A group, Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, has cautioned politicians and parties in the country to stop heating up the polity, especially with what it described as unfounded allegations against officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In a statement by its Chairperson, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday, the group warned political parties to stop peddling lies of INEC officials and security agencies allegedly being compromised to rig Saturday’s election.
The group was reacting to a petition by the All Progressives Congress, APC, alleging that the Akwa-Ibom state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mr. Mike Igini, has been compromised.
APC had, in the petition, also called for the removal of the REC.
But in its reaction, the group said politicians and parties are trying to take INEC’s name to the mud with such unfounded claims and, therefore, urged paries to desist from such.
According to the statement, “TMG is concerned about these gladiators attempt to damage the credibility of some of the National Commissioners of INEC who over time have proved themselves as worthy ambassadors of Nigeria. We are more concerned in particular, about the petition submitted by the Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom chapter calling for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, for alleged partisanship and other sundry offences ahead of the general polls in the country and.
“The REC Igini has since refuted these allegations, to be clear however, these allegations deserve unfathomable scrutiny from the authorities, if Nigerians are to get a sense of closure from the terrible events of the recent past, when politicians subverted the democratic choices and aspirations of Nigerians through whimsical political gimmicks to gain electoral advantage.
Nevertheless, the call for the removal and probe of REC Igini and other INEC top officials few days to the general elections on unfounded allegations, would only amount to a shady scheme to undermine the credibility of the electoral process and unnecessary meddling in the affairs of INEC by the ruling party.
“As we expect INEC to discharge its duty without fear or favour, we therefore call on all political parties to refrain from actions that are capable of overheating the polity as well as activities that tend to derail our fledgling democracy.
“We also call on Former Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar, Peace Commission to step up its game to ensure political parties commitment to the peace agreement and pact signed for peaceful elections to prevent any forms of violence and malpractices that could trigger pre-or post -election conflicts, Nigeria is too fragile to go into full scale conflict. We therefore call on all Nigerians to maintain peace and shun violence for the sake of Nigeria!”