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Presidential Order On Ballot Papers Printing Threatens Credible Polls -APC

Funmilayo Omidiji

The Presidential directive to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to print electoral materials through the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) has received knock from the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

The party described the order as a threat to INEC and conduct of free, fair and credible elections in the country.

inec-logoIn a statement issued in London Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC contended that the directive was suspicious because it followed dissolution of NSPMC management and likely ploy by President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint PDP card-carrying members into the reconstituted executive body, thereby making the company another a rigging tool in the subsequent elections, especially the 2015 general elections.

”On the surface, there is nothing wrong in having the NSPMC print electoral materials, since this will translate to more jobs for Nigerians and save money. However, against the background of the PDP-led Federal Government’s abuse of national institutions like the military and the police, which are used as the enforcement arms of the PDP during elections, it will be dangerous to have them (FG) take control of the printing of ballot papers and other electoral materials via the NSPMC.

”Secondly, where is the independence of INEC when the President can just direct it by fiat to do its bidding? INEC should be left to determine where to print its electoral materials to ensure the integrity of such materials.

”Thirdly, asking the CBN Governor, an appointee of the President, to now oversee the ‘reform’ of the NSPMC and the Governor’s promptitude in visiting INEC over the presidential directive, raise more questions. While the CBN is a part owner of the NSPMC, it is not INEC’s supervisory ministry and should not tamper with its duties,'” the party noted.

The opposition emphasized its advocacy was that INEC should be left alone to carry out its job without independently without interference from any quarters.

It stated: ”There should be a limit to the desperation of President Jonathan and his party to win the 2015 elections at all costs. They have perfected the use of the security forces, especially the military, the police and the DSS, to harass and intimidate the opposition during elections. While the whole nation is still trying to get them to stop abusing the security forces, they should not draft another institution into the election rigging fray”.


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