Cautioning that Independent National Electoral Commission must not play into the game plan of fifth columnists by undermining the recognition and publication of the name of Chief Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the PDP candidate, a Pro-democracy Non-governmental organization has called for circumspection.
In a strong worded letter submitted in the early hours of today, and signed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA ) has called on INEC to be mindful of the lingering credibility deficits that the recently held Edo State governorship poll brought to the door steps of the electoral commission just as it called on INEC to publish the name of Chief Eyitayo Jegede a senior Advocate of Nigeria as the official candidate of Peoples Democratic Party.
In the letter addressed and presented to the Chairman of INEC Professor Mahmoud Yakubu the Rights group warned the electoral panel not to create anarchy and disquiet in Ondo State by failing to name the rightful candidate for the main opposition party who passed through the statutory crucibles of party primary election in Ondo State by qualified and verified party delegates in a process that independent observers such as HURIWA adjudged as transparent, free, fair and peaceful at the end of which a senior lawyer in the person of Eyitayo Jegede was elected.
HURIWA said it is imperative that democracy is not scuttled in the platter of sponsored and ochestrated anarchy such as introducing someone unknown by members of the PDP in Ondo to fly it’s flag in an election that would determine who governs the state for the next four years.
The group condemned the wild allegations being bandied of a demand for $1million USD as sensationally made in the media by Mr Jimoh Ibrahim just as it asked INEC to maintain her independence and not to be cowed by subtle intimidation to reach a contradictory determination of who the authentic PDP candidate is since it has always been known that Eyitayo Jegede is the officially recognised flag bearer of PDP.
Excerpt from the letter are as follows:
ONDO GUBERNOTORIAL POLL: A CALL FOR CIRCUMSPECTION
We write this letter in good faith as committed and patriotic members of the organized human rights and civil society community.
The purpose is to call for caution and deep circumspection on your decision regarding the appropriate flag bearers of the registered political parties with specific reference to the needless disputations on the rightful candidate to fly the flag of the most significant opposition political party which is the People’s Democratic Party for the November 26th 2016 governorship election.
Sir, we are well aware that some fifth columnists are doing everything outside the rule book to undermine the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission through some subterfuge and well-coordinated campaign of calumny with the purpose of blackmailing the electoral institution to enlist a wrongful person as the candidate when it is universally recognized that the bonafide candidate for PDP is Chief Eyitayo Jegede a Senior Advocate of Nigeria whose nomination was validly certified by your good offices and whose election at the peacefully conducted primary election that held in Ondo State was satisfactorily acclaimed by the authorized leadership of the party and also the incumbent governor.
The emergence of Eyitayo Jegede met the best global practices.
In line with Section 158(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), we urge your good offices to maintain a decent equilibrium and discipline by consistently maintaining your recognition of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP as the governorship candidate.
The claims and reports purporting that a certain faction obtained a kangaroo court order to present any other person as the candidate is an attempt to stoke the embers of political anarchy and illegality and this would stain the credibility of INEC.
As members of the Civil Society, our representatives resident in Ondo State have informed us and we have meticulously found out that any attempt by fifth columnists to stampede INEC into imposing a non-card carrying member as the candidate of PDP in the Ondo State election would be futile and unpopular.
By virtue of our extensive monitoring of the media there are publication to show that Eyitayo Jegede is the democratically emerged candidate.
We pray you to ensure that the public image of INEC is not dragged to the mud of infamy and partisanship just as we call your attention to the burning issues of credibility deficits that characterized the conduct of the just ended Edo State governorship election by your officials.
Sir, on behalf of our group and 30 other registered pro-democracy groups we wish to state that as long as the right thing is done in recognizing Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the PDP candidate, we will support and defend your integrity.
But in the event that democracy is openly raped by allowing another unknown person to masquerade as PDP candidate other than the person that observers from all over the world know as the candidate (Mr. Jegede), we shall mobilize our members and all pro-democracy campaigners to put the issue of the manipulative tendencies derailing the independence of the electoral commission to the front burner of global discuss.
Our objectives are;
To deploy the members’ creative talents as writers to promote, protect and project the human rights of all Nigerians and other law abiding citizens resident within Nigeria;
To organize periodic seminars and training workshops locally for human capital development specifically on the tenets and ideals of Human Rights and the rule of Law;
To attend International Workshops and Seminars targeted at the promotion and protection of human rights;
To conduct periodic studies on ways, means and strategies for promoting and protecting human rights of law abiding citizens;
To highlight human rights challenges confronting the persons in conflict with the law and seek for constructive modalities for redressing such violations; and
To recognize excellence and good governance standards in the polity through yearly award ceremonies for exceptionally good, tested and trusted leaders in both the corporate and public sectors. The process of selection would be by transparent mass participation strategies.