The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday raised the alarm over plots to make public displays of hostility towards the commission, aimed at deflating the integrity of the commission and casting doubt on its credibility to conduct the 2015 general elections.
A statement by the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, said the commission had noted the recent campaign by partisan interests in the media to tarnish the reputation of its leadership, particularly that of the chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.
Recently, reports emerged in newspapers over some alleged dirty dealings involving Jega, bordering on his aides being remunerated by a foreign agency and that he leased his private properties to the commission.
But according to the statement, the reports were no more than wild allegations, with no iota of proof or evidence to substantiate them and that few of these reports indeed crossed the line of journalistic decorum, and are accordingly being processed for libel litigation. It also said that it had information that those behind the false stories would go further than just putting out such press reports.
“There are reportedly designs to upscale the plot into public displays of hostility towards INEC, such as through rented street rallies against its present leadership, among other measures.
“The whole point of this devious campaign, obviously, is to deflate the integrity of the commission and cast doubt on its credibility and ability to conduct the 2015 general elections in accordance with international best standards,” it claimed.
The commission however reiterated its commitment towards upholding its integrity, fairness and impartiality as an umpire of the electoral process, saying it would stay focused on its programmes to deliver elections that will be world-class in fairness and credibility come 2015, despite the daunting challenges.
It, however, sought the cooperation of other stakeholders, especially politicians, to deliver on the mandate.