Former President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the attack and burning of the election material distribution centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Okodi Town, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
The former called for the arrest and prosecution of yet-to-be-identified political thugs who are behind the incident.
It’s gathered that the voting materials meant for Ogbia ward 2, ward 4 and ward 5, all in Ogbia Constituency were set ablaze at about 3:00am.
The former President while speaking with journalists after he voted at about 8:47am at his polling unit 039, ward 13 at Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government area, condemned and called on security operatives in the state to ensure the perpetrators of the criminal acts are brought to book.
He disclosed that in spite of the calmness in most places around the LGA, he was so disturbed by the burning down of materials in the wards affected, adding that nobody should be allowed to mess with the electoral system in the country.
His words “it’s peaceful here but am disturbed that within my Local Government Area, in Constituency 2 material were burnt down, all those involved in the act must be arrested and prosecuted, and if the police fail to do that we will be terribly disappointed.
“Nobody should mess up our electoral system, the years when those criminal activities happened freely are gone, the country is moving and no criminal will take us backwards, the world is watching and it must be stopped. The police, DSS, and Army must ensure those people are brought to book.
“He also used the opportunity to commend Nigerians for their resilience and interest shown from the period of election primaries to the main election in the country, and that is what we should do.
“Nigerians have decided that they must select their leaders, and in any country where their leaders can’t be selected through the ballots then that country is doomed. We must run a system where our leaders from the Presidential election to the least leadership position must be done through the ballots and not the party.
“The Nigerian electoral process involves voting in the field and the legal process, I didn’t say they shouldn’t go to court. We went around during the elections and advise that they shouldn’t take laws into their hands, the legal system is part and parcel of the process. What I actually said was that if you go through the election and are not satisfied and still pursue the legal process and not succeed, please don’t cause problems.
“If you have a case you should approach the court, which is part of the process. If people don’t go to court it simply means that INEC can do anything and go away with it, we need those processes to improve our electoral processes.”
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