- Accuses political parties of faking results
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Civil Society coalition has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of allegedly allocating unrealistic votes to President Muhammadu Buhari at its recent presidential primary election.
According to the presidential primary election result announced by the APC, President Buhari polled 14.8 million votes.
The coalition, which addressed a press conference in Abuja under the auspices of the Situation Room, urged the National Assembly to urgently transmit the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to President Buhari for his assent.
The CSOs said having followed carefully the conduct of party primaries in the country, it found the process far below democratic standards.
The Coordinator of the Situation Room, Mr. Clement Nwankwo, who read the position of the CSOs, said they were deeply concerned about the brazen disregard for democratic principles by most of the political parties.
“The outrageous numbers bandied by one of the major political parties as figures for electing its presidential candidate is very worrying. The exceedingly inflated number of millions of votes announced for the affirmation of their presidential candidate has no basis in facts or reality,” he said.
Nwankwo, who said the poor conduct of primaries cuts across all the political parties, expressed worry that women have been shortchanged in primary elections. “Women have been complaining about how the process undermined their prospects of competing on level grounds.
“There are allegation of intimidation and hostility against some female candidates. The fact that there is no progressive affirmative action for women in political parties is worrying.
“We followed closely the recently concluded primaries by political parties in Nigeria. Upon a review of the conduct of the candidate selection process of the various political parties in the country, we are very concerned that the process falls far below democratic standards.
“The Situation Room is concerned that political parties have failed to comply with the spirit and letter of electoral laws and the constitution, consequently also failing to strengthen the democratic space for inclusivity and participation by their members and citizens in choosing candidates for elections.
“The Situation Room is also deeply concerned about the brazen disregard of democratic principles by most of the political parties. Media reports and observation by CSOs across the country show that the political party primaries process was characterised by vote buying, intimidation, imposition of candidates and violence,” he stated.
Nwankwo further stated that most of the major parties conducted their primaries in ways that raise significant credibility questions, including the use of money.
He said their summation is that most of the party primaries were merely a sham.
THISDAY was not able to get APC’s response to the allegation by the civil society groups.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party could not be reached for his reaction as at last night. THISDAY sent a message to him but did not get a reply.