Lagos - The Patriots Alliance (TPA), a
prodemocracy group, has commended the Nigerian Judiciary for nullifying results
of elections that were held amid misconduct in the Rivers State.
TPA said this was a bold step to ensure that violence and
electoral fraud does not become a norm in society.
Solomon Okocha, an executive with the organisation, said
the move to nullify the outcome that controversially brought in three Rivers
State senators and twelve Federal House of Representatives members (PDP) was a
“historical” that reaffirmed the maxim suggesting the court was the last hope
of the common man.
“As Patriotic Nigerians, we believe that anyone who is
interested in political leadership must be ready to adhere strictly to the
Nigerian Constitution, Electoral Act, and INEC Guidelines.
"By now, it should be clear to all and sundry that
the days of political gangsterism has finally come to an end. Those who want to
lead others, must first respect the will of the people whom they intend to
lead,” Okocha said.
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“While we continue to hail the Nigerian Judiciary for
defending the voting rights of Rivers people, we however urge the Nigerian
Legislature and Executive to make and implement laws with stiffer punishment
for electoral offenders.”
Okocha said with respect to the ongoing nullification of
controversial elections in the Rivers State Elections Petitions Tribunal
sitting in Abuja, TPA believed those responsible for the wide scale violence
and wanton irregularities should be prosecuted.
First in this case, Okocha argued, is the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC), Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),
Dame Gesila Khan, who supervised the elections in Rivers State.
“We believe that there must be some form of punitive
lesson for this woman who desecrated her oath of office on the pedestal of
crass partisanship,” said Okocha.
“We also believe that those Senators and Federal House of
Representatives members whose elections were annulled, should be investigated
and interrogated in other to ascertain their respective roles in the shambolic
and violence ridden electoral exercise.”
Okocha said TPA was expecting a calm political atmosphere
as the campaigns leading to fresh polls kick off in the coming weeks.“We will not accept any more violence and
bloodshed. From now on, anyone who maims or kills any Rivers son or daughter
again because of political differences, will face not just the wrath of the
law, but the collective will of Rivers people."
- CAJ News