An NGO, Community Action for Popular Participation, has threatened to institute a legal action against the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) over false accusation against it.
Nelson Ananze, the Acting Executive Director of the organisation, made its position known in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Jos.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that PLASIEC’s chairman, Fabian Ntung, had on Thursday while defending its 2018 budget at the State’s House of Assembly accused all Civil Society Organisations in the state of being fraudulent and operating illegally.
Ntung specifically accused CAPP of impersonation, adding that it usually carried out some activities in the commission’s name without due permission.
Ananze, who described the chairman’s statement as “unfortunate”, added that it was sad for democracy in the state as such statements were emanating from a public servant.
He said: “It is indeed a very sad scenario that a public servant appointed by the executive arm of government being paid by tax payer’s money could say such things, knowing well that the democracy we are enjoying as a country was fought for by the CSOs.
“Anybody living on the Plateau can attest to the fact that the relative peace being enjoyed in the state today as well was because of the frantic efforts of the CSOs.
“For us in CAPP, we are running a project known as Strengthening Citizen’s Engagement in Electoral Process, which has the mandate of ensuring good governance at all levels.
“We have made efforts to partner with PLASIEC to see that free, fair and acceptable local government elections were conducted in the state.
“But for one reason or the other, the state’s electoral umpire refused to cooperate with us and to add salt to injury, they are now accusing us of fraud and impersonation.
“If other CSOs in the state will sweep these weighty allegations under the carpet, we in CAPP will not, therefore, we shall go to any length to seek redress just to clear our name.”
The acting executive director further said his organisation had the mandate to educate and empower the citizens, and to promote good governance; hence no amount of threat from government department or agency would deter it.
He added that the hallmark of democracy centres on the people, and so hidden agenda of some few would not stop it from carrying out its duties.