Elections for the governorship and house of assembly on Saturday were plagued by voter intimidation, violence, and other electoral offenses. The Labour Party has urged that those polling places be closed.
Julius Abure, the national chairman of the LP, made the request in a statement on Saturday evening in Abuja.
Abure requested President Muhammadu Buhari to direct Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, to find police officials who assisted politicians in undermining the polls.
He said that cases of vote-buying, voter intimidation, and ballot box stealing had been reported, among other places, in Enugu, Edo, Rivers, and Lagos.
The Labour Party leadership observed the unfolding rape of democracy in Nigeria while it was being overseen by the Independent National Electoral Commission with worry, according to the statement (INEC).
“Today, the INEC under the leadership of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has unequivocally demonstrated to the world that the outcome of the presidential election on February 25—which denied the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, the victory that Nigerians kindly gave him—was not a ‘glitch’ as was infamously claimed but rather a carefully orchestrated plot to favor a particular political party and candidate.
“What happened today throughout the country was a total charade, with major thuggery, violence, and voting suppression dominating unchallenged. Individuals were discouraged from casting ballots for the politicians they preferred, particularly if they thought you were siding with the other party.
Moreover, episodes of voter intimidation, vote-buying at a high level, and ballot box theft occurred. In a number of states, including Rivers, Lagos, Enugu, Edo, and Delta, these electoral crimes were quite evident.
Due to a lack of confidence in the voting process, there was also a significant incidence of voter indifference. When the mandate provided to the LP was taken on February 25, they honestly feel that it was not worth it.
“Many think their votes won’t be taken into account anymore. Hence, INEC has been successful in squandering every advance gained in the election reforms.
“To intimidate voters, the Rivers State administration used state employees. One of our supporters was shot in Enugu, and thugs overran the whole Enugu North senatorial district. In Lagos, the APC-backed thugs broke into voting places where our candidate has a sizable following. The thugs in Edo State got a free day and used it to their fullest advantage. It is terribly bad that everything is so disorganized throughout the country.
“When there is violence, security officials turn a blind eye. It is very clear that security agencies themselves are similarly infiltrated. We’re a long way from having actual democracy. The people’s hopes and dreams have been dashed. Nigeria now operates under a civil dictatorship.
“As a consequence, we denounced the whole process and demanded that the results from the voting places where voter intimidation and other types of crises were seen be canceled.
We also demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari order the Inspector General of Police to find and punish those personnel who tampered with today’s election.