…Says more Nigerians likely to vote for Atiku
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – Ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, a pressure group, the Eastern Peoples Front, EPF, has expressed reservation over the capacity and readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to deliver transparent elections.
In a statement issued signed by its national coordinator, Ken Emechebe in Abuja and made available to journalists on Wednesday, the group while lamenting the last minute postponement of the elections last week, said it is taking the pledge by INEC to deliver with a pinch of salt.
“We are surprised about the polls’ shift within less than 24 hours after Professor Mahmood Yakubu reportedly assured the country that there will be no suspension. This, to us suggests foul play capable of disrupting free, fair and credible elections.
“We are equally not too sure about the status of sensitive election materials that have been posted by the commission to some parts of the country, and want a third-party verification of the materials.
“We also think that when an independent body like INEC which has all that it asked for to run the election fails, there is a need to probe and ascertain what truly happened. When did INEC discover it had such sundry logistics challenges and could not go on with the elections?,” it asked.
EPF further further noted that whatever prompted the postponement, is fated to work in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
It continued, “The government and INEC which in our view has little independence, have by the polls’ rescheduling, provided Nigerians a good reason to massively vote out the APC on February 23, and vote in Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi of the PDP to lead the country for the next four years.
“This is further supported by the huge backing of Atiku and Obi by the Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Northern Elders Forum, Middle Belt Elders Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo, and other ethnic nationalities.
“The resolve of all the leaders of the various ethnic nationalities have not changed with this rescheduling.
“Ndigbo across Nigeria, should maintain maximum calmness and return to the polling stations to vote in Atiku and Obi.”
The group charged the security agencies not to allow themselves to be used to disrupt the elections, stressing that Nigerians would resist any move to manipulate the elections in favour of any candidate.