by Deji Abiodun
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has told Nigerian voters to ignore the unlawful order by the Inspector-General of Police urging them to go home after casting their ballots during the forthcoming election.
NewsWireNGR recalls that the Inspector General of Police released a statement today had asked Nigerians to go home immediately after voting, but APC seem to be countering that order.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the electorate should rather listen to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who said the electoral law does not state anywhere that voters cannot or should not wait to watch and ensure that their votes are counted.
It therefore urged the electorate to make sure they stayed behind to protect their votes after casting their ballots, as was the case in 2011.
APC said contrary to the suspicious directive by the IGP, INEC encourages voters to stay behind and watch their votes counted, saying the law expects such voters to stay behind but to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.
”According to Jega, who appeared on Channels TV on Friday morning, the electoral law says anyone that has no business with the electoral process at the polling booths but desires to monitor events should stay at least some metres away from the polling agents and completely away from the ballot box after casting their votes.
”The INEC Chairman further clarified that all registered voters have businesses with the process and can therefore not be classified as people that don’t have businesses at polling units.
”Therefore, the IGP has no constitutional right or powers under the constitution or Police Act to rewrite the electoral law. The role of the police is to maintain law and order or such other assistance as may be sought from the police by INEC,” the party said.
It also called on Nigerians to ignore the so-called public service announcement concerning the show of force by government security agencies, saying it is part of efforts to intimidate the electorate and pave the way for the PDP to rig the elections.
APC also asked Nigerians to ignore the SMS being sent around by the agents of the PDP, asking them to send their names and the last five digits of their VIN (Voter Identification Number) to certain numbers.
”These and other messages are being sent out by the PDP to steal people’s PVCs, intimidate voters and manipulate the elections. Nigerians should never allow that to happen,” the party said.