CONTROVERSY OVER INEC APPOINTMENT OF BAYELSA APC GUBER ASPIRANT IN LAST YEAR’S ELECTION AS REC FOR EDO STATE DAYS TO GUBER CONTEST

Agency Reporter

A rights and integrity advocacy group, the Network for Best Practice and Integrity in Leadership (NEBPRIL), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take steps that will douse apprehension among the electorate over issues of “transparency, impartiality and integrity” of the electoral umpire.

It made the call in a letter on Thursday to INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu.

In the letter, NEBPRIL raised concern on the controversy over the recent redeployment of a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Johnson Alalibo, to Edo State, “who has had obvious political exposure, which is evident in his recent participation as an aspirant in the governorship election in Bayelsa State, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a major contender in the coming Edo election.”

It urged INEC to “take steps to review this obvious insensitive, controversial decision to reflect its core values of impartiality, credibility and integrity, in order not only to do the right thing, but also to be seen to have done the right thing in the interest of peace and democracy.”

The letter signed by its Chairman, Afam Ogene, titled: ‘Urgent need to reverse the insensitive and seeming partial and constitutional breach in the appointment of the new Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)’, and given to the media, questioned the timing, legality and propriety of appointing a REC that was so politically exposed, especially coming at a time that the “major parties in the state are already enmeshed in bitter rivalry, thus raising questions on the objectivity, sensibility and intent of such a controversial decision.”

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