The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has challenged the former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu to go further in his confession about his involvement in rigging elections in the past by giving details of the elections and naming the electoral officers and security personnel involved.
Mantu had confessed on a live television show how he helped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to compromise elections; the confession which has been generating ripples in the polity with some calling for trial of the former Deputy Senate President.
TMG Chairperson, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi in a statement expressed shock with Mantu’s confessions which she noted “deserve a deeper scrutiny from the authorities, if Nigerians are to get a sense of closure from the terrible events of the recent years, when politicians subverted the democratic choices and aspirations of Nigerians by corrupting the electoral process.”
Akiyode-Afolabi pointed out that while some may argue that the issues raised by Mantu are in the past now, “proper repentance and restitution implies that all those involved have to account for their actions.”
“Without doubt, Senator Mantu’s confession goes to the heart of the problem of morally-bankrupt political leadership, which has been the bane of Nigeria’s nation-building, since the return of democracy in 1999”, she added.
The TMG boss observed that using bribes to compromise elections is an offence punishable by law in line with Sections 124 and 130 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, saying the law must take its course.
As Nigerians await the 2019 elections, the TMG has called for vigilance and close monitoring of 2019 campaign financing, noting that “die-hard election riggers” still abound in the land.
The statement read: “As we wait for Senator Mantu and his co-travelers in the business of rigging elections to discharge their moral burden, we call on all stakeholders to be vigilant as the 2019 electoral process shapes up. TMG makes no mistake about the fact that there are still vestiges of die-hard election riggers, who unlike Senator Mantu, may just not be ready to confess their infractions on the laws of the land.
“It is the vigilance of the electorate and critical stakeholders that would prevent any plans to subvert and undermine the vote of the people. It is clear to us that the only way to prevent rigging is for all stakeholders to keep an eye of the entire electoral cycle, in order to protect its credibility.
“Monitoring campaign financing is critical in this respect; TMG stands in support with INEC, as it moves towards putting in place innovative approaches to track and thwart the influence of illicit campaign monies in the electoral process.
“Without doubt, Senator Mantu’s confession goes to the heart of the problem of morally bankrupt political leadership, which has been the bane of Nigeria’s nation building, since the return of democracy in 1999. Although we have always known that the political elite would do anything possible to undermine the electoral process, yet the stark reality of a legislator, who effectively was the nation’s number two lawmaker at some point, owning up to shady schemes to undermine the credibility of the electoral process, takes the perfidy of Nigeria’s political elite, several notches higher.”