A group known as Progressive Initiative Forum,(PIF), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to look into allegations of falsification of voter’s register in Ondo state before conducting the forthcoming bye election in to the vacant seat of Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency.
The group said it was necessary for INEC to produce a clean voter’s register before the bye-election into the guarantee the credibility of the election.
A release by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kehinde Ademulegun, said the rulings of the Election Petitions Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, admitting that there were injection of names into the voters’ register used for the last governorship election in the state underscore the needs for their call.
“One thing that is very true about the last election was that everybody, including the judiciary directly or indirectly, agreed that fictitious names were criminally injected into the voters’ register. This criminality was perpetuated obviously by Machiavellian politicians holding sway in our dear state,” it said.
“Having gotten away with this heinous fraud, who says they won’t try it again in the coming by-election for the House of
Representatives in Ilaje and Ese Odo Local Government Areas of Ondo State.
“It is against this backdrop that we are requesting for the voters’ register to be used for the Ilaje / Ese – Odo bye-election as a matter of urgency.
“The register should be sent to the local government areas so that the people there can properly scrutinize it in every ward as well as in every polling unit”.
The group expressed concern over the readiness of INEC to release the authentic voters’ register in good time to allow ample time for thorough scrutiny, adding that it would be foolhardy to allow the same fraud to be repeated.
The group urged that “while ensuring that the voters’ register is clean this time around, we should explore other likely angles prone to rigging with a view to nipping them in the bud as quickly as possible.”
“Election riggers overtime had relied heavily on compromising INEC and security agents. This has been the long time antics of election riggers, until recently when electronic rigging was introduced.
“The fact however remains that if the problem created by the residency card (Kaadi Igbe-Ayo) in Ondo State is left unattended to, it will eventually evoke a magnanimous political conflagration that nobody will be able to extinguish on the long run,” it further said.