Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has raised the alarm that democracy is being threatened in the country with the way the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is handling elections since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office over a year ago.
The governor, who alleged manipulation of the Imo North Senatorial District rerun election, also described the postponement of the Rivers State rerun elections as another dangerous signal of what to come in 2019.
The INEC had on Sunday declared the Imo North Senatorial rerun polls inconclusive with the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate – Ben Uwajumogu – leading his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Athan Achonu by 48,921 votes to 40,142. The commission also postponed the July 30 federal and state legislative rerun polls in Rivers State following the bombing of its office in Khana local government area last Friday by unknown persons.
Reacting to the developments, Gov. Fayose, in a statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, reiterated his fear that “democracy in Nigeria is being threatened by INEC and this should call for national and international reflection”.
He said; “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 conclusion of the elections twice.
“INEC had on June 20 after a meeting with relevant stakeholders, fixed June 30 as new date for the conclusion of the poll.
“However, the electoral commission 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!”
Speaking further, the governor said President Buhari should be concerned that since he assumed office, all elections conducted by INEC ended inconclusive, adding it should be clear to the president and his party men that absence of free, fair and credible electoral process is a direct invitation to anarchy.