The Chairman of Atiku/Obi Campaign Council in Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, on Saturday expressed doubt in the INEC’s ability to remain a neutral umpire.
He made the statement during an interactive radio program on Sapientia 95.3FM, Onitsha, Anambra State. Obaze observed that recent events in the country have put a serious credibility deficit on INEC.
According to him, the controversies surrounding by-elections and state elections in the last couple of years, especially that of Ekiti and Osun states have placed serious credibility deficits on INEC.
The former governorship candidate of PDP noted that INEC has a very recent track record that makes it impossible for his political party or any other party, and indeed for Nigerians to say that they have implicit confidence in the ability of the umpire to deliver free, fair, transparent and sufficiently credible elections in 2019.
Obaze said the strength of the government, in any established democracy, derives from public confidence in statutory institutions which INEC is one.
He called on the electoral umpire to live above the fray and ensure that the votes of Nigerians truly counts in the coming elections, even as he faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent the amended electoral act.
Obaze said, “Amina Zakari has been flagged for a potential conflict of interest. It will serve collective good if she refuses herself or be made to do so in the National interest.” He warned INEC to desist from rigging the forth coming elections.
Responding to question on his party’s chances in the coming elections, Obaze said that the incumbent administration’s abysmal performance in office has bolstered the chances of the PDP at the polls.
He added, “Nigerians are hungry under this present administration and are rallying behind PDP’s Atiku-Obi ticket which they have come to see as a credible alternative.”