In the aftermath of the postponement of the 2019 general elections by a week, a pro-democracy group, Coalition for Clean Polls (CCP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of incompetence and violation of the federal character principle.
The group also said that the electoral umpire has within its fold, people with political leanings contrary to its avowed neutrality and unbiased posture.
A statement signed by the publicity secretary of the CCP, Daniel Onche, yesterday in Abuja, said INEC as presently constituted cannot guarantee free and fair elections given the fact that some of its staff now romance politicians.
“As we speak, the minister of aviation has put a lie to their bad weather claim. So, their excuses were untenable. It’s sheer incompetence on the part of INEC, and nothing else. Then, how can a commission that violates the federal character principle function very well when it is out to satisfy certain interests and not the national interest.
“In the high-level cadre of INEC staff, particularly the Director cadre, where 85 per cent are from the South-East while 75 per cent of them are from Anambra specifically. For Deputy Director cadre, 80 per cent are from South-East while 75 per cent are from Anambra State in particular. This is a constitutional breach that must be addressed immediately,” Onche said.
On the issue of INEC staff romancing politicians, the group cited the case of the Director of Legal Services at the commission, one Mrs Babalola, who is from Ekiti State and an alleged informant of the immediate past Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, saying there was the need for the electoral umpire to purge itself of bad eggs.
“We have it on good authority that all the goings-on and happenings in INEC, this woman pass them to Fayose. She is a link to him.
So, people like that can actually undermine INEC easily. Therefore, the commission must look inward and do a soul searching in order for it to be more effective, trustworthy and competent at all times,” they added.
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