A coalition of groups advocating for democracy in Africa has taken to the streets of London to protest against alleged electoral fraud and voters’ suppression during the February Presidential election in Nigeria.
The group reminded the UK government of the £5 million it spent during the Nigerian election, urging it to ensure that the right things were done.
The protesters alleged that there was voter suppression and intimidation during the presidential election, criticizing the Nigerian government for showing less attention to the security of the voters as political thugs harassed and intimidated them.
Speaking at Trafalgar Square in London, Marcel Ngogbehei, founder of the Good Governance Institute (GGI), who led the protest, said that if Nigeria, with over 200 million people, faced a crisis, the entire world would be affected.
He called on the international community to get involved and avoid a looming crisis over the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, which some said was fraudulent following some irregularities.
Ngogbehei criticized the electoral umpire for hurriedly announcing a winner at 4 am, rather than pausing the result announcement and resolving the irregularities as they did in one of the state elections.
Ngogbehei further stated, “It is the people that determine who leads them, not a few individuals, what we are saying is that the people’s vote must count, we must protect the right of the people to choose their leaders, we cannot hand it over to few individuals.”
He called on the British government to take interest in ensuring that the right of the citizens to choose their leaders is protected.
Ngogbehei criticized the British government for spending over £5 million of taxpayers’ money in Nigeria and turning a blind eye to what he called a fictitious election.
He added, “The Foreign Secretary has no business congratulating anyone in this election until the entire process is concluded. Doing this amounts to taking sides.”
Ngogbehei said that Nigeria’s democracy must be saved, and the Nigerian government has a duty to protect all Nigerians to ensure that they vote.
He criticized the government for looking the other way while political thugs took over the streets of the country during the February 2023 election.
Ngogbehei further called on the International Community to hold the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accountable by asking them to follow their laid-down guidelines.
He added, “They have a duty to demand from INEC the effective use of their citizens’ tax money in Nigeria.”