After the euphoria that greeted the nomination of Professor Attahiru Jega to the post of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it is pertinent to point out that most of the 10 other persons nominated as INEC National Commissioners and the 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners are card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In the same vein , most of the remaining 16 Resident Electoral Commissioners are top notchers of the PDP. Majority of them were involved in the monumental fraud that marred the 2007 general elections and the rerun elections. In particular, the Commissioners declared several false election results with respect to many seats in the federal and state legislative houses which have since been nullified by the courts. While the fraudulent results of the gubernatorial elections declared in Ondo, Edo, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Sokoto, Kogi, Adamawa and Ekiti were annulled by various election tribunals only the resident electoral commissioners in Kogi, Adamawa and sokoto states were replaced because their terms of office had expired. In some of the cases the Court of Appeal found that results were concocted and declared even where elections never took place.Since members of the ruling party have been the major beneficiaries of the highly flawed 2007 General Election the suspects involved in the grave electoral crimes have not been prosecuted.
It would be recalled that when Mrs Ayoka Adebayo resigned her appointment as the Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner because her conscience initially revolted against the manipulation of the results of the rerun governorship election of April 25, 2009 in Ekiti State it was Prince Solomon Soyebi who stood proxy for her and “collated” the fraudulent Ido Osi results. Even though Mrs Adebayo was later brought to Ado Ekiti vi et armis to declare the winner of the election, she has refused to show up in the INEC office for the past 14 months. Yet President Jonathan as retained her as the Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner even though she validly resigned her appointment pursuant to section 306 (2) of the Constitution.
Apart from the aforesaid involvement of Prince Solomon Soyebi in the manipulation of the rerun election results in Ekiti state, some other National Commissioners are likely to influence election results in favour of the PDP. For instance, Ambassador Mohammed Anka was a PDP governorship aspirant in Zamfara state in 2007, General A. B. Mamman is awell known chieftains of the PDP in the Federal Capital Territory while Alhaji Nuhu Yakubu was a PDP senatorial aspirant in Kaduna State in 2007.
Notwithstanding the nomination of Professor Attahiru Jega and a couple of other non-partisan individuals into the INEC, it is crystal clear that the Goodluck Jonathan administration is merely paying lip service to genuine electoral reforms. In the circumstances, Nigerians should demand for a total overhaul of the INEC in the interest of justice and fair play. In other words, INEC officials who have been indicted for engaging in the manipulation of the 2007 General Election should be sacked without any further delay. In view of the repeated assurance of the Federal Government to conduct credible election in 2011 Nigerians continue to insist on the full implementation of the basic recommendations of the Mohammed Uwais – led Electoral Reform Committee .
Chairman, National Conscience Party (NCP)