Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
A non-governmental organisation (NGO) under the auspices of Democracy Vanguard of Nigerians in Diaspora (DVND) has written to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, over the 2019 presidential election, claiming that the result was not a reflection of the will of Nigerians.
The group in the letter signed by its president, Timothy Sule, delivered to the ambassador and made available to newsmen, argued that events prior and during the elections clearly contradicted the free and fair promises made by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to the group, the election was marred by violence and intimidation by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), emphasising: “There was clear voter suppression in the southern part of Nigeria (opposition strongholds); some northern states especially Kano witnessed flagrant voter inflation to meet up with the minimum 25 per cent constitutional requirement.
“Influential opposition leaders were randomly and recklessly arrested and incarcerated on trumped-up charges with the sole aim of keeping them out of circulation. The election proper was everything but free, transparent, credible and fair,” the group said.
According to the letter, incidences recorded had clear effect on the electoral process across the country, explaining: “The aftermath of the exercise was predictable and expectedly the opposition was rigged out against the clear wishes and aspirations of the majority of Nigerians.
“We are drawing your kind attention to these and many more that time and space will not permit us to enumerate in this letter for you to take drastic steps with a view to arresting the trends through thorough investigation and punishing those found culpable in all of the atrocities,” the group insisted.
While concluding the letter, it demanded the following: “That you kindly use your good offices to help save Nigeria’s democracy from disintegration manipulation and eventual annihilation. That you carry out a comprehensive independent assessment and investigation of the entire electioneering process including the pre and post-election anti-democratic behaviour of some state actors and politicians with a view to sanctioning those found guilty.
“That these culpable individuals and their families should be summarily banned from entering the United States of America. “That the National Chairman of the governing APC political party, Mr. Adams Aliu Oshiomhole should be meticulously investigated and banned with his families from entering in the United States and their visa’s revoked, over his anti-democratic utterances, inciting statements against the opposition parties as well as corruption allegations.
“That all political prisoners and all those detained against competent and lawful court orders should immediately be released. This includes but not limited to the leader of the Shiites movement, El-Zakzaky and Sambo Dasuki etc.
“That the judiciary, the last hope of the ordinary Nigerian should henceforth be devoid of executive intimidation, harassment and interference especially as the judges currently review election petition matters and other court matters.
“That Leah Sharibu should immediately be rescued and reconciled with her dear family.
“That Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, should be investigated over his threats and various divisive comments prior, during and after the 2019 general elections.
“That the dire security situations, especially kidnapping, raping and killing of innocent’s citizens should be addressed with all seriousness.
“That any plans, proposals, intentions for the Islamisation of the country should be buried because Nigeria is a secular state under God.
“Apart from the charade called election and democracy in Nigeria, the level of insecurity in the country has taken a dangerous and frightening dimension. There are incessant abductions of citizens for ransom by the Fulani herdsmen. Those who are unable to pay are summarily executed. Banditry across the country is on the increase,” the group lamented.