Jalingo, Nigeria – November 22, 2023 – In a scathing critique of the Kogi State gubernatorial election, a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of orchestrating a sham election that could plunge the country into anarchy.
Hon. Ben Adaji, a former House of Representatives candidate for Ankpa federal constituency in the 2023 election, expressed his grave concerns in an interview with journalists in Jalingo upon his return from observing the election in Kogi State.
Adaji, a veteran journalist, lambasted the conduct of the election, labeling it a “shame to African Democracy” and a “mockery of Nigeria as a nation.” He pointed to widespread irregularities and brazen rigging by INEC staff, which he said amounted to an invitation for chaos and lawlessness.
“Since INEC, the body responsible for the conduct of election has turned to ‘day light robbers’ nobody will waste his time to come out for voting in future elections, instead Nigerians may resort to carrying arms to fight for their rights,” Adaji declared.
He called for the immediate resignation of INEC National Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, holding him directly accountable for the “glaring electoral fraud and irregularities” that marred the Kogi election.
Adaji warned that the acceptance of election results from Okene, Adavi, Okehi, Ajaokuta, and Ogori-Magongo, where he alleged rampant malpractices, was a clear indication that Nigeria’s political system was teetering on the brink of collapse.
“I hereby call on President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to urgently scrap INEC forthwith and Prosecute Professor Mahmood and all INEC staff that took part in the Kogi day light robbery,” Adaji demanded.
He further cautioned that announcing the APC candidate as the winner of the election could ignite violence and unrest in Kogi State, as citizens may feel compelled to take matters into their own hands to defend their rights.
“I want to tell you that Nigeria is sitting on the keg of gunpowder,” Adaji cautioned. “We are on a very fragile stage. We are having the worst situation; we are having impunity as the order of the day.”
Adaji’s strong words reflect the deep-seated frustration and anger among many Nigerians over the persistent issues of electoral malpractices that continue to undermine the country’s democratic process. His call for a thorough investigation and accountability from INEC echoes the sentiments of those who believe that only decisive action can restore faith in the electoral system and prevent further erosion of democracy in Nigeria.