Elections: Screen observers, TMG, others demand

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By Aminu Garko

The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) and other civil society groups have called for the screening of all election observers by anti-corruption agencies in the country.

The other groups, including the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Kano Civil Society colliation on elections, said they made the demand to ensure that only prudent and credible organisations are accredited as observers in future elections.

Addressing newsmen on Saturday in Kano, the Chairman of TMG, Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, alongside Convener of the Kano Civil Society Elections Situation Room, Amb. Ibrahim Waiya, said only credible organisations should be accredited to observe Nigeria’s future elections.

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Rafsanjani warned that as genuine civil society groups, they were left with no option but to take necessary legal actions against faceless groups using their names to champion a “criminally-minded, politically-motivated and sponsored missions”.

He said the spread of the fictitious and malicious groups at a time when Nigeria was having its political space heated up was not only worrisome but had also had the potential to further overheat the polity, adding that the situation should be arrested on time.

“As champions of democracy, we will not allow (smeer)-campaigners and people with politically motivated reasons to drag credible civil society organisations in Kano State and indeed in Nigeria at large into political wars with political parties,” he said.

He emphasised that: “TMG, CISLAC and the Kano Civil Society Forum had done incredible work towards electoral reforms in Nigeria since 1998.

“The TMG has championed the democratic path in Nigeria as the foremost elections observation group with the widest membership across the nation.

“We will never interfere with the conduct of elections or seek to interfere with the Judicial processes leading up to a redress of grievances resulting from the elections,” he explained.

The TMG chairman therefore called on the public to disregard in totality the “wild reports making rounds” and using the names of credible organisations calling for the cancellation of governorship elections in Kano.

In the same vein, the Convener of the Kano Civil Society Elections Situation Room, Amb. Ibrahim Waiya, urged the media to filter credible civil society groups from politically motivated sponsored groups who hide under the names of credible organisations to concoct fake stories that suit their narratives.

Waiya also called on the authorities to ensure that justice was served on those who perpetrated electoral violence in the 2023 elections all over the federation.

“We strongly believe in democratic approaches to settling elections disputes and encourage all who are not satisfied with the process to seek redress in the court of law.

“We implore the media to desist from availing such unscrupulous groups the platform to propagate their disruptive, misleading and fake stories.

“We warn sternly against the illegal use of our names to spin narratives that are capable of further heating up the polity and creating chaos in Kano State and in Nigeria.

“Any further misuse of our names in this direction will be met by litigation,” he warned. (NAN) 

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