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A pro-democracy and Non Governmental organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as disappointing and shameful the 11th – hour decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the long scheduled February 16th 2019 Presidential and National Assembly’s polls by a week.
According to the group, the postponement is a demonstration that INEC under Yakubu Mahmood is either under a spell or is being tele-guided by the Presidency which has become tensed up and worried that the incumbent has lost the opportunity of rigging the polls because of clear cases of poor performance in the last four years.
“This has come not as a shock because only 24 hours ago the spokesman of the unelected Northern born members of the Buhari’s Presidential cabal, who is the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, had warned the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the European Union to steer clear of the election and that they planned to impose their predetermined candidate as the eventual winner,” HURIWA declared in a press statement late on Friday.
It continued: “This tension from the cabal has boiled over and spilled over to the INEC’S office thereby occasioning this frenzy and panicky postponement by their lackey and sycophantic chairman of the electoral management board Yakubu Mahmood “.
HURIWA in the statement by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko described the decision as the clearest sign that the current hierarchy of INEC is programmed to deliver a choreographed and highly manipulated electoral process which is predetermined by the Chairman and his cohorts to favour the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group said that it was unfortunate and sad that after millions of Nigerians had trooped to their communities from far and near to take part in the election that was scheduled for over four year preparatory period, the electoral umpire was yet to tidy up the arrangements for a smooth conduct of a peaceful, free, fair and transparent general elections. It expressed fears that “a bunch of incompetent persons who constitute the hierarchy of INEC” are now unable to proceed with an election that they had prepared for in a four year waiting period.
It queried: “How can just one week now be sufficient to smoothen their crass organisational inefficiency and gross but pathetically vexatious incompetence.
HURIWA declared: “This INEC is anything but professionally and ethically transparent. After letting millions of Nigerians go through the logistical nightmares of travelling and allowing national businesses and the private sector to suspend their transactional activities with huge loses as a result, this unprepared contraption called INEC woke up in the wee hours of February 16th when millions of Nigerians were still asleep to announce a nocturnal postponement of the election for which many lives were wasted by politicians as if INEC is a coven of witches and Wizards. This is the saddest day in the political annals of Nigeria”.