BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
ABUJA—CHAIRMAN of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, yesterday, raised the alarm over an alleged sponsored campaign of calumny against his person and a planned public display of hostility against the commission by a section of the media.
Jega said those behind the alleged planned public display of hostility against INEC intended to implement their plot through rented street rallies against the leadership of the commission.
In a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Kayode Idowu, Jega said despite the plot, the commission was ready to conduct the 2015 general elections in the country in a free, fair and transparent manner, in accordance with the international best practices.
The statement read: “The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has observed a recent campaign by partisan interests in the media to tar the reputation of its leadership, particularly the chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.”
“This campaign has so far been waged in the form of serial press reports of alleged financial misdeeds, either directly committed or approved by the Chairman of the commission. Expectedly, the reports were no more than wild allegations, with no iota of proof or evidence to substantiate them.
“Few of these reports indeed crossed the line of journalistic decorum, and are accordingly being processed for libel litigation.
“The commission also has information that the campaign will not be left at the level of press reports alone. There are reportedly designs to upscale the plot into public displays of hostility towards INEC, such as through rented street rallies against its present leadership, among other measures.
“The whole point of this devious campaign, obviously, is to deflate the integrity of the Commission and cast doubt on its credibility and ability to conduct the 2015 General Election in accordance with international best standards.
“The commission, hereby, reassures the public of its commitment to uphold its integrity, fairness and impartiality as an umpire of the electoral process. It will stay focused on its programmes to deliver elections that will be world class in fairness and credibility, come 2015, despite the daunting challenges.
“But the commission must here again restate, as it has always done, that it cannot do it alone. It therefore pleads with other stakeholders, especially politicians, to equally commit to this cause.”