By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group -:HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari for rejecting the announcement of travel bans imposed on some notorious election manipulators and riggers for destroying the electoral tenets in the last Kogi and Bayelsa states governorship polls but the Rights group said the President Muhammadu Buhari who is the appointing authority of the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) and the heavily ethically challenged elections management team(INEC) should by right be also involved in the VISA BANS by those foreign jurisdictions.
HURIWA recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria had reportedly told the United States and the United Kingdom that the country has enough provisions in its laws to punish violators and orchestrators of electoral violence and fraud in the country just as the government said it acknowledged the issues some of its partners, more especially, the United States and the United Kingdom governments raised regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
HURIWA which backs the decision of the two nations of United States of America and United Kingdom said it was gratifying that both countries expressed their intention to take decisive actions against those involved in what they termed as ‘undermining democracy’ but the Rights group said the two nations did not go far enough in punishing election manipulators in Nigeria who are still actively calling the shots in the Edo state governor’s election and are actually holding top positions in the Federal Government of Nigeria. HURIWA debunked the claims by the Nigerian Government that Nigeria has enough laws agaibst election riggers, said there is no record to show that any of the officials who manipulated elections in Nigeria since 1999 has ever been sanctioned just as the Rights group said what is happening in Nigeria is that those who rig elections are rewarded with federal or state government’s appointments just as judges who manipulate judicial system to win election related litigation in courts are elevated to higher bench in the Judiciary.
“PRESIDENCY’S rejection of the decisions of both the USA and UK followed the visa ban by the United States Government on election offenders during the November, 2019 elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States, its threat on the Edo and Ondo elections and the decision of the Government of the United Kingdom to apply same sanctions, is preposterous and laughable. HURIWA believes that it is dangerous for democratic nation’s to allow those who sabotage constitutional democracy to move freely in their own Countries just the same way that the USA and the UK are worried about the Russians using the Cyber facilities to undermine their elections. USA and UK have done well to ban these election manipulators who are actually made to hold top rated political offices in Nigeria which is the reason for the collapse of both democratic practices and the economy”.
HURIWA said: “For the Federal Government in a statement issued by the Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, to have stated that it would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of its citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally, this shows actually that election manipulators are the people calling the shots in the different layers of governments in Nigeria because only a criminal will reject well grounded sanctions imposed on criminals. HURIWA is shocked that President Muhammadu Buhari expressed the hypocritical sentiments that it is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions. The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral body. These are lies from the pits of hell because all institutions that manage elections in Nigeria are manipulated by the Federal government to reach a predetermined results especially if the electorate do not carry out civil unrest in protests against such manipulation”.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said that there are credible body of evidence to show that President Muhammadu Buhari who won a seemingly manipulated 2015 Presidential election conducted by the gravely compromised INEC’s chairman as he then was Mr. Attahiru Jega, and the then incumbent President Dr Goodluck Jonathan accepted the outcome of the controversial election to prevent post election violence threatened by the then opposition All Progressives Congress, however the current President Muhammadu Buhari is seriously partisan and has been known to have supervised an electoral body that has become notorious for conducting inconclusive elections for good five years just as the 2019 Presidential election was the most criminally hijacked electoral process in Africa. So it is completely untrue that President Muhammadu Buhari promotes free and fair elections. President Muhammadu Buhari is the father of election manipulations. The USA and UK should place a travel ban on President Muhammadu Buhari, the INEC’s chairman Mahmood Yakubu and his Commissioners.”