A coalition of civil society organisations, West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO), has condemned comments credited to Amnesty International (AI) suggesting that Kano is an exceptional case of electoral violence in the just concluded 2019 general elections.
The group said the comments by AI were made in bad faith and in pursuit of a predetermined agenda, adding that elections were generally free and fair across the country except a few challenges experienced across the country.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, March 29, the general secretary of the group Lukman Musa Abiola, accused AI of meddling and negative comments.
His words: “The network wish to state the Amnesty International is not an election observer but a human right organization. Those who observed elections like us can confirm that elections have held and a winner has been declared. Nigerians in Kano, Plateau and other parts of the country have made their choice.
“We wish to counsel Amnesty International and their agents to desist from making comments capable of inciting the God fearing citizens of Nigeria especially in Kano state.”
He further said that the network welcomes the comments contributions of other international observers like the ECOWAS teams, European Union and Commonwealth.
The group urged the governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, to immediately establish a commission of inquiry to look into the cases of electoral violence and bring the perpetrators to book.
“Members of our network will constitute and independent civil society fact finding mission to visit Kano, Benue and River states by the third week of April to comprehensively assess the situation and make recommendations to government.
“The network wishes to plead with citizens of Nigeria to accept the outcome of the elections and resist the effort of fifth columnist like Amnesty International who want to magnify the issues of violence for their own selfish interest,” he said
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) has called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of 2019 general elections.
The group made the call at a press conference addressed by its convener, Mr. Clement Nwankwo on Sunday, March 10.
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The group said the inquiry should address many issues that have bedeviled the conduct of the polls including procurement, logistics management, role of the military and abuse of process by INEC officials amongst others.
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