- The recall process of embattled senator, Dino Melaye, was a flop
- Melaye is the current senator representing Kogi West senatorial district in the Nigerian Senate
- A group has hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a transparent exercise
An election observer group, Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), has commended INEC for what it termed its “transparent, peaceful and satisfactory conduct of Senator Dino Melaye recall process.”
In a statement sent to Legit.ng, the group's director of contact and mobilisation, Faith Nwadishi, stated that although the recall 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.”
Part of the statement read: “We commend INEC for the free, fair and transparent atmosphere that characterised the exercise, and for ensuring that 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 often-repeated assurances to Nigerians that this INEC is committed to free, fair and credible elections.
”We note 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. The fact remains, simply, that INEC allowed the will of the people of the constituency to prevail.”
The group further commended the electoral body “for resisting pressure and inducement, and ensuring that the exercise was carried out peacefully and in a free and fair atmosphere devoid of fear or favour.”
They argued that the conduct of the exercise in Kogi state provides an insight into what the 2019 elections 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,” the statement concluded.
Last year, INEC received 188,588 signatures out of the 360,098 registered voters for the recall of Dino Melaye from the Senate.
The commission received six bags, which contained the signatures of 52.3% of the electorates from the zone and other petitions.
Kogi West senatorial district to recall senator Dino Melaye from the Nigerian Senate - on Legit.ng TV