By Chris Ochayi ABUJA
Stakeholders in the electoral process in the country have said that blackmail and intimidation of electoral officers by political actors were capable of derailing the gains made in Nigeria’s quest for a free, fair and credible election process. Operating under the aegis of the Election Reform Expert Group, EREG, the stakeholders regretted that the development was contrary to the process that guaranteed the rights of the people to freely choose their leaders. The stakeholders, who made the observation in a statement jointly signed by Dr. Chima Amadi of Centre for Transparency Advocacy; Eze Nwagwu of Partners for Electoral Reforms; and Abdul Mahmud-President, Public Interest Lawyers League, said political gladiators were turning elections in Nigeria into a theatre of war. Other signatories to the statement are Jaye Gakia, Coordinator, Protest to Power; Okechukwu Nwanguma for Network of Police Reforms in Nigeria; Faith Nwadishi, Executive Director, Centre for Gender and Development Initiative and Member, EITI Board and Emeka Ononamadu, Executive Director, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights. The stakeholders said one of such blackmail was the current plot to create a nexus between the INEC chairman and a serving governor, who the former worked with in different capacities at an earlier national assignment, as evidence of the EMB “taking instructions” from the governor.