Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed doubt over the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to deliver credible 2019 General Elections.
Mr. Obasanjo, in a statement titled: ‘Points For Concern And Action’ on Sunday, disclosed that going by the track record of the present leadership of the INEC, believers in a democracy must be prepared for the worst from the commission.
The statement read: “I personally have serious doubt about the present INEC’s integrity, impartiality and competence to conduct a fair, free and credible election. And if the INEC is willing, will the ruling party and government allow it? From what we saw and knew about Osun State gubernatorial election, what was conclusive was declared inconclusive despite all advice to the contrary.
“The unnecessary rerun, if viewed as a test-run for a larger general election, would lead people to expect incidences of deliberately contrived, broken or non-working voting machines or card readers, confusion of voters as to their voting stations,
inadequate supply of voting materials to designated places, long line to discourage voters and turning blind eyes to favour the blue-eye political party of INEC because the Commission’s hands will be tied to enable hatchet men and women to perform their unwholesome assignment.
“The transmission and collation of results are subject to interference, manipulation, and meddling. If the INEC’s favorite political party wins with all the above infractions, the result will be conclusively declared and if not, there will be a ‘rerun’,
the result of which is known before it is carried out. I know that I am not alone in being sceptical about the integrity of INEC and its ability to act creditably and above board. But we are open to be convinced otherwise.
“The joke about INEC would seem real. The INEC was asked if the Commission was ready for the election and if it expects the election to be free, fair and credible. The INEC man is reported as saying in response, “we are ready with everything including the results!”
God save Nigeria! It is up to Nigerians to ensure that the redline is not crossed in safeguarding our fledgling democracy. And if crossed, appropriate action must be taken not to allow our democracy to be derailed.
“A friend of mine who is more credulous and who claims to be close to the Chair of INEC keeps telling me that INEC will retrieve its image and reputation by conducting the coming elections with utmost integrity and impartiality.
I am not sure as I believe more in action than in words and in the past record than in promise. The track record of the present INEC is fairly sordid and all men and women of goodwill and believers in a democracy must be prepared for the worst from INEC and their encouragers and how to get Nigeria out of the electoral morass that the Commission is driving us into.”