Fred Itua, Abuja
The National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ralphs Okey Nwosu, has expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the 2019 general elections and the recent governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He complained that their outcomes fell short of public expectation. He is also accusing the Electoral Commission of complicity with the leading political parties and incumbents to deprive smaller parties of fair representation.
Nwosu spoke on Wednesday at a meeting of members the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) with INEC officials, who were on a mandatory verification exercise at the ADC national secretariat in Abuja.
The ADC Chairman, saying he was angry with conduct of the recent elections, called on INEC leadership to “search their conscience” on whether the Commission has delivered on its mandate to the expectation and satisfaction of voters
He pointed out that INEC “is one of the well-funded agencies in Nigeria. The government is usually well supported by the National Assembly to give priority to INEC’s financial and other needs. In addition, foreign governments and NGOs support the body with election management protocols, capacity building and human development.
“All these are to ensure best outcome for INEC’s works. But rather than good outcomes, I want the men and women running INEC to search their conscience. Unfortunately, the entire Nigerian democratic ecosystem looks more like a criminal enterprise.”
The ADC boss argued that in a more reliable election outcome, his party, which he claimed was one of the most popular political party platforms in Nigeria, should have “produced a minimum of three governors, 12 senators and 72 House of Representatives members, and 178 members of Houses of Assembly of various states.”
“Rather than this scenario, the current election conduct system aided the parties in power, cash-and-carry politicians and war lords, and the incumbent governments to rub our candidates and our model party. But we remain undaunted.
“Our House of Representatives members and their state assembly counterparts remain the authentic voice of Nigerians in representing their constituencies and our great party. They will continue to project the alternative voice without fear. Nigerians know that they are a part of the few that truly are deserving of their mandates,” he said.
Nwosu reminded his visitors that the outcome of recent elections in the country has created a serious backlash.
“I wish to put it clearly, our country Nigeria is in great danger. The systems are corrupted and the country is hemorrhaging. The quality of leadership is, to say the least poor; institutions have become compromised and undermined. State agencies are in ruins and infrastructures are in a complete decadent state,” he complained to the Commission.
“I hate to and will not classify security. Unemployment is at the highest, and the country has become the poverty capital of the world under these imposed leadership of APC at the centre and some other parties in the states.
“The condition of our country is troubling. If the systems and leadership in place have reduced our country and sunk its current population of 200 million so low, I doubt if we shall have a country in 20 years when the population of the country becomes 400 million. It will cause a global rupture.
Responding, ADC presidential candidate in the 2019 poll and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadia Mailafia, lamented the impunity and killings that have dogged the election process.
He charged the Electoral Commission and its chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, whom he said was a classmate at university, to ensure a clean democratic process for the country.
The INEC verification team led by an Assistant Director in the Commission, Nkechi Abu, responded to the complaints by assuring the party delegates that their concerns will be looked into and addressed by INEC leadership.