Reports from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) this close to the general election are raising concerns and calling to question the credibility and neutrality of the electoral umpire in this critical national assignment.
Aside from the commission using its verified Twitter account to endorse a comment that disparages a leading presidential candidate, Nigerians were worried when INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Olusegun Agbaje disclosed that Lagos State Parks and Garages (LASPG) Management will be engaged to distribute election materials and personnel on Election Day.
The apprehension stems from that this committee is headed by a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, Musiliu Akinsanya, better known as MC Oluomo. The February 25 and March 11 general elections are too important to Nigerians that there should be no room for whatever will compromise the integrity of the polls. The arrangement elsewhere is that INEC works with the Nation Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) to distribute election materials. But in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu banned the operations of both transport unions in the state after the latter suspended MC Oluomo.
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Excerpts of the suspension letter signed by the general secretary of NURTW, Kabiru Yau, speak to the character of the man the INEC REC in Lagos wants to commit the transportation of logistics and personnel to: “This is to convey to you that in line with Article 42 section 5, subsection I, II, III, IV, V, and VIII of the union’s constitution, you have been placed on indefinite suspension from office as State Chairman of Lagos State Council of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) with effect from March 9th, 2021.
“Your suspension is the sequel to sustained acts of insubordination and gross misconduct coupled with your clandestine plans to instigate crisis and unleash mayhem on any branch or branches of the union in Lagos state that refuses to obey your order or instructions not to accept directives from the national headquarters of the Union.
“Your orchestrated plan to attack branches that may disobey your orders aforesaid will ultimately endanger public peace and order in Lagos state. It is also very likely to threaten and/or affect the lives and property of the peace-loving people of Lagos state, particularly those doing their legitimate businesses within motor parks, hence the urgent need to take drastic actions against him,” the letter read in part.