Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA), on Monday, said Nigerians should not rejoice too much over Saturday ‘free-and-fair’ governorship election in Osun State but to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission does not manipulate the 2023 presidential election for the ruling All Progressives Congress.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, also condemned the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling APC and said the party’s decision offends the sensibilities of the Nigerian people.
The group warned that INEC must not be intimidated by President Muhammadu Buhari to give the APC the next Presidency as a parting gift.
Recall that Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party defeated APC candidate and incumbent Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, at the July 16 governorship election in Osun.
INEC immediately announced the opposition candidate (Adeleke) as the winner of the poll against Oyetola, the governorship candidate of the President and APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; and other heavyweights.
Although many civil societal organisations and rights activists have hailed INEC for the Osun poll and commended the President for congratulating Adeleke and recognised his victory, HURIWA maintained that Nigerians should not be carried away by the display of INEC and the President in the Osun election.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “In as much as many have commended the Independent National Electoral Commission and President Muhammadu Buhari over Saturday’s ‘free-and-fair’ governorship election in Osun State, Nigerians must not rejoice for long but must ensure that they monitor their votes in next year’s general election lest INEC collude with the APC to give Buhari the 2023 Presidency as a parting gift for appointing them into very juicy jobs.
“Whilst we rejoice over free poll in Osun, we must be vigilant to preemptively stop INEC from manipulation of the presidential poll which is what the APC is actively plotting. APC is aware that the tides are against the party for monumental failures in the last 7 years and the fact that the Presidential Candidate was instrumental to producing the failed government of President Muhammadu Buhari, so the plan-B of APC is to rig the election. Now that virtually all right thinking members of the diverse ethno religious divides in Nigeria are unanimously condemning Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the divisive and unconstitutional choice of a Muslim running mate, it is not impossible that APC led Presidency may have asked the election umpire to manipulate the Presidential election unless Nigerians continues to be awake to their responsibility to be eternally vigilant so as to guarantee a free poll next year.
“This is why the planned census next year is suspect. A census just before a general election is a fraudulent way of exponentially rigging votes for the APC, especially from the northern region. The quest for the votes of the north also birthed the divisive choice of a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket by the APC. This is also why HURIWA will go to court soon to challenge the 2023 census.
“Again, HURIWA condemns the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC. The reason for widespread criticism is not because the APC has a destructive and disuniting tendencies or indispensable but because the decision offends rationality and abused the sensitivity of Nigeria’s religious pluralism and is a slap on the dignity of the Northern Christians – an attempt to maintain the fallacy that Christians are minority in the North which isn’t so since for now there is no scientific basis to reach that conclusion. There is so far no verifiable statistics that points to the number or percentage of Christians in Northern Nigeria because all previously conducted headcounts did not demand the respondents to state their ethnic or religious affiliations. So from where did this criminal statistic of Christians as minority in the North comes from?
“HURIWA urges all Nigerians to ensure that the sinister plot to manipulate the 2023 presidential election for the APC does not stand. Nigerians should get their Permanent Voter Cards and stand by their votes on election day just as the electorate did in Osun State on Saturday. HURIWA will soon decide on possible litigation to force INEC to extend the deadline for registration.
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
July 18, 2022