*warned against not holding poll in 7 LGAs of Imo State:
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Thursday, tasked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood to order the immediate arrests, name, shame, prosecute and jail their staff over the dumping of a bag filled with thousands of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in a forest in Anambra State.
Relatedly, HURIWA has asked the Chief of Defence staff General Lucky Irabor to make sure that there is election in all the local government areas of Imo State just as the Rights group has called on the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya to deploy sufficient armed troops to Okigwe, Onuimo and Ideato North Local Council areas to provide adequate security to lives and property. The Rights group said a Senior Director in INEC alerted it that there is a plot not to hold election in 7 out of the 21 local government area councils of Imo State due to unprecedented attacks by unidentified persons.
HURIWA said it will be the greatest crime against humanity should government and heads of military and security institutions continue to look away whilst well armed, motivated non state actors keep going about freely in parts of Imo State, killing, maiming and destroying choice property at will just as HURIWA said the Sovereignty of Nigeria is imperiled should President Muhammadu Buhari abd his security agencies continue to tolerate these massive killings in Imo State. HURIWA is calling on the people of Imo State to stand up and procure lawful weapons and mobilise their members to protect themselves from being wiped off the World’s map by unidentified armed non state actors who are suspected to have been set up by some government officials in Imo State.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, demanded swift action by security agencies to investigate the incident and arrest INEC staff and other saboteurs who did this unthinkable and unspeakable electoral heist of disenfranchising millions of Igbos.
A hunter reportedly discovered a bag containing thousands of PVCs some four days to the presidential and National Assembly Elections February 25, 2023.
The hunter stumbled on the bag during a hunting exercise on Tuesday in a forest in Akamili, Umudim, a community in the Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra.
He took the PVCs to the premises of a local radio station and the officials of the radio station took the PVCs to the Nnewi North council headquarters but the council rejected it. The PVCs were then taken to the traditional ruler of the community and owners have since begun picking it up.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The discovery of thousands of PVCs belonging to Igbos in Nnewi at a forest is anti-democratic, despicable and condemnable. The architects of this kind of sabotage against the people of the South-East must be uncovered.
“Nigerians have begun to see some of the reasons for the so-called low voter turnout in the South-East whose total registered voters have been listed by INEC as 10.90 million.
“HURIWA demands action to arrest the INEC staff who did this unthinkable and unspeakable electoral heist of disenfranchising millions of Igbos and sidelining them in the critical national action of voting Nigeria’s next leader. Also, HURIWA encourages people of the geopolitical zone and those from the five other zones in Nigeria to come out en masse and use their PVCs which is their weapon to elect responsible leaders.”
HURIWA is also tasking the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide level playing fields and not to execute a hatchet job to favour the political interest of Muslim North as is being speculated in many quarters but to let there be free, fair peaceful poll so the best candidate who emerges on Saturday as the next President would be the authentic person with the popular mandate of the people. HURIWA reminded INEC that in 2015 and 2019 there was groundswell of convictions and beliefs by millions of Nigerians that the popular mandate of the people was stolen and awarded to the incumbent and the outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari by INEC.
February 23, 2023
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.