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Akanbi decries calls for polls cancellation

By Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin   |   29 January 2015   |   8:21 pm

Akanbi

Condemns Clark’s comments on Jega

THE call for postponement of next month general elections by the National Security Adviser (NSA) is suspicious and mischievous, pioneer chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi has said.

   The retired Appeal Court President also berated Chief Edwin Clark for openly accusing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega of bias and incompetence.

   Justice Akanbi said this yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital at a public lecture organised by the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation (MAF). The topic of the lecture is “Voters Education: Rights, duties and responsibilities.”

   Said he: “The unsolicited advice by Col. Sambo Dasuki in far away London that the 2015 elections be postponed is ill-motive; I see mischief in that advice as it must be evident even to the unwary, that such postponement will do more harm than good. The advice is suspect and not from the best of motives. It is however delightful that majority opinion has rejected it. More importantly Prof. Jega has outrightly rejected it.

   The retired jurist added that, “with the approach of the 2015 elections, the threat to national unity and cohesion has been on the increase. Political gladiators have been spitting fire and heating up the polity as never before.

   “Threats of taking up arms and breaking up Nigeria, if a particular candidate does not win the election rent the air. Some of the protagonists of disintegration are elders who should know better but have chosen to serve personal ends instead of national interest.

   “Our teeming unemployed youths are now being mobilised and recruited to re-enact the events of 1993 which sent Nigeria into the doldrums. We are told that arms and ammunition are being stock-piled by the war mongers and ‘commercial politicians’ to plunge Nigeria once again into a state of unnecessary civil war.”

   Another former Appeal Court President, Justice Ayo Isa Salami (rtd) said the Nigerian judiciary is near total collapse, having been intimidated to submission by the powers-that-be.

   He ascribed the voters’ apathy to collect the permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) to failure of successive governments to meet their expectations.

    “Just like the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kwara State, Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo said that it is INEC’s work to facilitate voters’ education, but the other day, the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NAO) was in President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign team. Is he playing his role as the agency of the Federal Government?

   “Again the judiciary unfortunately has been intimidated. There is no doubt about it, judiciary has been intimidated. And therefore if you vote and see anything contrary to your will do you have any remedy?

   “So this is one of the reasons why people are not collecting their voter cards. In our voters education we can persuade them to go and collect their voter’s cards. We should encourage them to perform their own task,” Salami stated.




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