From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
A civil society group, Centre for Transparency and Social Justice, CTSJ, has alleged that Benue rerun election scheduled to hold on Saturday 23rd March, 2019 would be an academic exercise and a waste of time by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Executive Secretary of CTSJ, Patriot Hundu Bunde who spoke yesterday in Makurdi wondered why the electoral body is deliberately creating dumps to obstruct the free flow of the electoral process in the country.
“The parameter INEC used in declaring the last governorship election in Benue inconclusive has defiled all logic. How can INEC declare an election inconclusive on the grounds that the figure of registered voters in Polling Units, PUs, and Wards where elections were cancelled was 121,019.
“INEC is completely aware and is in possession of the records which clearly indicates that the number of Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs in the 179 Polling Units affected by the cancellations is just over 60,000 while the margin of lead is 81,554.
“We are still in shock over what INEC did in Benue state and other parts of the country where rerun have been scheduled because the parameter used in declaring the election inconclusive was skewed from the beginning which casts doubts on the sincerity of INEC as an unbiased umpire.
“PVCs collected in the affected PUs should be the emphasis and not the number of registered voters since majority of the voters do not have PVCs and it was easy for the INEC to know from its records rather than embarking on an academic exercise, waste of time and resources in Benue state in the name of rerun.
“It is obvious that the PDP governorship candidate won the election with 81,554 and the APC will find it difficult to upturn it. It is unfortunate that INEC because of its ineptitude wants to drag the entire state through another tortuous electioneering process given the level of bitterness that sometimes go with these elections”, Bunde said.