The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has raised the alarm that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) might have compromised this weekend’s presidential election in favour of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari
HURIWA in a statement issued yesterday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, accused the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu of denying Nigerians bearing Christian names of their permanent voters cards (PVCs) in most parts of the country, especially at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The Chairman of INEC, Yakubu Mahmood may have compromised the February 16, 2019 presidential poll in favour of the incumbent, going by the plethora of genuine, verifiable and unambiguous evidence that Nigerians with Christian names were denied their permanent voters cards in most parts of the country and especially the FCT,” HURIWA said.
HURIWA said it had received approximately 10, 000 reports from Abuja and most Northern States of persons complaining of discrimination by officials of INEC in the distribution of permanent voter’s cards.
The rights group has also asked for urgent investigation by the National Assembly of the cocktails of premeditated fire incidents that burnt down offices of the commission in Plateau, Abia, and Anambra States.
It also asked the INEC chief to clear the air regarding his alleged adorning of the customised cap of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which he said bears broom, the official symbol of the ruling APC.
HURIWA said: “The adorning publicly of APC customised hat by the INEC chairman must not be overlooked because there are allegations that the cap symbolises a certain oath of loyalty to the ideals of APC. This must be investigated.
“As a civil rights body that is charged with monitoring how the fundamental human rights of the citizens are promoted, protected and nurtured we are aware based on verifiable eyewitnesses’ accounts that millions of Southern Christians have been denied their human rights to vote.”
“We have noticed that most of those who told our field officers that they have been unable to pick up their permanent voters cards are either Christians from the middle belt or from the South even as the citizens of the Igbo speaking states in most parts of the North and Abuja could not receive their voters cards for no clear reasons, even as majority of the officials from INEC in charge of the PVCs are Moslems of northern Nigeria.
“These are clear cases of discrimination by the leadership of INEC. We were told by some officials from INEC who are close to some of our people that the leadership of INEC believe that most Southerners and Northern Christians who are angry that president Buhari could not tackle the armed Fulani herdsmen’s attacks, have shifted their loyalty to the Peoples Democratic Party.”