18 Mar 2015

APC raises alarm over President Jonathan and INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega's meeting

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has said the decision by President Goodluck Jonathan to summon INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega to a meeting that was not attended by other political parties in Abuja on Tuesday is part of ongoing moves to compromise the integrity of the electoral commission, which is expected to be fair and neutral.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said it is wrong for the President, who himself is a candidate in the forthcoming elections, to be summoning the electoral umpire at will, especially when such meetings are populated by his appointees.
”Without the representatives of other political parties attending such meetings, irrespective of whether or not it is aimed at briefing security chiefs on the preparations for the polls, the ruling PDP and its presidential candidate are seeking to gain undue advantage over others ahead of the elections.

”It is like the referee in a football match meeting with key officials of one of the teams ahead of the match. This is against the spirit of transparency and fairness and must stop forthwith.

”Had the representatives of other political parties apart from the PDP (the President is the leader of the PDP) attended the meeting, the widespread speculation that Jega’s life and job were threatened if he fails to drop the use of the card reader, as well as circulating reports that he will be removed before Saturday, would not have happened,” it said.
APC said whatever briefings must be given by the INEC chairman on the elections must have in attendance the representatives of all the political parties that will participate in the elections.

It also decried clandestine meetings between some key presidency and INEC officials with a view to rigging the elections, warning the presidency to steer clear of the electoral officials if indeed they are desirous of a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

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