Election Reform Expert Group has lamented rising incidents of blackmail and intimidation of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by desperate politicians.
The group also stated that the ugly development is as a serious distraction to the officials of the electoral umpire in the discharge of their duties.
In a statement signed jointly by members of the coalition, Dr. Chima Amadi, of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Ezenwa Nwagwu of the Partners for Electoral Reforms and Abdul Mahmud, President, Public Interest Lawyers League, they condemned any act by politicians capable of distorting the process of ensuring election devoid of violence and threat to peace.
Other signatories to the statement are Jaye Gakia, Coordinator, Protest to Power; Okechukwu Nwanguma for Network of Police Reforms in Nigeria; Faith Nwadishi
Executive Director, Centre for Gender and Development Initiative and Member, EITI Board and Emeka J. Ononamadu, Executive Director, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights.
The coalition said one of such blackmail is the current plot to create a nexus between the INEC Chairman and a serving governor from whom the former worked with in different capacities at an earlier national service, and now expects him to “take instructions” from the governor.
The group lamented alleged that these political actors have turned an ordinary action of political recruitment into a dance of the absurd; unleashing terror, mayhem and inflicting pains, sorrow and death on the electorates and electoral umpires.
It said the free flow of blood in the Rivers re-run elections; the brutality in the creeks of Bayelsa before that; the rape of decency in the Imo re-run elections; the continued torching of INEC facilities/property and physical harassment of her staff are just a few of the machinations of political actors across the spectrum.

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