The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, says some resident electoral commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been compromised.
Speaking at an emergency meeting of APC leaders in Abuja on Monday, the chairman of the ruling party asked the commission to reshuffle such individuals.
He said the APC is not really interested in where people are posted to, advising INEC to use its discretion.
“Mr President, I also believe that because you are the president, you have dual responsibility, one is to ensure that any institution of state that has misbehaved, anybody that is involved in that act, particularly actions that can weaken the fabric of our democracy, Mr President, you have a duty to trigger the process that will compel everyone involved in all of this to account.
“We cannot be helpless because at the end of the day all fingers will point at you even as innocent as you are. I want us to use today to review what has happened (postponement of elections) in various states. On my part, as they say ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’, I am much more determined that our message to the the Nigerian people, we must revive it, we must insist these elections are conducted properly, some INEC RECs have been compromised, the INEC leadership do not have the right to impose a corrupt or compromised INEC RECs on us.
“When sufficient doubt has been raised on the character, integrity of a referee, no responsible match authority will impose that referee. We don’t care where anybody is posted to but INEC has the discretion to move people around.”
Oshiomhole also faulted the commission over the postponement of the general election, saying the party would go ahead with campaigns irrespective of the directive of the commission not to do so.
The commission postponed the exercise barely six hours to the opening of polling stations on Saturday, citing logistic challenges.
Oshiomhole said INEC does not have the right to prevent APC from continuing to reach out to the people in the week to the election.
“If at our level, we are sufficiently disturbed, what would be the fate of the ordinary man? I think we need to remind them across the country that elections have been rescheduled and they should have trust, faith, and remain determined to vote,” he said.
“The process of doing that would require that we return to campaign between now and Thursday this week. Friday is not a campaign day. To ask us as a political party not to go out? The members, our people, would have forgotten. Some would have assumed that ‘look, I’m not sure what these people want’. And the result could be very, very low turnout. That is not good for a party that has huge, huge support base. It can only be good for a party that is not sure of its level of grassroots support.
“So, without consulting INEC, we are proceeding and we are ready to meet them in court. Because they cannot by administrative fiat amend or distort extra provisions in the relevant electoral act and those laws are not secret to INEC.”