Nigeria News

2019 Election: Factors That May Fail INEC

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Nigeria News takes a look at the factors that may militate against INEC performance in 2019 election.

The nationwide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities is about six weeks now and for six times, the meeting between the union and the government has ended in deadlock.

The ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi said that the union would not suspend the strike until it reaches a concrete agreement with the Federal Government, even as the country prepares for general election.

He said that the strike action is in the national interest, calling on Nigerians to reason with the teachers instead of condemning the ASUU’s industrial action.

The ASUU’s strike has not only affected the academic calendar of the tertiary institutions and the students, it is going to affect next month election if it is not called off now.

Though at a meeting between INEC and ASUU on Friday, the lecturers said that they would participate in the general election, the union is yet to reach an agreement with the government on when it will call of its strike.

Students who graduated a few months ago are yet to receive their National Youths Service Corps’ call-up letters from their universities.

They are to serve as the ad-hoc staff of the INEC during the election but with the ASUU’s strike, the commission will have to look elsewhere to block the hole.

The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye pointed this out at a forum as he appealed to ASUU to call off the strike in the interest of the nation.

But Nigerians do not see either of these two bodies as working in the national interest but personal interests.

This is due to the allegation that INEC appointed one Amina Zakari as Head of Elections Collation Centre, which is becoming louder than the looming unavailability of corps members for the coming election.

It was gathered that Mrs Zakari is President Muhammadu Buhari’s niece and that her appointment was a plan by the All Progressives Congress led-government to rig the 2019 election.

The People’s Democratic Party has kicked against this appointment and asked INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakub to disapprove this appointment.

But in a Swift response, Yakub said that Mrs Zakari is not related to Buhari at all. He noted that Mrs Zakari was appointed as a Commissioner by the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan who is a prominent member of PDP.

Yakub stated that there was no position or unit as Head of Collation Centre in INEC, saying it was propaganda and fake news.

He explained that Zakari was announced to head a committee in charge of welfare and logistics for the coming election and was never put in such a position to favour any party.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan alleged that Zakari being Buhari’s niece would definitely be working for the return of her uncle.

So, the question of national interest arises again. Which and who is serving the national interest?

Is it the ASUU that is hellbent to continue with its strike until the government does its bid or an INEC that allegedly appoints the president’s niece as the Chief umpire in an election that will determine the future of this country?

A senior colleague once told me that APC would do all that it took PDP to rig election between 1999 and 2015 to ensure the return of Buhari.

To him, PDP had rigged elections in this country for four consecutive terms, adding, “Let APC rig now to make it 4-1”.

As unpatriotic as this may have sounded, it exposes the plans that the ruling party is putting together to make this election incredible and a do-or-die affair.

That was the slogan of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He did not only ensure that PDP won the election for 16 years, Obasanjo suppressed the opposition and nearly turned the country to a one-party state. Who is working for national interest? Of course nobody.

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