The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has come under fire from Kogi youths for continuing to retain Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC Dr. Hale Gabriel Longpet. The youths claimed that he may not conduct a credible election while dining with Kogi Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The youths congregated at INEC headquarters in Lokoja, on Tuesday after demonstrating in Lokoja town in huge numbers and holding banners with various inscriptions. They insisted that information reaching the people of the state had indicated that the state REC was likely compromised.
As the REC slept with the governor of Kogi at Government House Lokoja, they accused him of being inept and corrupt.
Many young people expressed their disappointment that, if allowed to continue, the Kogi state REC might not be able to conduct genuine elections in November 2023.
In spite of the highly militarized and fraudulent actions that characterized the previous exercise, they claimed that being warned is better than being unprepared and pointed out that the same situation occurred in 2019 when the former INEC officials tainted the governorship election.
The different inscriptions say things like, “Give us another REC,” and “Longpet is a disgrace to INEC.” We want a free and fair election in Kogi, among other things. Other phrases include “Longpet Must Go,” “INEC, Kogi is not for sale,” “Remove and Replace Longpet Now,” and “Longpet Must Go.”
Given the recent events in Adamawa and the desperate attempts by Kogi Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello to impose his successor and kinsman, the reason of the Kogi Youths is clear.
Feelers have shown that the government is harassing innocent voters to prevent a free, fair, and credible election in November of this year by targeting INEC and security forces.