Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is an establishment of law as enshrined in section 153 of the 1999 constitution and charged with the responsibility of conducting voter and civic education, election through laid down or amended processes contained in the Act, “the electoral Act 2010” as amended.
Going by the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the INEC must be independent on its own; this is to further enhance efficiency, effectiveness and optimal result to the admiration and satisfaction of the simple Nigerian populace.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is an embodiment of the law and as such must respect the laws and as well act within the laws establishing and guiding it. In section 2 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and in conformity with the provisions of the 1999 constitution as contained in part I of the third schedule; INEC is saddled with the functions and powers to conduct voter and civic education; promote knowledge of sound democratic election processes and conduct any referendum required to be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the 1999 constitution or any other law or Act of the National Assembly.
The essence of the commission is to ensure credible, fair, transparent and internationally acceptable elections that produce credible men to pilot the nation’s affair at the both National and States level.
The Commission had from its inception and establishment conducted several elections under several chairmen. From the chairmanship of Nwosu, Abel Gubadia, Maurice Iwu though with different names such as National Electoral Commission- NEC, Federal Electoral Commission, FEDECO, to the era of Professor Attahiru Jega of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the commission had never somersaulted in this manner and the way the Mamood Yakubu led INEC is going.
Fundamentally, the commission is established to be above bias as seen in its constitutional mandate and provisions. The acclaimed change prayer of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has however been exposed to nudity in various ways including the inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and incompetency; above all the failure of INEC as a body that ought to be independent under Mamood Yakubu.
It is also a sad note that the incompetency of the executive has also crawled into the independent body. Sad again is the failed operations of the electoral umpire which has fallen beyond the previous unhealthy but managed commissions.
INEC operations before today has been proven at least to an admirable stage where elections are conducted at least to international recognition against what is obtainable today.
Today, Nigerians are in doubt over INEC’s ability in conducting free, fare and credible election in Nigeria in 2019 occasioned on the incessant abnormalities across the states in the country.
It is close to two years INEC could not conduct a simple rerun election in Rivers and Anambra States. It was painstaking before elections rerun were conducted in just one local government of Bayelsa State. In Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari and Mahmood Yakubu of INEC, elections are only free and fare, peaceful and credible in APC controlled states, while any opposition controlled state is considered an insecured and no go area just to deny them their rights in a nation where all are equal.
Today INEC as led by Mahmood Yakubu has without gainsaying encouraged fraud and malpractices in the public but with no action to quell such. It is appalling that in Nigeria an electoral umpire well empowered with powers could fall below its standard, subjecting the citizenry to perpetual pains that questions the equality of states and rights of citizenry.
To ask the least, what development or change has Mahmud Yakubu enthroned in the acclaimed era or change? Sincerely, with the events so experienced in Nigeria under president Buhari and Yakubu led INEC, it is ripe to state that the present INEC has not only failed, but also has instituted fraud, malpractices, as well as encouraging nepotism.
How is it known? When politicians of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State would publicly claim that INEC is their own, police is under them, the Army, Navy, Air force are controlled by them, therefore anything; anything would happen and no body can question anyone. Then you will understand that the nation is not going to fail but has already failed because irrespective of agitations, media warning and resistance by the citizenry, those of the APC takes delight in whatever evil they do. They do not respect the rule of law; with impunity those indicted of fraud and accused of corruption are walking free on the streets, yet sit down on round table with Mr. President to judge others perhaps they wanted to use. Is this a developing country? Or is it changing in the positive direction?
From the foregoing, the activities of INEC in supervising printing of fake results sheets and other sensitive materials of INEC through its original code was a situation that put on hold March 19th, 2016 elections to date, and it is unacceptable to the citizenry. INEC insensitivity to the electorate plight is condemnable; indeed the frequent use of insecurity in cancelling elections that is obvious, APC cannot win is equally condemnable.
While another nomenclature for INEC is inconclusive election, insecurity, it is worthy therefore to say that the electoral body under its present leadership is inefficient, incompetent, deceitful and despotic even in its failed state.
Again, juxtaposing that INEC’s position of insecurity in Rivers State posed threat to the conduct of rerun for almost two years was right, is the state now secured for election of December 10th, 2016? The truth must someday be told.
Practically, it suggest that if the senate had not threatened to down tool on INEC refusal to conduct election, Rivers State would not be represented at the National Assembly in an era of supposed integrity government.
Are Nigerians and her leaders truly praying for development of the country or personal enrichment? The leaders should have known that non-inclusion of Rivers State representatives in the decision processes in the National Assembly could be more harmful to the nation and its stage managed development by the current crop of leaders.
Of course, the actions of INEC, presidency and those involved in tracking down Rivers State because it is not an APC State have proven that Rivers State is not part of Nigeria and except otherwise the meaning would remain. That act of excluding Rivers State at the senate is not only against the constitution of Nigeria, but against humanity and may trigger more destruction in the oil and gas industries.
While Issues Abattoir calls for frantic efforts in ensuring that the December 10th, 2016 re-run of reruns elections hold with all sincerity, the electoral umpire must also as a matter of urgent national importance, publicly release the list of units, wards, LGA’s and constituencies where the December 10th election would hold if it is sincere and prepare for the election.
As it would be viewed with anger any attempt to postpone the said December 10th, 2016 rescheduled poll, INEC must not think of any excuse or excuses to fool itself in the name of not conducting election in Rivers and Anambra state.
Finally, having discovered the incompetency of the electoral umpire, their antics, bias nature and inconsistency, it is Issues Abattoir opinion that the present leadership and members of the electoral umpire, INEC be sacked to usher it the expected transparency in the commission.
When that is done, Nigerians and indeed politicians would at least be glad that their votes would count, but with Yakubu Mahmood’s leadership the worst is yet to be experienced.###
With James Mgboineme