A group, Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ensuring that the recall exercise of Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, was carried out peacefully and in a free and fair atmosphere.
In a statement signed by Faith Nwadishi, Director of Contact and Mobilisation, she said that although the recall process did not succeed, its outcome clearly reflects the will of members of the constituency and exposes the political motivation of those who instigated the recall process.
The election observer group hinted that it deployed independent field monitors to observe the recall and exercise and commended INEC for allowing the will of the people prevailed in spite of obvious attempts by some politicians to interfere with the process.
“ISDMG deployed independent field monitors to observe the recall exercise. Our observers report that there were attempts by some politicians to induce INEC officials to manipulate the recall process to achieve a pre-determined outcome. But INEC officials remained resolute and resisted the attempts to influence them to rig the exercise in their favor.
“Clearly INEC officials demonstrated determination to ensure a transparent exercise with a credible outcome. This is consistent with the INEC Chairman’s oft-repeated assurances to Nigerians that this INEC is committed to free, fair and credible elections,” the statement partly read.
The group however noted that the outcome of the exercise has not gone down well with some people especially, “those whose selfish and narrow partisan interests have been defeated. Such people who already had their minds made up as to how the exercise should have been conducted and what its outcome should have been are now accusing INEC of failure because the recall of their political adversary failed. We note that INEC would have faced the same accusations from the other side had the outcome been on the reverse.”
It added: “Contrary to wild and frivolous allegations from familiar quarters and from frustrated people who are bent on discrediting and distracting INEC at every opportunity, the conduct of the exercise in Kogi provides an insight into what 2019 will look like. It shows that INEC is getting its acts right. It shows that this INEC cannot be compromised. This is good and necessary for our electoral sanity and our political development.
“We urge fellow Nigerians to remain vigilant and continue to assist INEC in its determination to sanitise our electoral process and ensure a credible general election in 2019. Citizens must continue to participate in and monitor the voter registration process with a view to identifying fake names, pointing out such false identities to INEC.
“This way, we will help INEC in its effort to sanitise the voter register and ensure that 2019, as the INEC Chairman already promised, will be better than 2015.”