Atiku, HURIWA want Lagos REC removed over alleged partisanship
• Oppose plan to distribute election materials with MC Oluomo committee
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, for alleged partisanship and compromise.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, the Waziri Adamawa said it was curious seeing Agbaje insisting on using the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee, led by transport kingpin and member of All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Musiliu Akinsanya (aka MC Oluomo) for election logistics on February 25 and March 11,2023.
He described as watery the REC’s excuse that INEC would not be able to use the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) because they had been barred in Lagos State.
The former Vice President stated: “The law is clear that only a court has the power to proscribe an organisation. That was why the Federal Government had to go to court to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
“What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu did in Lagos State was to arbitrarily announce a ban on activities of the NURTW because the organisation suspended MC Oluomo, the APC’s henchman. INEC must not promote illegality by working with a partisan organisation, which is filled with APC members that are working for Bola Tinubu.
“How could such people be given sensitive materials to be distributed across Lagos on Election Day? This has already undermined the possibility of a free and fair election. INEC must sanction Mr. Agbaje for insisting on using MC Oluomo’s committee despite protests from members of the public.”
SIMILARLY, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, backed the ex-Vice President in rejecting the logistics arrangement.
Its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said deploying members of an organisation sympathetic to APC had compromised the polls ab initio.
He accused the REC of “working for the ruling party and clandestinely perfecting scheme to actualise the plot by election saboteurs to rig the exercise and put their person in power against the will of the Nigerian people.”
Agbaje had made disclosure on Tuesday during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting in Lagos. Onwubiko said: “The plan of INEC to use the organisation, led by a known APC member who has been seen in many rallies of Bola Tinubu in Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Osun, Ekiti and other places is condemnable and anti-democratic. HURIWA rejects the move in its entirety.
“Apparently, the Lagos REC is working for Tinubu and APC. INEC needs to immediately redeploy him for electoral integrity if any at all will be achieved in the next elections.
“Also, HURIWA demands that INEC finds an alternative to the Central Bank of Nigeria and not keep sensitive and non-sensitive materials in the custody of the apex bank, headed by a known APC member and in fact a former presidential aspirant of the ruling party. This is totally wrong.”