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Ahead of the March 18th governorship polls in Nigeria, an organization Exalt Nigeria that works to increase mass participation in electoral processes for good governance has written an open heart appeal to Nigerians to rise above ethnic, religious, and other secondary tendencies, and participate in the democratic process.
The group which has long backed the Labor Party, charged Nigerians especially the women to hold politicians accountable for their actions and promises and further urged politicians to call their supporters to order and de-escalate rising tension and election-related violence in several states across the country.
Exalt Nigeria, in a statement issued by the group on international women’s day (IWD), the Founder, Dr. Idu Nwapa Nwadiaro expressed worry over the rising use of violence, hate speech, tribal, and ethnic profiling, as well as the widespread circulation of fake news laced with inciting comments.
The organization observed that electoral violence not only undermines democracy but also perpetuates a culture of societal unrest and the exclusion of citizens from participating in governance processes.
The statement reads in part: “ As we ‘celebrate’ International Women’s Day today, and watch violence escalate in Lagos today as Akere spare parts market gets burnt down by a mad fringe, yes, fringe of miscreants and not the good people of Lagos, I enjoin us, for the future of our children and our country, to: GO Camping, at Your polling unit, take a road trip, to your collation center, stick it out, till results are confirmed, uploaded and reflected on irev.
“ It seems that while we were working to stop vote buying and to follow the electoral laws set out by INEC, INEC was being compromised internally and circumventing their own laws.”
“ How do you explain the senate and house of representative modules uploading, but the president failing to upload, conveniently with enough time to allow all the manipulated manual results we are seeing on iRev, before magically being fixed, with no attempt to even conceal the rigging.
“ This amazing election process that we all bought into, and were assured over and over would be followed, has been bastardized, and consequently has stolen the mandate of Nigerians, tantamount to enslaving us to an Emperor Select, not a President Elect. This mandate MUST be given back to the people who are resolute and NOT going anywhere.
The group affirmed that the peace of Nigerians is non-negotiable and urged all relevant security agencies such as the Police, and the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, amongst others, to closely monitor the ongoing electoral process and hold all purveyors of violence and political actors accountable for their actions to deter others.
“ No matter what whomever is telling you, on March 18, come out and vote. No PVC? Come out to protect the vote. Na all of us go folo suffa or enjoy together. Only the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. One million thugs CANNOT intimidate twenty-five plus million reported voters and one hundred million civic minded citizens.
“ As you come out, bring two or three who did not vote last time with you. If you are being threatened, go with your crew of ten or twenty. Take your mat, pillow, and your overnight needs.
“ Do not leave and do not allow that form ec8 result sheet to leave the polling unit till the results are uploaded and confirmed on irev. Send out timed, dated, pictorial and video evidence of voting and results. This is your power. Let the person chosen by the people win, no matter what party they belong to.” She said.