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Ondo 2016: Don’t be intimidated, NGO tells INEC

The  Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to be intimidated by politicians ahead of November 26 governorship poll in Ondo State.

National coordinator of the body, Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko, gave the charge in a statement in Abuja, on Monday.

He said that INEC should strive to ensure that the election was credible and transparent in spite of the perceived intimidation by some politicians and their parties.

According to Onwubiko, the commission could not afford to compromise, especially as it already had credibility problems following complaints from the Sept. 28 Edo governorship poll.

He described the allegation by a politician, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, that an INEC official demanded one million dollars bribe from him as “sensational’’, and urged the commission not to distracted.

He charged INEC authorities to ensure that the independence of the commission was not compromised, adding that it should focus on improving on what happened in Edo.

Onwubiko added that the commission should not to be cowed by antics of politicians, saying that the emergence of Eyitayo Jegede as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state complied with the Electoral Act.

“ By virtue of our extensive monitoring of the media, there is publication to show that Eyitayo Jegede is the democratically-elected candidate of the PDP.

“Any attempt by fifth columnists to stampede INEC into imposing a non-card-carrying member as the candidate of PDP in the Ondo election will be futile and unpopular.

“It is imperative that democracy is not scuttled on the platter of sponsored and orchestrated anarchy such as introducing someone unknown to members of the party,’’ he said.