The International College of Democracy and Human Rights Scholars (Inter-College-DRS), has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of scheming to manipulate the Presidential segment of the 2023 General Elections.
Inter-College-DRS comprises of over 100 erudite academics, international democracy and rights campaigners, religious leaders, lawyers and activists.
The group, in a statement in Enugu on Thursday, July 28, 2022, signed by Prof. Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokolo, High Chief Prof Justice Chidi, Dr. Patrick Mbum, Emeka Umeagbalasi, Rev Dr Ahaz Taye, Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah, Justus Ijeoma Esquire, Engineer Ikenwoke Nwandu, Chidimma Udegbunam Esquire, described INEC as an anti-democratic institution, said they have identified 35 systemic poll rigging plots.
The plots, according to the group, include the Commission disenfranchising millions of citizens by shutting down its online voter’s registration portal since July 31, 2022; non-provision of adequate registration machines and personnel and rushing to end voters’ registration 180 days to 2023 elections as against 90 days as prescribed by the Electoral Act among others.
The statement partly reads: “It saddens our hearts that INEC has become one of such anti- democratic institutions and is bent on thickening its plots to calamitously manipulate the Presidential segment of the 2023 General Elections. As it stands, the number of systemic poll rigging plots has independently been identified to have risen to 35. INEC has showcased the above by massively disenfranchising millions of Nigerian citizens of voting age on the grounds of their religion and ethnicity. These are statistically evidenced by shutdown since 30th of May 2022 of the Commission’s online voters’ registration portal and its deliberate refusal to provide adequate registration machines and personnel across board throughout the country’s registration centers-without discrimination as to religion, ethnicity, gender and class. Part of the Commission’s 35 poll rigging plots is its rush to end Voters’ Registration on 31st July 2022; 180 days to 2023 General Elections as against the 90 days statutorily stipulated by the amended Electoral Act of 2022.”
The group therefore called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) not to take for granted the Jihadist Taliban Revolution and takeover of Government Seat of Power in Afghanistan several months ago, as this may well be what the Nigerian government is planning in order to destabilize the democratic process and Islamize the country.
“On the other hand, Nigeria’s democratic forces, including NLC and ASUU are also called upon not to take for granted the imminence of what happened in the failed Republic of Afghanistan several months ago (Jihadist Taliban Revolution and takeover of Government Seat of Power). This may most likely be in the anti- democratic plots of the present Nigerian anti-democratic forces and promoters of State Jihadism as a “Plan B” to truncate the country’s democratic process and its impending 2023 ‘Ballot Revolution’ and centrally Islamize Nigeria,” the group added.