He noted that the electoral problems in Nigeria had always been about compromising the processes even after the candidates signed a so-called Peace Accord
Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has warned that Nigeria's electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should better avoid any form of compromise in the 2023 general elections to avoid dragging the people into another alternative.
Speaking during an interview with Terry Ikumi on Channels TV on Tuesday, Sowore said that should INEC compromise the 2023 elections, especially the presidential election and fail to conduct free, fair, transparent and credible elections, he owes Nigerians the duty to raise hell and secure justice for the people.
He noted that the electoral problems in Nigeria had always been about compromising the processes even after the candidates signed a so-called Peace Accord, adding that he prefers a Justice Accord in that it would have been to have INEC, the security agencies and those who are involved, peripherally and directly in the elections to sign contract with the Nigerian people to deliver free and fair elections and have all the presidential candidates sign in.
According to him, it is unfortunate how in “Every election cycle we see people come together to sign a peace accord and at the end of the election, they will not deliver peace and justice. They will leave that place and go into election rigging; leave that place and bribe the INEC; leave that place and bribe police and army.”
Sowore explained that in 2019, people believed that money was the biggest challenge that he had, “But it turned out that money was not the biggest challenge that we had, it was the electoral process, because the rigging of elections in Nigeria with due respect to how the character they laid, don’t start from election date alone.
“You will find out that one of the things that happened to me consistently during the 2019 elections was the fact that they didn’t even allow me to participate in presidential debates. They cut off from it even though their own internal forces revealed that in several markets, I was one of the third, second favoured persons in the country.
“The competitors have always resorted to the last card they have which is to bribe voters, to bring in security agencies and compromise INEC including violence. If they could win on merit, they couldn’t have done that, they didn’t need to go that far.
“I am preparing for the 2023 elections in a very open and transparent manner and we hope that the electoral umpire, that is the INEC will do the same, but if they don’t, we still owe the populace a duty to raise hell.
“Some of us who are participating in these elections and some others who may not even be aware that in participating in elections, sometimes, one of the things you are doing is throwing up a contradiction in the system that will let people have faith in your person and in their country.
“I mean, not leading to having faith in the system that has compromised their choices and when people know this, they may not take it kindly and it could lead to the other alternative.”