Don’t stagger the elections, CSOs urge govt

A coalition of civil society groups in Rivers State has called on the Federal Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission not to consider staggering the rescheduled elections.

The CSOs under the auspices of Rivers State Civil Society Organisation explained that the call became necessary based on speculations in some quarters that election might hold at different dates in some states.

They described the plot for staggered elections as barbaric, unconstitutional and irrational, adding that all elections should hold based on the new timetable across the states.

Chairman of the civil society groups, Sotonye George, pointed out that it was wrong for any person to scheme for staggered elections.

“The plot for staggered elections is barbaric, unconstitutional, unacceptable and irrational and the Federal Government should stop toying with the future, progress, peace and security of this country,” George said.

He urged the Federal Government to ensure free, fair and credible elections and “stop toying with the future, peace and security of the nation.”

He also demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the attacks on INEC offices in some states, even as he called on Nigerians to resist any attempt to suspend elections in any state.

“The Federal Government has demonstrated through this sudden postponement that it is not serious and it is also incompetent in terms of organising credible elections. We are worried that the shift may be to give more time to manipulate the elections.

Explaining that the sudden shift of the dates for the elections remained a national embarrassment to the country and and insult to the collective sensibilities of Nigerians, George noted that human and material resources had been lost as a result of the postponement.

He added, “We are yet to be told how the government is going to cater for these losses incurred by our people as a result of the actions of the Federal Government.”

He, however, appealed to the people of Rivers State to remain calm and to not react violently to the current situation, even as he urge them to come out and vote according to their conscience in the rescheduled elections.