The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has dismissed as untrue, allegations by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that the electoral umpire was working in cahoots with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to short-change it in the general elections.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said yesterday night, that the commission is not a political party, explaining that the fate of APC in Zamfara and Rivers states were as a result of judicial pronouncements.
He was reacting to allegation by the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that two Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, of INEC are campaigning side by side with the PDP in the South-south, saying the Commission is grossly unfair to his party.
According to him, “It is not true that the Independent National Electoral Commission is working hand in gloves with any political party to do the wrong things. The issue of Zamfara and Rivers are well known.
“In the case of Zamfara, the Commission had written to the APC leadership to notify it that, due to its inability to conduct its primaries in Zamfara State within the stipulated time as required by law, the party cannot field candidates for the governorship election. Thereafter, two cases were instituted in court resulting in two rulings which were delivered the same day. The Commission then adopted one of the rulings.
“In the case of Rivers, it was the Supreme Court that took a final decision on the fate of APC. Therefore, both cases were purely judicial and INEC, being a law abiding institution, will always obey court orders/judgment.
“The Commission is not a political party and does not have a candidate for the forthcoming general elections. Our duty is to provide a level-playing field for all registered political parties and ensure that elections are conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner,” Oyekanmi told Vanguard.
On his part, INEC’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi challenged the APC to furnish the Commission with evidences of bias against the RECs. He said the commission was preparing for Saturday’s elections and would not allow itself to be distracted.
He said: “We will not join issues with anyone but we have been accused by the PDP too. However, we do not want to be distracted because we are focused on preparations for the elections. If they have hard evidences, they can write to the Commission and attach the evidences.”