As the 2019 general elections draw near, questions have been asked of the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections. This is even as the Chairman of Atiku/Obi Campaign Council in Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze, says he is doubtful of INEC’s ability to remain a neutral umpire.
at Onitsha on Saturday, during an interactive radio program on
Sapientia 95.3FM, Obaze said recent events have put a serious
credibility deficit on INEC. He said the controversies surrounding
by-elections and state elections of the last couple of years, especially
that of Ekiti and Osun states have placed serious credibility deficits
According to him, “INEC has a very recent track record
that makes it impossible for my party or any other party, and indeed for
Nigerians to say that they have implicit confidence in the ability of
INEC to deliver free, fair, transparent and sufficiently credibile
elections in 2019.
Obaze said the strength of the government, in
any established democracy, derives from public confidence in statutory
institutions which INEC is one. He called on the electoral umpire to
live above the fray and ensure that the votes of Nigerians truly counts
in the coming elections.
Obaze, also the candidate of the PDP in
the Anambra 2017 governorship election, faulted President Muhammadu
Buhari’s refusal to assent the amended electoral act.
opined that, “Amina Zakari has been flagged for a potential conflict of
interest. It will serve collective good if she recuses herself or be
made to do so in the National interest.”
When asked about his
party’s chances in the coming elections, Obaze said that the incumbent
administration’s abysmal performance in office has bolstered the chances
of the PDP at the polls. He said Nigerians are hungry under this
present administration and are rallying behind PDP’s Atiku-Obi ticket
which they have come to see as a credible alternative. He however warned
INEC to ensure that the coming elections are not rigged.