Mr. Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti State Governor, has reportedly said that the Independent National Electoral Commission is messing up democracy in the country with its handling of elections under the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
The governor described the postponement of the Rivers State rerun elections and the alleged manipulation of the Imo North Senatorial election as another dangerous signal of what Nigerians should expect in 2019.
He wondered how INEC could not conduct elections conclusively in just one state would be able to conduct elections in the entire country in 2019.
The governor, in a statement issued on Tuesday July 26th, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, re-affirmed his fear that “democracy in Nigeria is being threatened by INEC and this should call for national and international reflection.
Lovers of democracy in Nigeria and the entire world should be worried that after conducting inconclusive elections in Rivers State in March this year, INEC postponed the rescheduled elections twice”. He continued.
On June 20th, after a meeting with relevant stakeholders, INEC fixed June 30 as the new date for the conclusion of the poll.
The electoral commission however postponed the elections for the second time, claiming reports of violence, and one wonders how INEC will be able to conduct elections in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in 2019 if it has not been able to conclude elections in Rivers State in four months!”
Fayose, who said the President should be worried that since he assumed office all elections conducted by INEC ended inconclusively, added that the absence of a free, fair and credible electoral process would be a direct invitation to anarchy.
He said, “Nigerians had thought issues of violence, ballot snatching and electoral fraud had been put behind them only for them to be brought back frontally by the Buhari’s government.
“President Buhari should ask himself if he would have been elected if the system then did not allow free and fair elections. The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, should also be worried if there would have been an INEC to head if the 2015 elections had been inconclusive.”