Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to key into the ground already prepared by President Muhammadu Buhari for free, fair, credible, safe, and peaceful elections starting from Saturday, February 25.
In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the CNPP urged the commission to ensure that its officials were not compromised in line with the level of neutrality demanded by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The CNPP was reacting to the reported arrest of a federal lawmaker, Dr. Chinyere Igwe, with $498,100 on suspicion of attempted vote buying and money laundering.
The police also recovered a list of suspected beneficiaries of the money, including INEC headquarters in Rivers State.
According to the CNPP, “This arrest is just a tip of how politicians have planned to deploy illicit funds to compromise the electoral process.
“Since they have no access to the volume of cash to deploy for vote buying due to the naira redesign policy of the federal government being executed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, these corrupt politicians are deploying foreign currencies to perpetrate their evil acts.
“We commend President Muhammadu Buhari, who set the template for credible 2023 elections and the CBN Governor who has followed through the presidential directives of the naira redesign policy aimed at reducing corruption and electoral fraud ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“We therefore call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to key into the anti-election rigging template of President Buhari administration and ensure that the will of the people was not subverted on Saturday.
“It’s time for INEC to demonstrate in reality that their officials have been trained to be neutral in the discharge of their electoral duties during the elections.
“INEC should ensure that electoral offences were diligently prosecuted and its compromising officials named, shamed, and publicly sanctioned in accordance with the laws.
“The police and all the security agencies are commended for their efforts to ensure the safety of voters across the country.
“We urge the Department of State Services (DSS), anti-graft outfits, the military and paramilitary agencies on election duty to remain on high alerts and proactively nip in the bud all acts capable of instigating violence during and after the polls”, the CNPP stated.