Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, have called for the sack of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Yakubu Mahmood over the conduct of Ekiti State governorship election.
The Association also called on the electoral body to cancel the July 14th governorship election in the southwest state.
HURIWA established its call on what it termed “overwhelming evidence of monetary inducements and the failure of officials to stop same.”
The Association made this call in a statement endorsed jointly by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf on Tuesday, July 17.
It noted that the alleged failure of INEC in the conduct of the Ekiti election is an indication that the electoral body lacks the capacity to conduct 2019 polls.
HURIWA warned that if the current alleged “incompetent and compromised hierarchy” of INEC under Professor Mahmood and the “heavily compromised security chiefs are left intact to oversee the 2019 general election then the national security of the nation maybe imperilled even as vote-buying may spark off widespread riots.”
The statement reads, “The legitimacy of the Ekiti governorship election is vitiated by widespread irregularities characterized by open vote buying by political parties with the highest bidder getting the highest number of choreographed votes. The conduct of the electoral panel and the security forces during the election can at best be described as treasonous and vexatious. We encouraged the candidate of the PDP who was robbed in a daylight robbery to proceed to the election tribunal immediately and we advise the judiciary to decide this matter in the best interest of justice and avoid being compromised or bribed”.
“We are embittered that even when there are overwhelming proofs of vote-buying by politicians especially by the party affiliated to the central government which reportedly got security backups to perpetrate these illegalities and electoral malfeasance, INEC still proceeded to even doctor the overall results of the election just to ensure that a pre-determined and federally anointed candidate of the All Progressives Congress is produced as winner.
“The open and naked show of shame continued with the primitive display of arrogance by the presidency and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which specifically celebrated this infamy done to Ekiti voters by INEC by announcing on its Twitter handle that governor Ayodele Fayose who is a vocal critique of President Buhari would be dealt with over some allegations that in the face of the law are still mere conjectures until a competent court of law reaches a determination. The barrage of celebratory attacks emerging from the presidency shows that the Ekiti State governorship election was traded off by INEC and procured by the presidency.”
HURIWA also called for the immediate change of the current hierarchies of INEC and security agencies, noting that failure to do such will push the nation into a state of war.
“We are worried that mob justice may become legitimate, should politicians try to play on the gullibility and government’s imposed poverty, to try to buy votes. This evil tendency would be resisted and we fear that this may precipitate a greater national security instability. INEC chairman must be sacked even as all the heads of security must be swiftly changed to bring in patriots and committed unbiased Nigerians to head these agencies,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Political Stew recalls that INEC declared former Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development and candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr John Kayode Fayemi winner of the Ekiti State governorship election.