Popular musician turned activist, Charles Oputa, a.k.a Charly Boy, has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Government not to contemplate rigging the 2019 general elections.
Leading his ‘Our Mumu Done Do’ group on protest at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the poor handling of the exercise nationwide, Oputa said that Nigerians were now wiser.
He said if the APC had used the ‘charade called local government election’ in Kano state at the weekend as test run for 2019 general election, then, the party had missed it.
Oputa, who was received by a senior police officer, Paul Odama and Musa Sekpe, Assistant Director, Security Directorate of INEC, said the group came to register its displeasure with the entire process, while expressing their readiness to partner INEC to galvanise the Continuous Voter’s Registration Exercise.
He said, “We have resolved that never again will we let people decide who our President will be. It is for the masses to decide who they want as their President. After going through INEC’s PVC stress, we are not prepared to some let some people who think they are Lord and masters of our country to be dictating to people who our leaders will be or be selecting our leaders for us. We will not allow that happen in 2019.”
Oputa wondered what ordinary Nigerians would be going through to get the PVCs, if he had not been able to get replacement for his missing PVC after several failed attempts.
He was eventually led into the premises of INEC to personally submit the letter; where the authorities directed that his missing PVC be replaced unfailingly, by the Federal Capital Territory office of INEC.
In the letter titled “Request for strategic engagement with INEC on the electoral process,” the group regretted that despite nation’s huge population, millions of Nigerians were yet to trust and participate in the processes of voting and electing visionary leaders to positions of power.
According to them, “The consequence of the pervasive distrust and apathy for the electoral process demonstrated by the Nigerian people is the deplorable emergence of half-baked, selfish, gerontocratic; and unpatriotic politicians in leadership positions.
Oputa said the OurMumuDonDo Movement, after series of meticulous observations of the electoral process, and interface with voters across the nation, deemed it fit to engage the electoral body with its observations.
The letter listed the challenges encumbering mass participation of Nigerians in the electoral process, to include, “The challenge of voters’ registration in different parts of the country, especially with regards to the unavailability of required registration centres in most of the states; voters’ apathy and disenfranchisement as a result of the long-time practice of rigidity in the electoral process as well as conspicuous deficiencies with regards to Electronic Voting, the compilation of results, and accurate documentation and reportage of the number of votes nationwide.”
Continuing, the letter stated “In view of the foregoing, therefore, we humbly request a strategic engagement with INEC to discuss the issues identified above and other likely developments obstructing the electoral process, and how we can equally be of significant help as stakeholders.
“We sincerely hope that our request will be given a quick attention, treated with dispatch and a date of engagement will be communicated to the group soonest.
“The OurMumuDonDo movement is deeply and genuinely concerned that if necessary actions are not taken to remedy deficiencies plaguing the electoral process, it will be difficult to eradicate voter-apathy and disenfranchisement, and even more difficult to sustain our democracy.”
Aside Oputa; other signatories were Deji Adeyanju (Concerned Nigerians), Ariyo Dare Atoye (Coalition in Defence Of Nigerian Democracy), Bako Abdul Usman (Campaign For Democracy) and Moses Paul (MAD Connect).
By Ajansii Mgbo
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