally manipulated, never free nor fair
arguing that in some States like Lagos, Rivers, Ebonyi , Akwa Ibom, Kogi , FCT among others, policemen were used to alter the results of the election by refusing to allow people with Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs access to drive through to their new polling booth after INEC tactically changed the location of the PU 48 hours to the election.
According to him, “INEC officials, adhoc staff tactically refused to send materials to polling booth till 12 noon and some places 3:30pm while the materials never arrived at all at many Christian communities in Adamawa, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe etc.
“Brazen voter intimidations and emasculation went on unabated in Rivers, Lagos, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Benue States etc. The BVAS machines were bypassed in the majority of Northern States especially Kano, Katsina, Jigawa , Borno so that minors between 5 years and 15 years voted massively as part of the orchestrated agenda for corrupt election results.
“There was no taking into consideration of the death of over 50% of those on the voters registration lists. Religion and ethnicity played a serious role in that the high population of Muslims in the INEC, Police, etc tilted the manipulated election towards a Muslim/Muslim ticket.
“NIGERIA is a secular state with majority population of Christians and Muslims and therefore the use of over 80% Muslim officials is therefore unacceptable and will never yield a transparent process in Nigeria.”
Nwolisa, however, advised that “future appointment of electoral officers should exclude Nigerian Professors who have been grossly impoverished by the system and therefore, just like the proverbial Esau, are likely to sell their birthright with a pot of porridge.”
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