The decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State to hold a political meeting inside the premises of a church was on Thursday, condemned by an Islamic advocacy group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
Ishaq Akintola, the Director-General of MURIC, who expressed the group’s disappointment at the INEC decision in a statement, faulted the electoral body for scheduling its meeting at a facility owned by the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, saying it was akin to having a meeting inside an office owned by a political party.
“This is very disappointing. How can an electoral body of INEC status pick a religious house of worship as venue for its meeting? Is the meeting for the Christian wing of INEC or what? Is INEC meeting members of the church? It is unacceptable,” Akintola said in the statement seen by Ripples Nigeria.
READ ALSO: Naira Redesign: Put Arabic On All Denominations, Removal Was Cause Of Nigeria’s Division – MURIC Tells CBN
“The choice of a church as venue for a meeting of INEC is very insensitive particularly given the very volatile situation we are in Nigeria today. It is an open secret that Christian pastors are deeply involved in political campaigns. Many of them have turned 2023 election into a straight fight between them and the Muslims.
“INEC Lagos Headquarters has taken a false step. Holding an electoral body’s meeting inside a church is like holding it inside the secretariat of one of the political parties. It erodes confidence. It is totally wrong particularly in a situation whereby the church has publicly revealed that it is an interested party in the ongoing electioneering exercises.
“Why pick a church when there are hundreds of neutral places all over Lagos? Is INEC promoting the church’s vested interest in the 2023 election? Is some kind of connivance in the offing? INEC Lagos headquarters must prove to Lagosians that their votes will count.
“We call on Lagosians to watch the activities of INEC from now on because we are not convinced that it is going to be neutral,” Akintola said.