The Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, yesterday accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of colluding with the All Progressives Congress, APC, to executive a technical and scientific rigging of all the elections in Lagos State, as it did in most states where INEC awarded it victory.
The party’s National Chairman, Dr. Frederick Fasheun, speaking to newsmen in Lagos, said that the ruling party in Lagos, APC, used the five elections, held on March 28 and April 11, to demonstrate its lack of respect for democracy and democratic principles stressing that the party is simply not interested in free, fair and credible elections.
He said that APC subscribes to do-or-die politics and shows no tendency towards respecting the wishes of the people as expressed through the ballot box. In the build-up to and during the process of this election, APC perpetrated all sorts of illegalities.
“APC thugs wrecked violence in several places before and after the elections. Area boys and thugs, armed with canes and weapons, unleashed violence against voters on queue. We condemn this affront on the constitutionally-guaranteed right of Nigerians to freedom of association. And we demand that the police and other security agencies should immediately arrest and bring these APC thugs to face the law.
“INEC compromised with APC from the polling booths, through the collation centres at the ward, local government and state levels. In many places, INEC representatives and materials arrived late at their duty posts. And we have cases where INEC ad hoc and permanent staffers colluded with APC to falsify results.
“Severally, counting was illegally delayed and deferred from the polling centres to council headquarters and police stations, to the exclusion of opposing parties’ agents, with the results doctored to suit the highest bidder.
“Card-carrying APC members showed up as INEC staff. One INEC staffer, who had been responsible for withholding the PVCs of non-indigenes, showed up to conduct the elections, and of course she compromised with APC.
“In one instance, as collation went on at the Alimosho Centre on March 28, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State drove into the place in the thick of night. This was in clear violation of electoral rules and guidelines. The governor clearly had no business being in a collation centre. Aregbesola’s presence at the Alimosho collation centre, where he met with INEC officials is suspicious, as the result in that place was surprisingly announced in favour of APC, contrary to figures from the field.
“At the end of the day, figures that were returned at the polling booths and collated at ward and local government collation centres were different from those that finally surfaced at the Birrel Avenue headquarters of INEC Lagos State.”
Speaking on party cross carpeting of politicians, he said that events of the recent past in the political landscape of Nigeria have shown in no unmistakable terms that Nigerian politics is bereft of ideology and integrity.
He said that it would be recalled that prior to the elections, an “Animal Farm” spectacle began to play out in the country’s political scene. The ideological lines suddenly collapsed and disappeared, and politicians, behaving in the manner of harassed insects, scrambled across party divides in a most unfortunate fashion.
“The parties quickly became a hobnobbing of strange bed fellow. Politicians embraced parties they used to vilify and abuse in the past. APC folks joined PDP, and PDP jumped into APC. It was a most Machiavellian and mercantile moment in Nigeria’s political history.
“It demonstrated in no small way that our politicians lacked any ideological anchor, which was why they found it convenient to dance to all winds of doctrine and ideology. They were neither Rightist nor Leftist, neither Progressives nor Conservatives, neither Communists nor Socialists, neither Democrats nor Labourites.”