Nasarawa indigenes protest, rain curses on governor-elect, INEC

…says certificate issued to the wrong person

…says justice must be served at all cost 

By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja

FOLLOWING conduct of the March 18 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Nasarawa state, indigenes of the state have expressed displeasure over its processes and outcome. 

The indigenes, under the aegis of Coalition of Aggrieved Support Groups for Mbugadu, also warned, during a protest in the state, that should the process that led to the announcement of governor-elect, Abdullahi Sule, is not reviewed, all those involved “may incur the wrath of God.”

The indigenes, consisting majorly women, who took to the streets to observe the seventh day protest, also faulted the outcome of the gubernatorial election, as many of the protesters were seen with placards with inscriptions of: “INEC has compromised the electoral process; Restore our democracy”, “Save our democracy in Nasarawa state”, among others. 

Addressing journalists during the protest, the Chairman, CASGM, Ofem Akpan Ibiang, while bemoaning the outcome of the guber election, urged INEC to hearken to the cries of women and youths in the state. 

He stressed that David Emmanuel Mbugadu who according to the chairman is the people’s choice during the election, is the right man to lead the people, adding that INEC’s move to issue certificate of return to Sule, was wrong and does not reflect the people’s choice. 

He said: “We have started this protest for the past six days. Today we are ending it. We sought approval from the Commissioner of Police and the director of DSS from Lafia and all the security agencies in Karu Local government were notified about our protests. 

“That is why you will see that protests were stopped in places like Lafia, the one we are doing here has not been stopped. The initial prayer we have prayed before yesterday was that the INEC chairman should recall the results from Lafia and Awe local government and look at it critically with a view to correcting the mistakes and anomalies that have been done by the returning officer and it was surprising to us yesterday that even though the lawyers that represent our principal has gone to INEC with a petition buttressing this fact, they still went ahead to give the party APC candidate the certificate of return. 

“So, that is why we are not happy. Today, what we are demanding is that we know this is not the end of the road. The next step we are going to take is to go to the tribunal. But, our prayer is that whoever is going to be given responsibility to take charge of this tribunal for Nasarawa state should know that there are so many things that people have complained about. 

“That is why we are cursing everybody; God in his infinite mercy is going to judge them. By the grace of God our fight is for the young people. We are fighting for the youths. Nasarawa state especially Karu Local Government is a gateway for FCT. It is a metropolitan city. This place constitutes people from different tribes and different religions. So, we are saying that there are people who have done this thing, God is going to judge them.”

Speaking also, the Spokesperson for the coalition, Isaach Owoicho, alleged that INEC made the wrong move by issuing the certificate of return to Sule, adding that the people of Nasarawa state must get justice. 

“INEC has failed us by giving a certificate of return to the wrong person. They promised us that on the ground of egalitarianism, on the ground of justice there will be proper scrutiny and verification before delivery on certificates but to our greatest surprise INEC gave certificate without proper verification, INEC gave mandate that was not meant to be given to a wrong person, to a wrong person, depriving the entire citizenry and the indigenes their privileges and the only true candidate in person of Ombugadu. We are disappointed. 

“Today, we stand as a collective mind: youths, mothers and fathers are fighting for a common goal and that goal is a goal of justice, a goal of truth, a goal of true vote counts but INEC has deprived us of our fundamental rights. Let it be known that INEC can not be trusted. The leadership of INEC has failed and can not be trusted.”

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