Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State says the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s recognition of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the November 26 governorship poll in Ondo State is dangerous to democracy.
He claimed that the action of the national electoral body was an indication that the Ondo state gubernatorial election has been rigged in advance by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
While accusing the APC of turning INEC into its department and willing tool that can be deployed at will to manipulate election in advance, Fayose stated that recognising someone who did not emerge through any known electoral process signalled the end of democracy in the country.
It would be recalled that INEC had on Thursday published the names of governorship candidates and their parties in Ondo, where it replaced the name of Mr Eyitayo Jegede from the Ahmed Makarfi’s faction of the PDP with Ibrahim, who emanated from Ali Modu Sheriff faction.
Addressing a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Friday, the governor stated that the recognition granted Ibrahim had further confirmed his fear that the APC had the intention of turning the country into a one-party state.
His words: “The question to ask INEC is; having accepted the candidate presented by the Malkarfi-led PDP National Caretaker Committee for the Edo State election, relying on the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt, despite the Abuja Federal High Court order at that time, what has changed? Obviously, it is either INEC is playing double-standard or has descended into the arena.
“With the development in Ondo Guber election and the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it is clear that INEC is a department in APC led federal government. By this development also, I am vindicated that other political parties and stakeholders are now contesting election against INEC.
“Obviously, INEC at every election adopts new strategy to procure undue victory for the APC and it appears that the agenda to turn Nigeria to a one-party state is daily being ruthlessly pursued by these elements not minding if democracy and our country are destroyed”.
Fayose reasoned that Nigeria and Nigerians face a serious hopelessness with the alleged desperation of the APC cabal and its INEC collaborators, adding that he was convinced that the future is bleak if nothing is done to stop this monster.
Recalling his earlier warning that the present APC-led federal government will muzzle all sectors, including the judiciary and electoral commission, the governor stressed that his prediction is gradually coming to the fore.
He said, “I have warned and I am still warning that there is danger ahead in all sectors, especially the economy, health, security, and most importantly, the electoral process.
“However, I must say that I am not disappointed but it will be and remain on record that I warned Nigerians.
“Also, Nigerians should be reminded of how the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) tried in 1983 to annexed all States in Nigeria to itself by turning the then Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) to an arm of the party. Result of the NPN’s rape on our democracy was the collapse of democracy then.
“The question is; who will save Nigeria from this tyranny and dictatorship? The way these people are going, Nigerians may wake up into the suspension of the National Assembly and the Constitution sooner than later. Even democratic structures in the 36 States might not be spared.”
The governor called on the progressives to be courageous enough to rise against this perceived unabated impunity, saying they would realise that no one will be spared the moment this emerging fascism is left unchallenged.