As Nigerians continue to count down to the 2019 general elections, a plot to hack the servers of the Independent National Electoral Commission in order to tamper with the outcome of the elections has been uncovered.
According to Punch, a coalition of 24 civil society organisations who raised the alarm on Monday stated that the hacking would enable the hackers to take control of the commission’s website and to upload fictitious results in favour of their sponsors, “thereby determining electoral outcomes against the run of play of ballots contrary to the expressed will of voters.”
The group, which included Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative; Source of Hope Foundation; Nigeria Young Women; Political and Policy Forum; Centre for Environmental Development; Women of Purpose, Development and Education, among others, made the disclosure at a news conference in Abuja.
The Executive Secretary, Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative, Chief Dennis Aghanya, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, alleged that some electoral officials and judicial officers indicted for corruption were being recruited to carry out the plot.
He said, “This army of mischief-makers are being recruited gradually but surely at all levels within the electoral body to undermine elections through a multiplicity of actions and utterances planned to call into question the integrity of the polls and create disaffection likely to engender violence.
“The first leg of this segment consists of hiring foreign political strategists to lay down a consistent fusillade of blackmail against the country and the forthcoming elections through procurement of adverse publications in foreign media which will then be echoed endlessly by local outlets,” Aghanya stated.
When asked whether the coalition had reported the plan to the police or other security agencies, the activist stated that he did not want to personalise the issue yet.
He said, “We are giving room for those involved to repent of their evil plot, but we don’t want to personalise it yet by reporting to the police because they would ask you to identify those involved and we don’t want to point fingers at people yet.
“That is why we are raising a general alarm so that the people can repent, but if they did not, then we may have to take further steps to stop them.”