Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has blamed increasing phenomenon of inconclusive elections in the country on lack of internal democracy in the parties and the desperation of candidates and their supporters driven by fear of losing everything.
Speaking yesterday on the occasion of issuance of Certificate of Return to Plateau State Governor-elect Simon Bako Lalong and other winners in the just concluded elections, INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu added that “inconclusive elections existed prior to the present commission; it is also not surprising when a few big parties are contesting for power at every level.
“Additionally, there is need to particularly mention the negative role of violence in our elections. Democratic elections are rule-based and those parties, candidates, and supporters that resort to self-help by taking the path of violence undermine the virtues of democratic elections which include choice in absolute freedom and peace.”
Represented by INEC National Commissioner Supervising FCT, Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, Mahmood lamented that “some parties and candidates engaged in violent behaviour, including manhandling election duty officials and intimidation of voters, collation and Returning officers.”
Meanwhile, Lalong and his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, who thanked the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state and the entire team of diligent officials “for the conduct of a free, fair and credible elections in the state and nation-wide, also appreciated the peaceful and calm disposition the citizens displayed up to the conclusion of the exercise is highly appreciated and commendable.
Lalong said, his victory was by implication, the decision of the electorate. “The electorate have once again reposed greater confidence in us and placed the future of Plateau State in our hands to deliver on our promises.
“I solicited your usual cooperation and partnership as we strive to serve with all humility in moving to the next level.