2019: INEC lacks capacity to conduct credible elections – Gov. Wike

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has reiterated his earlier stance that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, lacks the capacity to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019.

He called on Nigerians not to be deceived by the statements usually released by INEC of its readiness to conduct credible polls because the commission was not living up to its mandate.

He spoke at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Thursday when he granted audience to the Senate Committee on INEC.

“Let’s not deceive ourselves; INEC is not prepared for credible elections.  If there is an agency that is not prepared for 2019, it is INEC. I have no confidence in INEC.  There is no amount of INEC’s preparation that will convince me.

“INEC chooses how it interprets laws to suit those they support. They choose the court orders to obey and the ones to disregard.  In one state where it favours a particular party, they obey. In another state, INEC will claim they are yet to see judgments not in favour of the party they support.”

The Governor warned that any attempt by the electoral umpire to negatively manipulate the will of the people in 2019 would be resisted.

“In 2019, whoever wants to manipulate the process to destroy the outcome, the people will come after that person and the family.

“We will not agree anybody to rig elections here in Rivers State.  Nobody will do anything contrary to the will of the people,” he said.

The Governor said that results were declared at the polling units, “but INEC goes ahead to manipulate results at the collation centre as was done in Osun State.”

He added that the National Assembly had budgeted money for INEC for them to squander, but not for the conduct of credible elections.

Wike added that the refusal to sign the amended Electoral Act was a ploy by the APC-led Federal Government to rig the 2019 elections in connivance with INEC.

He stated that despite the fact that the National Assembly continued to amend the Electoral Act in favour of the presidency, the APC-led Federal Government continued to generate excuses why they would not sign the amended Electoral Act.

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