*Insists on free, fair election in Kogi, Bayelsa polls*
In a manner suggesting affirmation of his anti-corruption stance, President Muhammadu Buhari may have rejected a nominee presented by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, as a National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A top source at the Aso Villa who craved anonymity informed our correspondent that the name of the nominee was to be presented among others for confirmation at the last Council of State meeting in Abuja.
However, it was gathered that during Buhari’s vetting of all the names for appointments at the electoral body, it was discovered that Sylva’s nominee had character deficit based on his past activities during the former governor’s tenure between 2007 and 2011.
Further checks also revealed that the rejection may not be unconnected with security report that the said nominee was part of a “grand plot” by the APC to rig the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Reliable sources at the Presidency informed that the rejection of Sylva’s nominee and similar issues bothering on the need to conduct a free and fair election during the forthcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States got the attention of the leaders at the meeting.
At last Wednesday’s Council of State meeting, it was gathered that President Buhari handed down a clear directive to the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase and other heads of security agencies to ensure that the governorship election in both states were effectively monitored to avoid any form of violence or rigging.
According to sources, President Buhari was concerned that his administration owed it Nigerians and posterity that the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States were credible, free and fair.
Buhari reportedly said, “We must work hard to ensure that we create a peaceful and secure atmosphere where every vote of the citizens in both states count.
“Being a beneficiary of a peaceful and credible poll myself, it is only proper that the people of Kogi and Bayelsa are given the opportunity where their votes will count. The various heads of security agencies are hereby directed to ensure that is done.”
This latest move by the President has helped to douse growing tension and apprehension among the electorates in Bayelsa State, who are said to be on the edge following threats of violence, intimidation and harassment by the APC.
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