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Why off-season poll should be abolished – Ohaneze Ndigbo

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called on National Assembly to abolish off-season election as it erodes and saps the strength of Nigeria’s democracy.

The Igbo group made the call on Monday while expressing displeasure over the alleged irregularities witnessed during Saturday’s off-cycle governorship elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa States.

This was made known in a statement by Ohanaeze’s factional Secretary-General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro.

The group stated that the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission needs to be overhauled.

The group explained that Saturday’s governorship election was marred by widespread voter apathy, vote-buying, violence and the use of compromised and biased INEC electoral officers by politicians to manipulate the electoral process and declare themselves winners through fraudulent means, according to Daily Post.

Reacting, Ohanaeze lamented that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is a weak institution that urgently needs restructuring.

“The management team, led by Professor Yakubu Mahmood, has failed to ensure free, fair, and credible elections across the three states.

“We demand a complete overhaul of the management team to restore confidence in the electoral process.

“The prevalence of irregularities such as voter apathy, vote buying, violence, and compromised INEC staff has significantly undermined the democratic process in off-cycle elections.

“This situation erodes the trust of the electorate and jeopardizes the very foundation of our democracy. The National Assembly must take immediate action by enacting new laws to end off-cycle elections, as they continue to sap the strength of our democracy,” the statement reads.

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