A Pro-Democracy Non-governmental organization – Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed considerable consternation and worry over the Professor Yakubu Mahmoud-led hierarchy of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
HURIWA said that INEC is on the verge of destabilizing democracy through coordinated plots to rig the General Elections in favor of his pay master- the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Rights group said Nigeria’s stability and her democratic future may be imperiled if concrete measures through constitutional reforms aren’t implemented to wrestle the hierarchy of the electoral umpire from the stranglehold and manipulative control of the Presidency especially now that virtually fifty percent of all the re-run elections by the current leadership have ended up as inconclusive particularly whenever the electoral panel anticipates imminent victory of the opposition party.
HURIWA said although it is totally non- partisan but maintained that as a pro-democracy platform her members have expressed overwhelming concerns that the current leadership of INEC has embarked on a journey of an ‘organised shipwreck ‘ and asked patriotic Nigerians to speak out now so the electoral system is made truly independent and accountable to the people of Nigeria and not to a tiny coterie of Ethno-religious zealots seeking to perpetuate their stay in power by hook or crook.
HURIWA has also called for the sack of Hajia Amina Zakari should it be true that she is indeed the Niece of the serving President and that she was recommended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
HURIWA in a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said the unambiguous partisan conducts of the current leadership of INEC in the many inconclusive elections specifically in Rivers and Imo State is a pointer to the fact that it can’t be trusted to conduct a free, fair, transparent and crisis free General Elections in 2019 because as the saying goes that the early morning shows how the rest of the day would be.
HURIWA has also accused INEC of deliberately scheming to deny Igbo speaking States such as Anambra and Imo State full complement of representations in the National Assembly as another escalation of the marginalization of the South East of Nigeria by a government that has through numerous high profile appointments and actions showed it’s pro-Northern Nigeria tendency.
HURIWA said any attempt by INEC to perpetuate this illegality of frustrating the electoral system may result in civil war should the current leadership be allowed to mess up the 2019 general election.
“All hands must be on deck to save Nigeria’s fledgling democracy from being scuttled by reactionary elements who have seized control of the Electoral Commission at the national level.
“These cocktails of inconclusive elections are mere rehearsals of what this current leadership of INEC has in stock which they may play up should their preferred political associates and regional acolytes fail to win a democratically conducted voting process.
“The National Assembly must save Nigeria from this coming conflagration by comprehensively reforming INEC to remove the powers of appointments from the President.
“We must make hay whilst the sun shines.
“This leadership of INEC has demonstrated more than a sufficient evidence of her readiness to undermine democracy “.
HURIWA condemned INEC for nullifying results of the Okigwe senatorial rerun election only in the areas whereby PDP seemed to have emerged victorious and only declared the result of the state Assembly seat whereby INEC’S preferred political party the APC reportedly won.
HURIWA recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared as “inconclusive,” the Okigwe senatorial zone re-run election, which took place last Saturday.
Also declared inconclusive were the state assembly seat results for Oru East and Isiala Mbano local council areas of the state.
Although INEC had stated that the Oru East state assembly re-run election had to be declared inconclusive because of the shootout at Akata and Amiri communities in Oru East, between supporters of the rival parties midway into the election, the state Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, however, said that there was reportedly excess voting in the cancelled areas.
HURIWA said there’s more to this than meets the eyes since the highly compromised Nigeria Police Force is now dishing out information that INEC ought to actually emanate from INEC.
“This shows well-executed clandestine plots by Police and INEC to scuttle the electoral chances of the opposition PDP in Imo State.
“We stand to be corrected but our hunch tells us that INEC has an anti-Igbo agenda”.
HURIWA queried the inconsistencies in the statement attributed to the Police Commissioner in Imo State who had initially told the media that there was no recorded violence in any of the areas where the re-run election took place.
HURIWA also recalled the Police Commissioner telling the media that his men were everywhere and ready to promptly tackle any incident, whenever and wherever it reared its ugly head.
But the Rights group then wondered how INEC determined that the election is inconclusive on the ground of violence and over balloting in only areas that observers said were PDP’S stronghold.
“We smell a rat”.