Few days to the 2015 General Elections the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has said that the reported intimidation of Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega at a meeting with the service chiefs and the recent violence protest in Lagos is a cause for concern which must be addressed.
Director of MURIC Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said in a statement that a seeming threat by the service chiefs allegedly asking Jega to withdraw the card readers, which was similar to the demand of the two ethnic militias that oppose the card reader usage should not be ignored.
“The status quo has compelled MURIC to envision the worst case scenario in which the chairman of INEC, Jega’s security details could be withdrawn. He might be asked to resign or the youth corpers whom INEC intends to use for the elections might refuse to work for fear over their personal safety. Interestingly too, the ruling party has been rooting for holding the elections without using the card readers while the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), supports the use of card readers.
“INEC may also be sabotaged either from within or from outside the electoral institution. Withdrawing Jega’s security details will imply open intimidation. It will also backfire because it is bound to incriminate federal government. This must not happen,” Akintola said.
He said: “If Federal Government knew about the card readers prior to the procurement, why are the ruling party and the service chiefs vehemently opposed to its use? Again, if FG would not allow its use, why waste huge sums of money on its purchase? We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) are constrained to observe that all the above have created a tension-soaked environment. This is contrary to a conducive atmosphere for holding elections.”
He therefore charged all stakeholders to soften their extreme positions on the left or the right at this time as it is an ill wind that will blow no one any good.
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