Ekiti 2018: Fayose storms INEC secretariat without security details
EKITI State Governor, Ayodele Fayose on Wednesday stormed the national secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Findings revealed that his visit was unscheduled as he arrived the Commission’s office without his security details, he drove himself to the INEC office. Accosted by newsmen, shortly after the interactive session between the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu and chairmen of State Independent Electoral Commission, the Ekiti state governor declined comments as he claimed he was on a private visit.
Few hours after his meeting with Professor Yakubu, he told journalists that he came to meet the INEC chairmen to seek clarifications on the Commission preparedness for the Ekiti governorship election slated for July.
He said: “On the issue that has to do with INEC on a few concerns, and the bragging of some oppositions figures from the party at the centre in respect of general elections in Ekiti 2018, I felt I should equally come and do an interactive session with INEC to share my ideas.
“INEC is a public place, it is a public office, and any citizen of this country should be able to ask questions and I have come here to ask questions as it affects 2018 elections July 14 in my state, and as it affects 2019 elections.
‘’We heard a lot of things and we feel that it is within our rights to ask INEC questions and we were all warmly received by all National Commissioners seated and I expressed my concerns, all that I have heard, all that is making around and it was a very issued-session, quite educative and so far so good, I am satisfied.’’
The Ekiti state governor expressed satisfaction over his interface with the INEC chairman and his national commissioners.
‘’So far so good, they have been able to allay my fears. Generally, I said to you that there were a number of issues making round particularly coming from the APC stalwarts in our state.
‘’You don’t want to sit down there and assume anything, I am a man of actions, I am very pro-active and I will not take the chance. So, I felt I should see them and ask questions and I have asked a number of questions and they’ve answered me. And they have gone through the whole process, what to expect from INEC, and they promised not to descend to the arena, which is quite reassuring and I am satisfied.
If I have other issues or any question to ask, I won’t waste time to ask. But I felt they have said and cleared issues, and for now, I am satisfied.’’
Governor Fayose also restated his party fears over the unsavoury development of underage voters in the recently conducted Kano local government election which he noted was an embarrassment to the country.
‘’Well, let me say this, anyone will be concerned by underage voting, you will not blame the PDP or any party protesting, it is the duty of INEC to equally allay their fears. You see, if you are the umpire, the referee, you must not only be neutral but be seen to be neutral.
“It is a shame for you to see people bringing children of four years, five years, coming to register. For our nation, it is a shame. For the level of our democracy today, in the 21st century, it is a shame. Or you want to believe that INEC said they will look into it, and I want to give them benefits of a doubt so that they can look into it and address the Nigerian nation because the buck stops on the Prof. Mahmoud’s table. The buck stops at his table and I am sure he would not want to compromise anything for his name. That’s my view.”
At its meeting with the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commission, (FOSIECON) Professor Yakubu constituted an eight-man committee to investigate issues surrounding its Voters register used for the Kano local councils election.
The Committee which has Engineer Abubakar Nahuche and Jude Chikezie Okwuonu as chairman and secretary respectively have two weeks to submit its report.
The Committee terms of reference include, ‘’Ascertain if the voter register requested by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission was actually used in the Local Government Election; Investigate the widespread report that persons below the statutory age of 18 years voted using INEC’s register.
It will also ‘’engage stakeholders on issues related to the use of the voter register in the election and make any other recommendations which in the opinion of the Committee are relevant to its assignment.’’