An advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has chided the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood, over claims that the 2019 general elections recorded improvement over past elections, pointing out that the 2019 elections were imperfect’ arguing that “the elections were manipulated; the results substantially stolen and the winners denied of their victories.” The group, therefore, demanded his resignation from office.
HURIWA in a statement in response to the claims by the INEC Chairman that no election in the world is perfect, protested that the head of an electoral umpire that supervised and midwifed substantially stolen elections should have the honour to quit for the spectacular manipulations he had exposed the panel into in the 2019 general elections rather than continue to heap undeserving but totally unintelligent insults on the psyche of the generality of Nigerians in their ‘clever by half’ attempt to tie the wool of confusion around our eyes so as to allow him to continue to desecrate the electoral system.
The group remarked that Nigerians of good conscience like Professor Wole Soyinka had written off the elections as a huge charade and the international community had concluded in unison that the elections did not meet the thresholds of transparency and accountability.
HURIWA, therefore, told Mahmood that even his predecessor, Attahiru Jega, who is also an academic professor, had ridiculed the 2019 elections.
HURIWA in the statement by National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, further protested that the government is exposing Nigeria to inevitable anarchy, chaos and doom, questioning: “should the current discredited hierarchy of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) be allowed to stay on to conduct further elections.”
The Rights group said the only reason the current hierarchy in INEC has been allowed to stay put by the government is a way of compensating the officials for allowing the general elections to be sold, bought and discredited to the benefit of the incumbent president which runs contrary to all democratic norms.
HURIWA has therefore challenged the chairman of INEC to instruct the legal team representing it at the presidential election petition tribunal to remain neutral and not connive with the first respondent and its declared winner of the presidential poll if indeed what transpired during the conduct of the widely disputed election is a mistake of the head and not of the heart or a conspiratorial scheme to retain the incumbent by hook or by crook.
The group restated that allowing the niece of the incumbent president and then presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs. Amina Zakari, to play pivotal roles in the collation of the results of the last presidential poll in which her uncle was a participant, rendered the just ended election a heavily manipulated and rigged enterprise. The group also wondered whether the INEC chairman is not aware people can decode that the 2019 presidential election remains one of the most fraudulent election ever conducted by man in modern times.
“The best we had expected from professor Mahmood was for him to tender his letter of resignation and run as fast as his legs can carry him out of the institution of independent national electoral commission since by his body language and conduct, he has shown that his whole heart, body, mind and spirit reside with the All Progressives Congress”.
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“In the interest of peace, tranquility and the stability of Nigeria, the best bet is for the chairman of INEC to either be sacked or be compelled to resign so a completely non-partisan citizen can be assigned the all-important national task of reforming the administration of the electoral commission and to spearhead a drive for comprehensive and transparent reforms of Nigeria’s electoral system if we want to save Nigeria from a possible civil war should the heist that characterized the 2019 elections be repeated in 2023”.
“We repeat, what actually transpired during the last election cannot by any stretch of imagination be described as mere human error or imperfections. But what took place was a well-coordinated electoral robbery hatched and executed to keep the current president in office by hook or crook,” HURIWA declared.
HURIWA recalled that Yakubu, speaking against the backdrop of the reports of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria and the joint election observation mission of the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute to Nigeria, which highlighted some of the flaws of the elections, described democracy as work-in-progress.
The reports had decried low voter turnout and the systemic challenges that hobbled INEC.
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