Politicians Planning to Import Thugs In Police, Army Uniforms Into Enugu – NPA Raises Alarm
The Nsukka Professionals Association, NPA yesterday, raised the alarm over plans by some politicians to import armed thugs in Police and Military uniforms into Enugu State, to aid the alleged attempt to hack the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BIVAS, and IReV portal during the Gubernatorial and States House of Assembly Elections on Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Consequently, it has called on the Inspector-General of Police and Military authorities to act fast by frustrating the plan which it said was aimed at disrupting elections in some parts of Enugu State.
Briefing journalists in Lagos on the threats of violence and widespread electoral malpractices in the March 18 elections, the President of the association, Mr. Charles Nwodo, stated that professional hackers had been contracted by one of the parties to compromise electoral practice by transmitting fake results into the Independent National Electoral Commission’s portal.
He said: “We have credible reports of plans by some politicians to import armed thugs and cultists into the Enugu North senatorial Zone, adorn them in Police and Army uniforms and deploy them to terrorize voters and cause widespread mayhem to pave the way for the cancelation of results across Isi-Uzo and the six local government areas of Enugu North senatorial zone.
“ There are also credible reports about plans by one of the parties to disrupt elections in parts of Enugu State which are considered as strongholds of other parties, notably Isi Uzo Local Government Area and the six other local government areas that make up the Enugu North senatorial zone and thus orchestrate the wholesale disenfranchisement of the voters in these areas through vote buying and selling, sponsored violence, intimidation and harassment of the voters on election day.
“ Also, we have reports of plans to disrupt the election in targeted Polling units and Wards through electronic disruption (hacking) of the BVAS and IReV interface by professional hackers contracted by one of the political parties for purposes of compromising the electoral process by transmitting pre-determined fake results to INEC portal”.
To achieve their aims, he said information at the association’s disposal revealed that the politicians intended to compromise key officials of the INEC, the Police, the Nigerian Army, and other security agencies in Enugu state with a view to “ frustrating the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. We are informed that an INEC Enugu state official has been specifically accused of being the coordinator of the plots to disenfranchise Enugu voters.
He, therefore, implored the INEC to strengthen its election administration machinery in Enugu state ahead of Saturday’s Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections as well as the by-election for the senatorial seat of Enugu East, pointing out that the people of Enugu state like the rest of Nigerians, deserved a free, fair and credible election as promised by the Federal Government.
While appealing to parents and guardians in the state to restrain their wards from lending themselves to politicians for thuggery and violent conduct, before and during the election, he appealed to the people in Enugu to turn out en mass to vote for candidates of their choice during the election.
He also called on Civil Society organizations, local and international observers, and media organizations to dispatch poll observers to the Enugu North Senatorial zone to beam their searchlights on Enugu state, come Saturday, March 18, 2023.
He said, “We consider it expedient to raise alarm about these disturbing pieces of information and invite the attention of the President, Mohammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the International community and fellow Nigerians of goodwill to the looming danger that these developments portend for Enugu State and Nigeria, and indeed to the survival of democracy in our land, should these plans materialize”
Besides, Nwodo frowned at the inability of security agencies to apprehend the killers of the Labour Party candidate for Enugu East Senatorial district, Mr. Oyibo Chukwu, a few days before the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said: “ We are appalled that no arrests have been made and no suspects have been interrogated by the security agencies to date. The IGP is implored to dispatch a special team of detectives to Enugu State with a mandate to seek out and apprehend all those directly or indirectly connected with this heinous crime no matter their status or extent of connections in the society”.