Eighten Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the auspices of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) yesterday in Abuja raised the alarm that free and fair elections could be compromised in 2019 going by persistent violation of the provisions of Electoral Act.
The CSOs accused the Muhammadu Buhari led administration of supporting corruption in series of cases that involves transparency, accountability in asset recovery and non appointment of national procurement council.
They were worried over the delay by the president to assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill, stressing that implementation of reforms in the extractive sector has been rather slow and not deep enough.
They were also worried over recurring unresolved leadership, congressional and conventional conflicts erupting within political parties, adding that the situation would spell doom for electoral credibility in the 2019 general elections.
“We are not unaware of the violation of various regulations guiding political party financing including deliberate effort to take advantage of individual’s socio-economic situation and buying of votes that resultantly undermine free, fair and credible electoral process,” the Executive Director of CISLAC, Awwal Musa Rafsanjani, who led a joint press conference said.
The organisations were also worried over growing politically motivated killings in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Kaduna states as well as the cases of cattle rustling in Zamfara State and militancy in the Niger Delta.
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The CSOs, who are directly working on transparency, accountability and good governance in the country said the developments invading the nation’s socio-economic and political spheres could back-pedal progress in achieving a stable, secured and prosperous country.
The NGOs urged religious organisations as well as the media to abide by the provision of Subsection 3 and 102 of the Act of the Electoral Act and stop airing or publishing contents that create hatred or incite violence.
However, spokesperson for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Rotimi Oyekanmi said the electoral umpire is ready to conduct credible elections in 2019, adding that the body would take necessary measures against political parties involved in vote buying.
He insisted that the allegations by the CSOs were baseless.