The League of Professionals for Strategic Advocacy has condemned the movement of Party Agent tags for 12 political parties from the Delta State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Asaba to Oleh in Isoko South ahead of the September 11, 2021 state constituency bye election.
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Delta State chapter had petitioned the Delta State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) alleging that the INEC Electoral Officer (EO) for Isoko South, Mr Alex Ani collected agent tags for 12 political parties ostensibly to give to the concerned political parties at Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South LGA.
However, IPAC claimed that the move was suspicious having stumbled on an alleged plot between the E.O. and the APC to use the tags to rig the September 11 constituency bye election.
The League of Professionals, therefore, said it viewed the conduct of INEC officials in the saga as unwholesome and capable of breaching the peace ahead of the polls.
In a strongly worded statement issued in Asaba on Sunday and signed by its Convener, Prince Obaro Unuafe; Chairman, Pius Mordi and Secretary, Fred Akpewe respectively, the League contended that party agent tags are traditionally collected by State Chairmen or their agents from State INEC headquarters in Asaba and not at the local government areas.
“A situation where the agent tags of political parties will be moved from the state INEC headquarters in Asaba by the E.O for Isoko South is not only suspicious but also suggests an attempt to rig”, the group stated.
The League therefore asked the REC to immediately return the agent tags to the affected state chairmen if it had not already done so and to further avoid acts capable of putting the bye election in jeopardy.
“INEC must not be a cog in the wheel of progress. It must shun acts inimical to best practices during elections. Anything to the contrary is a recipe for chaos”, the group warned.