The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu not to give room for electoral partisanship and manipulations before attempting the establishment of Electoral Offences Tribunal.
According to him, “INEC under the present dispensation is the number one electoral offender and that electoral reform without INEC neutrality is a mirage.”
Still Speaking, Fayose said that any Electoral Offences Tribunal established under this present dispensation will be used against opposition parties as the Department of States Services, Police, Armed forces and other agencies of the federal government were used during the Bayelsa and Rivers States elections.
However, he described the Electoral Commission as an Inconclusive National Electoral Commission as it is made up of commission’s partisanship .
The governor, who described electoral violence as a product of electoral injustice said President Buhari had accepted his failure to conduct any free, fair and credible election since his resumption in office.
During the Rivers State rerun elections that INEC had been unable to conclude, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was missing on result sheets of over 230 polling units and till date , INEC tells Nigerians that the criminal omission of PDP in the result sheets was due to printers error. Was that not enough to cause violence?”.
While blaming President Buhari for deteriorating INEC independence, Governor Fayose said that President Buhari worked with the internal administration of INEC in appointing Madam Amina Zakari, a National Commissioner, as Acting Chairperson of the commission as the title and position is unknown to the Constitution.
Furthermore, he said that INEC lost its independence and credibility under the present regime of President Buhari APC government .“The reality that INEC itself must therefore face is that members of President Buhari’s party, APC have become so emboldened to unleash violence on Nigerians during elections because they know that the president won’t lift a finger provided his party members are the ones perpetrating evil”
In conclusion , Fayose said that INEC must set out to regain its lost independence and credibility before the idea of punishing electoral offenders as it is the number one electoral offender and supporter of violence.”
Quoting the Governor, Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka quoted said that INEC doesn’t give room for free and fair election as the setting up of Electoral Offences Tribunal is not outright wrong and this should be a food for thought for its Chairman .