Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it will not hesitate to cancel elections and declare them inconclusive if politicians do not refrain from activities that promote violence, threats of violence, disruptions by way of violence, intimidation and bribery of poll officials and voters.
In his keynote address as lead speaker at a civil society / stakeholders interaction organised by the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group, ISDMG, in Abuja yesterday, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, represented by Oluwole Osaze –Uzzi, Director, Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and CSO Liaison in INEC, defined an inconclusive election as that which occurs when after polls; no candidate meets the condition precedent for the declaration of a winner of the election
He said statutory provisions makes inconclusive elections imperative especially in the face of natural disaster or other emergency; violence, threats or breakdown of law and order and over voting, that is, where votes exceed the number of registered voters.
The INEC boss said the commission is already collaborating with security agencies to ensure more peaceful elections for Edo and Ondo States and to avoid any case of inconclusive elections.
The electoral body, however, foreclosed any possibility of totally avoiding cases of inconclusive elections, insisting there is no alternative to declaring an election inconclusive.
“There is, however, no alternative to declaring an election inconclusive as long as the circumstances that bring about inconclusive elections are not taken care of and politicians and their supporters keep indulging in practices that breeds violence, threats of violence and violent disruption of electoral processes.
“Doing otherwise will amount to a breach of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the fundamentals of our democratic ethos. It will also be tantamount to encouraging or rewarding violence and malpractices. It could mean returning people as winners who have not scored the majority of lawful votes at the elections”, he said.
Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, while fielding questions from journalists, said rather than INEC declaring the wrong people winners by ignoring electoral malpractices, the commission will continue to declare any elections marred with irregularities inconclusive and will only declare a winner after a re-run election conducted in an atmosphere devoid of all the variables that prevent free and fair elections and in line with statutory provisions.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, a member of the civil society group, who also spoke from an independent observer’s perspective. said the new catch phrase, ‘inconclusive elections’, has become a severe headache for politicians since it has become increasingly difficult for them and their parties to have conclusive election in the fraudulent manner they got it in 1999, 2003 and 2007.
The cross section of the civil society group at the interactive session commended the INEC boss for the strong will to declare elections inconclusive rather than declare wrong people winners.

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