Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja

A non-governmental organisation, the New Initiative for Credible Leadership, has demanded outright cancellation of Saturday’s re-run election in Rivers state saying it falls short of all known local and international standards of acceptable elections and should have been called off when violence spiked in the hours preceding it.

In a letter to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Aniedi Ikoiwak, the group said it will work with the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET), Africa Arise for Change Network, Nigerians United Against Terrorism, the Arewa Youth Integrity Forum and other NGOs that monitored the election to occupy the Abuja headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should it go ahead to validate the controversial polls.

The letter by the New Initiative for Credible Leadership’s Rev Steven Onwu said the group of NGOs was asking that President Muhammadu Buhari should declare a state of emergency if the actors in Rivers state continue to disrespect the sanctity of human lives and not ready to give democracy a chance.

It warned the Resident Electoral Commissioner that the NGOs “are not ruling out the option of demanding that you (Ikoiwak) stand trial if you go ahead to act in ways that confirm you are complicit in the criminal conduct of the fraud that is now being passed off as an election.”

While arguing that no right thinking person will attempt to ascribe the name of election to what took place in Eleme, Gokana, Khana, Adoni, Tai and Bonny Local Government Areas, the group contended that Ikoiwak has “helped INEC to break its own record by conducting what is now the worst election in Nigeria.

“This posture of INEC in Rivers state greatly encouraged political actors to display lack of respect for the sanctity of human lives to the extent that Nigerians are now greatly worried that they have been returned to the barbaric and Hobbesian state of nature for the interest of very few Nigerians,” It noted.

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