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Iwu should not play any role in 2011 elections, AC warns

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Monday, March 15, 2010


The Action Congress (AC) said the report that Maurice Iwu's INEC will release a comprehensive time-table for the 2011 general elections this week has sent alarm bells ringing across Nigeria, warning that Iwu should not be involved in the 2011 elections if they are to be credible.

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Iwu, who organised the worst elections in the country's history in 2007, is synonymous with election malfeasance and vote heists in its crudest form.

It said the report, which is some form of kite flying by the inscrutable INEC boss, has called into question the commitment of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to electoral reform, which is widely believed to be one of the key areas in which he wants to make a difference.

'How can we be talking of the 2011 general elections when the much-awaited electoral reform has not even started? How can we be talking of the 2011 general elections when the fate of the much-acclaimed report by the Uwais panel is not yet known? Is this a joke or what?

'Election rigging is not carried out only on election day. It is a culmination of a series of processes, including voters' registration. As we have seen during the last Anambra gubernatorial election, in which over 83 per cent of voters were disenfranchised, the voters' register is a key tool for rigging, especially in the hands of Iwu's INEC.

'Therefore, a biased and incompetent electoral umpire like Iwu should not be allowed to handle the registration process, not to talk of the elections, unless we are determined to ensure that votes will never count in Nigeria, in which case we should say goodbye to democracy,' AC said.

The party noted that fortunately for the country and for all those who seek free and fair elections, Iwu is supposed to have started his terminal leave this month, as his current tenure is due to expire on June 17, 2010.

'Yes, Iwu's tenure can be extended, but we know this will not be done by any government that is determined to bequeath a legacy of free, fair and peaceful elections to the country. Iwu has embarrassed Nigeria and the entire black race enough. He should be allowed to go home now,' it said.