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Southern, Middle Belt leaders allege registration of mercenary voters by INEC

By Wale Elegbede on 18/06/2018

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•INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu
•INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum has, again, restated its lack of confidence in the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

The leaders expressed worries over reports of alleged registration of mercenaries from neighbouring countries for the election. In a communiqué issued yesterday after its consultative meeting in Lagos, the Forum, in its position signed by Yinka Odumakin (South-West), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South-East) and Dr. Isuwa Doga (Middle Belt), said President Muhammadu Buhari should reconstitute the security apparatus so as to earn the confidence of all communities in Nigeria.

The leaders stated that they are worried about the intelligence report at their disposal on the registration of aliens for the 2019 general elections. “A large number of mercenary voters have been registered from neighbouring countries, especially from the Niger Republic, under the Continuous Voters Registration exercise which could have been one of the reasons why the Federal Government is in a haste to construct a rail line from Kano, through Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi, Niger Republic. Money has been appropriated for this in the 2018 budget,” the Forum stated.

Faulting the non-release of the report of the INEC team that investigated the under-age voters in Kano State, the Forum said the INEC boss has shown a gross betrayal of public trust by not releasing the report to the public after five months.

“Information at our disposal is that the report of the committee is so damning and the reason why he is doing a macabre dance on it. How on earth can we trust a man doing such an issue of public knowledge to be fair on matters relating to free and fair elections that would not be in the public glare?” the Forum asked. The Forum demanded the immediate release of INEC report on the Kano underage voters’ scandal.

Some of their demands include: “Interrogation of the Voter Registry by a Judicial Commission with representatives of international and local elections observers to check cases of underage voters and foreign mercenaries before the 2019 elections. This is very necessary as INEC cannot be a judge in its own cause.

“The probe should also be extended to the fake INEC results centre discovered in Rivers State last year and the printing press responsible which has since been swept under the carpet. “The suspension of the current INEC chair while the investigation is on to prevent intervention with the probe.”

The leaders added: “We are equally not comfortable with the impunity and gross lopsidedness of appointments into the security architecture of the country and going into election season.

What special services have the three main Service Chiefs rendered to the defence system for the president to keep them in office, if not that they may be used for partisan roles? “How would all sections of the country have confidence in the security arrangement for elections when 16 out of 17 service chiefs and heads of security agencies are from a section of the country?” (New Telegraph)

Source News Express

Posted 18/06/2018 11:18:31 AM


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