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Monday, 9 February 2015


A civil Rights platform-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has challenged the hierarchy of the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to redress the systemic anomalies noticed in the distribution of the so-called Permanent Voter's Cards which it says is skewed in favour of the Northern Region  even as the Rights group demanded full independent Commission of Inquiry to probe the damaging allegations raised by the second republic civilian governor of old Kaduna Alhaji Balarabe Musa that the current INEC's leadership is scheming out states suspected of being strong support base of one of the presidential Candidates in the distribution of the PVCs.

Besides, the Rights group upbraided the top commanders of the nation's armed forces for scuttling the proposed February 14/28th General elections and forcing the electoral panel to shift the dates only on the nebulous ground that the armed forces will not provide security for the elections if it proceeded on the previously agreed dates. HURIWA said military authorities are subordinate to civilian authorities in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and that the resort to the use of subterfuge and coercion by the security chiefs to force a shift in election timelines amounted to high treason which must not be swept under the carpets because of its far reaching adverse implications to the larger goals and objectives of building sustainable culture of democracy and rule of law in Nigeria. 

HURIWA has thereby urged President Good luck Jonathan to call his military service chiefs to order even as the Rights group also blamed the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission headed by Professor Attahiru Jega for bringing Nigeria's electoral calendar into disrepute and creating room for the military top brass to play the less than impressive and indeed illegal role of busy bodies and interlopers who have now threatened the sanctity of our democracy. ''But for the apparent display of ruthless unprofessionalism and crass incompetence in the conduct of the national voters registration exercise and the consequential lopsided and criminally manipulated distribution of the permanent voter's cards these misbehaving and 'power drunk' top military commanders wouldn't have found any alibi to sabotage the independently chosen dates for the Nigerian General elections which has now been tinkered with''.

In a media statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the leadership of the electoral panel under Professor Jega has failed spectacularly to ensure that no state of the federation or indeed no ethnic nationality in the Nigerian federation is carefully, systematically and indeed criminally schemed out and hugely discriminated against in the distribution of the permanent voter's cards  just as it condemned totally the alleged lopsided distribution of these voters cards In favour of certain geopolitical interests in Northern Nigeria with a clear agendum to deny and discriminate against the potential voters of South East region.  HURIWA has hereby called on right thinking Nigerians to continue to speak out and demand that INEC redresses these anomalies because of its manifest unconstitutionality and the glaring breach of chapter four of the Nigerian constitution which prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity in the implementation of government policies and the inherent but sinister plots to deny the people of the South East region of their constitutionally guaranteed civil and political rights to vote and be voted for. 

''HURIWA hereby calls on Mr. President to constitute an independent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate these range of allegations of directly scheming out the South East people from the current distribution of permanent voter's cards by INEC. The lopsided practice of using the traditional institution of the Northern Region to distribute the PVCs and also denying the traditional institution of South East region the same privilege to rapidly distribute the permanent voters cards to their validly recognized registered subjects amounted to injustice and the height of impunity which must be thoroughly probed and redressed by an independent body. We support the call by most right thinking Nigerian that the May 29th 2015 transition date must remain sacrosanct. The accusations flying around in Lagos state of the refusal by INEC officials to give the PVCs to voters of South East origin must be investigated and the indicted culprits tried for high treason.''


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