Edwin Clark doubts possibility of credible elections

The Convener of the Pan- Niger Delta Forum and former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, has expressed doubt that the Independent National Electoral Commission will conduct free, fair and credible elections on Saturday.

Clark demanded an explanation from INEC over its alleged engagement of an All Progressives Congress candidate for the production of sensitive materials for the elections.

He said the electoral umpire also had questions to answer over the postponement of the last Saturday’s polls, stressing that the reasons so far given by the INEC chairman, Prof Yakubu Mahmood, were unsatisfactory.

The elder statesman spoke on Wednesday during a press conference held at his country home, Kiagbodo, in the Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

Clark said it was not enough for the INEC chairman to assure Nigerians that the polls would be free, fair and credible when the commission was aware that one of its contractors was a senatorial candidate on the platform of the APC.

He said, “The Peoples Democratic Party represented by Osita Chidoka, asked a question about one of your contractors, Alhaj Mohammed Musa, who was involved in the production and supply of some sensitive materials, and that person and owner of that company has been a card-carrying member of the APC since 2015.

“In fact, he is now a senatorial candidate in Niger State, whose election was to take place on the 16th February, 2019. Therefore, I was not at all satisfied with your answers.

“You said the company has been working satisfactorily with INEC since 2011, and you saw nothing wrong with it, and that the political parties could take up the matters with the person involved.

“How do you reconcile the credibility of the election with the involvement of an APC candidate in the very election in producing sensitive materials for the commission? Is it morally and politically justified?”

Addressing the INEC chairman further, the PANDEF leader also lamented the embarrassment and inconveniences the postponement caused Nigerians who had already travelled to their various voting centres.