A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Concerned Nigerians, CN, at the weekend, called on the United States of America, USA, and the United Kingdom, UK, to place visa ban on corrupt Residential Electoral Commissioners, RECs, if found wanton during the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections coming up on November 16, 2019.
This was stated by the Convener, CN, and human rights activist, Prince Deji Adeyanju, at the weekend in an interview with newsmen, while reacting to the negative indications ahead of the elections.
According to Adeyanju the visa ban would serve as deterrent to other RECs who would allow themselves to be manipulated by politicians in other upcoming elections in some states of the country, especially in 2020.
He said: “We intend to submit a letter for urgent appeal to United States Embassy, British High Commission, drawing their attention to the dangers in those states.
“If the Residential Electoral Commissioners, RECs, compromise they should place them on visa ban.
“Those are the steps we are taking and we have taken certain steps and we are optimistic that we going to be able to sustain enough pressure to ensure that the electoral umpire do the right thing.”
He also expressed optimism that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will do the right thing according to the Electoral Act, which will be nothing less than free, fair and credible elections conducted and accepted by all Nigerians including the international community.
“We are very optimistic that INEC should do the right thing, but we are not sure whether INEC will do the right thing. We have placed INEC under an obligation to perform and do what is right, to discharge their duties judiciously.
“We are optimistic that if the elections are free and credible it will strengthen the democratic processes in the country.”
He also urged the voters not to be cajoled and lured into selling of their votes at the own detriment, hence the onus is on them to vote whom they think is capable to lift them out of the precarious situation they find themselves in terms of soci-economic development.
“The message to Bayelsans and Kogites is that the choices they make next week will affect their lives for the next four years and they should be wise, don’t sell your vote, and should not kill anyone because of an election”, he added.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that they will meet with the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, over the conduct of the Police personnel to be deployed to the two states before, during and after the elections including prevention of vote-buying.
“The onus is on everybody and the partners in ensuring that we have free and credible polls.
“Everybody has his role to play and that is why we will be going to the Police and the IGP to impress it upon his officers and conduct the elections, and the Police should do its best that they prevent vote-buying.
“INEC should also do its best to prevent vote-buying, the observers have a role including the political parties have a role to play”, he said.